Dr. Jan-Willem Beenakker

Assistant professor


  • Ocular MRI
  • MRI hardware
  • Ocular oncology
  • Refractive surgery
  • Raytracing
  • Experimental physics


Dr. Jan-Willem Beenakker is an experimental physicist by training who after his Ph.D. has made the switch to medical research. His research focuses on the development and clinical implementation of novel MRI technologies to advance the diagnosis and treatment of ocular conditions.

During his PhD at the Leiden Institute of Physics he developed new methods to study the mechanical properties of tissues at the micrometre scale by indentation with an atomic force microscope. This resulted in new insights in the origin of various cardiovascular diseases such as abdominal aneurysms.

After his PhD, he started a collaboration between ophthalmology and radiology to develop new MR methods for ocular imaging. These technologies make it possible, for the first time, to acquire high-precision MR-images of the eye in a clinical setting. His current research focus on the development and clinical integration of MR-based eye models for refractive surgery. He furthermore initiated the clinical use of ocular MRI for an improved diagnosis of uveal melanoma and is currently extending  this towards MR-based proton beam therapy planning of UM.

Selected Publications

 For a full list click here

  •  TA Ferreira, P Saravia, SW Gender, Mv Buchem, GPM Luyten, JWM Beenakker, CT and MR imaging of orbital inflammation, Neur radiol. Early online (2018)
  • J Wezel, A Garpebring, AG Webb, MJ van Osch, JWM Beenakker, Automated eye blink detection and correction method for clinical MR eye imaging, Magn Reson Med. 78: 165-171 (2017)
  • JWM Beenakker, T Ferreira, KP Soemarwoto, S Genders, W Teeuwissen, AG Webb, GPM Luyten. Clinical evaluation of ultra high field MRI for the diagnosis of uveal melanoma, Magn Reson Mater Phy 29: 571 (2016)
  • JWM Beenakker, DP Shamoin, AG Webb, GPM Luyten, BC Stoel, Automated retinal topographic maps measured with MRI. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 56, 1033–1039 (2015).
  • JWM Beenakker, GA van Rijn, GPM Luyten, AG Webb, “High resolution MRI of uveal melanoma using a micro-coil phased array at 7 Tesla”, NMR in Biomedicine 26, 1864 (2013)


Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum
Gebouw 1
Kamer J02-209

Albinusdreef 2
2333 ZA Leiden
Tel: +31 71 5297381

Postbus 9600
2300 RC Leiden

E-mail: j.w.m.beenakker@lumc.nl