We are sad to report that Dr. Juergen Willmann, a champion for focused ultrasound at Stanford University, passed away January 8 at the age of 45.
He was a professor and vice chair of Radiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the head of the Translational Molecular Imaging Laboratory (TMIL). He was a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and of the Society of Abdominal Radiology.
Dr. Willmann was a pioneer in imaging and early cancer detection through the development and clinical translation of novel molecular and functional imaging biomarkers, particularly targeted contrast microbubbles for ultrasound molecular imaging. His team was the first to use the targeted microbubble technology in human clinical imaging trials, leveraging them to identify ovarian and breast cancer. Dr. Willmann was also a pioneer in using microbubbles to treat tumors, optimizing ultrasound parameters, and designing microbubbles and nanoparticles for drug delivery. Through his research, Dr. Willmann’s goal was to integrate novel imaging and therapeutic strategies into clinical protocols for improved patient care.
Dr. Willmann was educated and trained in Europe, where he attended Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg in Germany. He completed his medical internship at the University Medical Center Freiburg and his residency at University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland. He joined Stanford as a research fellow and became a faculty member there in 2008.
He is survived by his wife, Amelie Lutz, who is also a faculty member in the Department of Radiology at Stanford, and their two young children.