Kai Tobias Block

(+49) 178 163-6323  ·  mail@tobias-block.net

I am a research scientist and software engineer based in Hamburg, Germany. My work aims at making medical imaging faster, easier, and more accessible. I am developing techniques for MRI scan acceleration and workflow simplification, and I am creating open-source software for bringing research prototypes into clinical practice.

I am affiliated with the New York University School of Medicine.


Experience

Associate Professor of Radiology

NYU School of Medicine

My research at NYU focuses on the development of motion-robust MR imaging that works in patients unable to hold breath. This is achieved by combining radial MR pulse sequences with iterative or model-based reconstruction. One outcome is the GRASP technique for free-breathing DCE-MRI, which is now used clinically with FDA approval. Extensions include motion-resolved reconstruction (XD-GRASP), model-based fat/water separation or quantification (Dixon-RAVE), and T2 variants (EMC, RAVE-Hybrid). To integrate such techniques clinically, I have created the Yarra open-source framework. My work has been supported by the NIH.

November 2011 - Present

Senior Application Developer

Siemens Healthcare

At Siemens, I developed the StarVIBE sequence for motion-robust MR imaging. Moreover, I was in charge of product maintenance of the VIBE sequence, and I led an innovation team on iterative reconstruction techniques. I also developed a real-time MR imaging technique with near-zero latency reconstruction.

May 2009 - September 2011

Research Scientist

Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry

While writing my PhD thesis, I worked as Research Scientist at the Max Planck Institute Göttingen. I developed iterative reconstruction schemes to accelerate MRI scans (aka Compressed Sensing), model-based reconstruction techniques, and pulse sequences with radial k-space acquisition. This work received the 2007 ISMRM Young Investigator Award for Basic Science.

August 2005 - April 2009

Research Scientist

Fraunhofer MEVIS

During my time at MEVIS, I developed software solutions for analysis of dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI exams. I also contributed to the MeVisLab medical image processing platform.

September 2004 - July 2005

Research Scientist

Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry

I wrote my Diploma thesis at the Biomedizinische NMR Forschungs GmbH at Max Planck Institute Göttingen and investigated whether spiral k-space sampling schemes provide an advantage over the widely used EPI technique in functional MRI.

October 2002 - August 2004

Founder

Seginus IT Solutions

My company Seginus IT Solutions developed the software suite “measure” for school education and scientific research on behalf of PHYWE Systeme GmbH, Göttingen. We also developed firmware update tools for various PHYWE devices.

July 1997 - August 2004

Education

University of Göttingen

Doctor of Philosophy
Mathematics (Dr.rer.nat.)

Thesis: Advanced Methods for Radial Data Sampling in Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Grade: Summa cum laude

August 2005 - September 2008

University of Göttingen

Bachelor / Master of Science
Physics (Dipl.Phys.)

Thesis: Spiral Sampling of k-Space in Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Grade: A (Sehr Gut)

October 1999 - May 2004

Skills

General
  • Medical Imaging
  • Software Engineering
  • Signal Processing
  • Algorithm Design
  • Numerical Optimization
Programming
  • C/C++, Boost, Qt5, Wt
  • Python, PyTorch, Starlette
  • JavaScript, jQuery, Node.js
  • Matlab
  • Delphi
Data
  • SQL, Postgres, SQLite
  • DICOM
  • Graphite, Grafana
  • Redash
Internet
  • HTML5, CSS, Bootstrap, Bulma
  • Hugo, Drupal, WordPress, PHP
  • RESTful APIs
  • AWS, Docker

Projects


Publications

Citation metrics can be found on my Google Scholar profile