History of the Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance

In 1985 the DRCMR was inaugurated thanks to a generous donation from the flamboyant travel agency owner Simon Spies of a 1.5 tesla magnetic resonance scanner to Hvidovre Hospital – the first MRI scanner in Denmark.

The technology was new at the time with very few MR scanners in the world, but research and an eminent collaboration with the supplier Siemens quickly produced results in the field of functional and diagnostic imaging and the centre prospered during the following years.

Soon the DRCMR attracted researchers from both Denmark and abroad, and during the 80’ties and start 90’ties they enthusiastically pioneered the research. The first manager of the centre, MD Ole Henriksen, was a brilliant research leader with high ambitions, and the centre attracted guests from all over the world.

Following the unexpected illness of Ole Henriksen in 1995, a new era began under the leadership of professor Olaf Paulson, who during the next 15 years developped the centre. Olaf Paulson continued his employment at Rigshospitalet while heading DRCMR and the centre profitted a lot from his wide network. His enterprising manner and efforts resulted in not only financing of the many research projects, but also new equipment; already in 2002 the first 3 tesla MRI scanner in Denmark was installed at DRCMR; this time also through a generous donation from the Simon Spies Foundation.

The DRCMR continuously prospered and took one more giant step when professor Hartwig Siebner gradually took over from Olaf Paulson. From 2010 his visions and worldwide reputation soon made DRCMR a magnet for researchers and students wanting to participate and learn in this fertile, interdisciplinary and productive research environment.

In August 2014 the DRCMR was granted the Global Excellence in Health Award by the Capital Region of Denmark. The nomination committee put special emphasis on the centre’s outstanding contributions to research and disease management regarding neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis and parkinsonism. Insight into the treatment of these is obtained using an interdisciplinary approach combining MRI and other techniques. The nomination committee was also impressed by DRCMR’s ability to attract international, prominent researchers and ensure extended regional and global collaboration with the best researchers within the field. Last but not least, the committee mentioned the extremely impressive research infrastructure at DRCMR, including the 7T MR-scanner. The 7T scanner was acquired and inaugurated in February 2015 thanks to very generous donations from the John and Birthe Meyer Foundation and from the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation.

The future – The DRCMR is open and welcoming new research talents; the interdisciplinary structure, the open research environment, the many different specialities – not only medical but also within e.g. linguistics, physics, engineering, psychology and music – all encourage and contribute to a diverse environment, inspire and give creative input to move the limits of our research further.