Itamar Ronen, PhD

Associate Professor

Area(s) of interest

  • Diffusion MR methods for elucidation of tissue microstructure
  • Quantitative MRI of neurological disorders
  • Quantification of myelin in brain white matter


Itamar completed his PhD in physical chemistry in 1998 in Tel Aviv University under the supervision of Prof. Gil Navon, where he developed a method for indirect NMR detection of 17O, with potential applications to metabolic functional imaging. Subsequently he spent 5 years at the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) at the University of Minnesota, where he was a post-doctoral fellow under the guidance of Seong-Gi Kim, Dae-Shik Kim and Kamil Ugurbil. Itamar’s first faculty position was at the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology in the Boston University School of Medicine, where he worked between 2003 and 2009. There he helped start the Center for Biomedical Imaging where he served as the Head of MR Physics, and co-founded and co-directed a Master’s degree in Bioimaging. Since 2009 Itamar is an Associate Professor at the department of Radiology at the LUMC and a principal investigator at the C.J. Gorter Center for High Field MRI. His main interest is in developing MR-based methods for quantifying neural tissue microstructure and physiology in health and disease.

Key publications


1.              M Palombo, N Shemesh, I Ronen, J Valette, Insights into brain microstructure from in vivo DW-MRS, NeuroImage, 2017, , ISSN 1053-8119,

2.              Wood ET, Ercan E, Sati P, Cortese ICM, Ronen I, Reich DS, Longitudinal MR spectroscopy of neurodegeneration in multiple sclerosis with diffusion of the intra-axonal constituent N-acetylaspartate, Neuroimage Clin. 2017 Jun 22;15:780-788.

3.              R. Zielman, J. P. Wijnen, A. Webb, G. L.J. Onderwater, I. Ronen, M. D. Ferrari, H. E. Kan, G. M. Terwindt, M. C. Kruit, Cortical glutamate in migraine, Brain. 2017 Jul 1;140(7):1859-1871.

4.              Bodini B, Branzoli F, Poirion E, García-Lorenzo D, Didier M, Maillart E, Socha J, Bera G, Lubetzki C, Ronen I, Lehericy S, Stankoff B., Dysregulation of energy metabolism in multiple sclerosis measured in vivo with diffusion-weighted spectroscopy, Mult Scler. 2017, doi: 10.1177/1352458517698249. [Epub ahead of print]

5.              van Erp S, Ercan E, Breedveld P, Brakenhoff L, Ghariq E, Schmid S, van Osch M, van Buchem M, Emmer B, van der Grond J, Wolterbeek R, Hommes D, Fidder H, van der Wee N, Huizinga T, van der Heijde D, Middelkoop H, Ronen I, van der Meulen-de Jong A., Cerebral magnetic resonance imaging in quiescent Crohn's disease patients with fatigue, World J Gastroenterol. 2017 Feb 14;23(6):1018-1029

6.              Branzoli F, Ercan E, Valabrègue R, Wood ET, Buijs M, Webb A, Ronen I., Differentiating between axonal damage and demyelination in healthy aging by combining diffusion-tensor imaging and diffusion-weighted spectroscopy in the human corpus callosum at 7 T. . Neurobiol Aging. 2016 Nov;47:210-217

7.              Zhang X, Ronen I, Kan HE, Teeuwisse WM, van Osch MJ, Time-efficient measurement of multi-phase arterial spin labeling MR signal in white matter. NMR Biomed. (2016) Sep 5. doi: 10.1002/nbm.3603.

8.              C. Magro-Checa, E. Ercan, R. Wolterbeek, B. Emmer, N.J. van de Wee, H.A. Middelkoop, N.D. Kruyt, I. Ronen, M.A. van Buchem, T.W.J. Huizinga, G.M. Steup-Beekman, Changes in white matter microstructure suggest inflammatory origin of neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus, Arthritis Rheumatol. 2016 Aug;68(8):1945-54. 

9.              A. E. Ercan, C. Magro-Checa, R. Valabregue, F. Branzoli, E. T. Wood, G. M. Steup-Beekman, A. Webb, T. Huizinga, M. A. van Buchem, and I. Ronen, Glial and Axonal Changes in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Measured With Diffusion of Intracellular Metabolites, Brain. 2016 May;139(Pt 5):1447-57

10.           I. Ronen and J. Valette, Diffusion Weighted Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, eMagRes (2015), 733-750.

11.           E. Ercan, C. J. Ingo, O. Tritanon, C. Magro-Checa, A. Smith, S. Smith, T. Huizinga, M. A. van Buchem, and I. Ronen, A Multimodal MRI Approach to Identify and Characterize Microstructural Brain Changes in Neuropsychiatric Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Neuroimage Clin. 2015 May 16;8:337-44.

12.           E.T. Wood, A.E. Ercan, F. Branzoli, A. Webb3, P. Sati, D.S. Reich and I. Ronen, Reproducibility and Optimization of In Vivo Human Diffusion-Weighted Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy of the Corpus Callosum at 3T and 7T, NMR Biomed. 2015 Aug;28(8):976-987.

