Rosina Derks, second year student Medical Imaging

Alumnus Rosina Derks op Utrecht Science Park

"For my Master’s I found it important that the programme had elements of physics included in the curriculum. Next to this I was curious to see how physics could be used in different settings. I was not yet familiar with the field of medical imaging and this programme seemed to fully fit my interests. So far I am pleased with the direction I have chosen: medical imaging combines different fields of science, giving you the opportunity to get acquainted with them while being surrounded with state-of-the-art technology.

I am currently doing my internship at UMC Utrecht. In my research I am using diffusion MRI on the nerves and spine in the neck to gain more information about their physiological properties. My goal is to see how the fundamental knowledge I have acquired during my Bachelor’s in physics can be applied in a clinical setting and how it can contribute to the well-being of people through medical imaging. I have been surprised to learn that medical imaging is used in so many different settings, from working on new protocols for MRI to creating an automated image segmentation method using deep learning. It is a big research area and a big part of the future of medicine.

So far in the programme I have followed diverse courses, electives and my current major research project. Everyone in the programme has different educational backgrounds, from physics to biomedical science to computer science. Because classes are small you get a lot of support and you really get to know your fellow students and the teachers. The fact that it is a joint programme with Eindhoven is a big strength. the programme combines a solid technological basis with direct links to medical applications in the UMC Utrecht.

The broad programme introduces you to many research areas which will eventually give you the opportunity to make an informed choice about which potential direction you want to take, guided by the programme coordinators. The programme is taught by experts from the field who also work at UMC Utrecht – so they have both a fundamental and applied perspective. As a student, you get a close look at the research environment of medical imaging and what it would be like to do a PhD. You can also get a glimpse of industry, since many companies are involved. Later this year I will do an internship abroad, hopefully at a company, in order to experience both environments."