Surgical Planning Laboratory - Brigham & Women's Hospital - Boston, Massachusetts USA - a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School

Surgical Planning Laboratory

Ferenc A. Jolesz M.D., May 21, 1946 - December 31, 2014


A pioneer in Image-Guided Therapy, Dr. Jolesz was the B. Leonard Holman Professor of Radiology in the Department of Radiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. As the Director of Advanced MR Imaging at the Harvard Neurodiscovery Center and the Director of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Division and the Image-Guided Therapy Program at the Brigham, he provided oversight to, as well as joyfully participated in, clinical practice and translational research.

A native of Budapest, Hungary, Dr. Jolesz completed his medical training (including a Residency in Neurosurgery) before moving to the United States in 1979. Following his arrival in Boston, he served as a Research Fellow in Neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and in Physiology at Harvard Medical School. By 1985, he had completed a Residency in Diagnostic Radiology and a Fellowship in Neuroradiology at the Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Dr. Jolesz achieved international recognition as one of the great innovators and leaders in radiological research. Indeed, he distinguished himself with ongoing, cutting edge research in magnetic resonance imaging and image-guided therapy. Related translational research involved extensive interdisciplinary collaborations and the development and clinical implementation of several novel minimally invasive methods.

Dr. Jolesz maintained a research focus in basic and clinical neurosciences, magnetic resonance imaging, and image-guided therapy. Along with a highly trained and dedicated research staff of over 1000 people, Dr. Jolesz spearheaded the development and implementation of innovative image processing methods and brought several minimally invasive therapies into successful clinical application.

In the early 90’s, Dr. Jolesz and his team introduced the intraoperative use of MRI for neurosurgery and other applications like prostate brachytherapy. Today, more than 100 intraoperative MRIs are installed in operating rooms around the world. Dr. Jolesz and his colleagues also introduced the first MRI-guided focused ultrasound surgical (MRgFUS) procedure. This noninvasive method has been applied to the treatment of benign (uterine fibroids) and malignant tumors (breast, liver and prostate cancer, brain tumor). Close to 100 MRgFUS therapy delivery systems are now installed worldwide. In addition to these accomplishments, Dr. Jolesz and his team introduced several new methods in MRI, the most successful being the Fast Spin Echo (FSE and 3DFSE).

Throughout his career, Dr. Jolesz received multiple funding awards from the National Institutes of Health as well as from other sources. He was the principal investigator of NIH-funded National Center for Image-Guided Therapy (NCIGT), MR-Guided Focused Ultrasound Therapy Program Project, and a multidisciplinary program for training young scientists and physicians in image-guided therapy. Dr. Jolesz served within several professional societies and on the editorial boards of prestigious peer-reviewed journals. A demonstration of Dr. Jolesz’s prolific research are his more than 400 articles that have been published in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals as well as his contributions to many book chapters and review articles in the fields of surgery, computer science, neurology, neurosurgery, radiology, and image-guided therapy.

Dr. Jolesz was a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He received the Outstanding Researcher Award from the Radiological Society of North America and the Gold Medal of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. He was also an honorary member of the Hungarian Radiological and Neuroradiology Society and a member of the Hungarian National Academy of Sciences. In addition, Dr. Jolesz held an honorary doctorate in medicine from Semmelweis Medical School and Kaposvar University in Hungary. He also received a Fulbright Scholarship.

In 2007 the Ferenc A. Jolesz Chair in Radiology was established. The endowment was granted to Clare Tempany, MD.

Dr. Jolesz passed away on December 31, 2014. Please click on this link to read tributes to Dr. Jolesz by the international community of image-guided therapy physicians and scientists.


E-mail: jolesz at bwh.harvard.edu

Curriculum Vitae

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