13.           C.Ingo, Y.Sui, Y.F.Chen, T.B.Parrish , A.G.Webb, and I.Ronen. Parsimonious Continuous Time Random Walk Models and Kurtosis for Diffusion in Magnetic Resonance of Biological Tissue, Frontiers Biomedical Physics, (2015),

14.           Demirtas-Tatlidede A, Alonso-Alonso M, Shetty RP, Ronen I, Pascual-Leone A, Fregni F., Long-term effects of contralesional rTMS in severe stroke: Safety, cortical excitability, and relationship with transcallosal motor fibers. NeuroRehabilitation. 2015 Jan 1;36(1):51-9

15.           Najac C, Branzoli F, Ronen I, Valette J., Brain intracellular metabolites are freely diffusing along cell fibers in grey and white matter, as measured by diffusion-weighted MR spectroscopy in the human brain at 7 T. Brain Struct Funct. 2016 Apr;221(3):1245-54.

16.           Ercan AE, Techawiboonwong A, Versluis MJ, Webb AG, Ronen I., Diffusion-weighted chemical shift imaging of human brain metabolites at 7T, Magn Reson Med. 2015 Jun;73(6):2053-61

17.           Branzoli F, Ercan E, Webb A, Ronen I., The interaction between apparent diffusion coefficients and transverse relaxation rates of human brain metabolites and water studied by diffusion-weighted spectroscopy at 7T, NMR Biomed. 2014 May;27(5):495-506

18.           Ronen, I., M. Budde, E. Ercan, J. Annese, A. Techawiboonwong, and A. Webb, Microstructural organization of axons in the human corpus callosum quantified by diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance spectroscopy of N-acetylaspartate and post-mortem histology. Brain Struct Funct. 2014 Sep;219(5):1773-85.

19.           Ronen, I., E. Ercan, and A. Webb, Axonal and glial microstructural information obtained with diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 7T. Front Integr Neurosci, 2013. 7: p. 13.

20.           Ronen, I., E. Ercan, and A. Webb, Rapid multi-echo measurement of brain metabolite T values at 7 T using a single-shot spectroscopic Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill sequence and prior information. NMR Biomed. 2013 Oct;26(10):1291-8.

21.           Branzoli, F., A. Techawiboonwong, H. Kan, A. Webb, and I. Ronen, Functional diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the human primary visual cortex at 7 T. Magn Reson Med, 2013. 69(2): p. 303-9.

22.           Seehaus, A.K., A. Roebroeck, O. Chiry, D.S. Kim, I. Ronen, H. Bratzke, R. Goebel, and R.A. Galuske, Histological validation of DW-MRI tractography in human postmortem tissue. Cereb Cortex, 2013. 23(2): p. 442-50.

23.           Wood, E.T., I. Ronen, A. Techawiboonwong, C.K. Jones, P.B. Barker, P. Calabresi, D. Harrison, and D.S. Reich, Investigating axonal damage in multiple sclerosis by diffusion tensor spectroscopy. J Neurosci, 2012. 32(19): p. 6665-9.

24.           Kan, H.E., A. Techawiboonwong, M.J. van Osch, M.J. Versluis, D.K. Deelchand, P.G. Henry, M. Marjanska, M.A. van Buchem, A.G. Webb, and I. Ronen, Differences in apparent diffusion coefficients of brain metabolites between grey and white matter in the human brain measured at 7 T. Magn Reson Med, 2012. 67(5): p. 1203-9.

25.           Ronen, I., X. Fan, S. Schettler, S. Jain, D. Murray, D.S. Kim, R. Killiany, and D. Rosene, Regional age-related effects in the monkey brain measured with 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Neurobiol Aging, 2011. 32(6): p. 1138-48.

26.            Ronen, I., Studying Brain Cytoarchitecture with MRI-Present, Future and Promises of High Field. International Journal of Imaging Systems and Technology, 2010. 20(1): p. 57-61.

27.            Koo, B.B., K. Choi, I. Ronen, J.M. Lee, and D.S. Kim, Quantitative mapping of diffusion characteristics under the cortical surface. Magn Reson Imaging, 2010. 28(8): p. 1175-82.

28.            Upadhyay, J., K. Hallock, M. Ducros, D.S. Kim, and I. Ronen, Diffusion tensor spectroscopy and imaging of the arcuate fasciculus. Neuroimage, 2008. 39(1): p. 1-9.

29.            Ronen, I. and D.S. Kim, Compartment-specific q-space analysis of diffusion-weighted data from isolated rhesus optic and sciatic nerves. Magn Reson Imaging, 2008.

30.           Roebroeck, A., R. Galuske, E. Formisano, O. Chiry, H. Bratzke, I. Ronen, D.S. Kim, and R. Goebel, High-resolution diffusion tensor imaging and tractography of the human optic chiasm at 9.4 T. Neuroimage, 2008. 39(1): p. 157-68.

31.           Upadhyay, J., K. Hallock, K. Erb, D.S. Kim, and I. Ronen, Diffusion properties of NAA in human corpus callosum as studied with diffusion tensor spectroscopy. Magn Reson Med, 2007. 58(5): p. 1045-53.



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