Visiting Professor Denis Le Bihan from the Graduate School of Medicine Receives the Honda Prize (September 27, 2012)

Dr. Denis Le Bihan, a visiting professor at the Graduate School of Medicine’s Human Brain Research Center and the founding director of France's NeuroSpin for Ultrahigh Field MRI, will be awarded the 2012 Honda Prize.

The Honda Prize is an international award presented by the Honda Foundation, a public-interest incorporated foundation, to appreciate and commend the efforts of individuals and groups that have made new findings capable of serving as a driving engine for the next generation of innovations from the ecotechnology viewpoint. This year's prize will be awarded to Dr. Le Bihan for his leading role in establishing diffusion magnetic resonance imaging technology (diffusion MRI technology), which is now used as a universal method to diagnose acute cerebral infarctions.

The award ceremony will be held at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo on November 19, 2012.

Following below are his biography and achievements.

After receiving his doctorate in medicine with distinction from the University of Paris in 1984 and his Ph.D. in the physical sciences with high distinction from Ecole Polytechnique in 1987, he served as chief of the diagnostic radiology research section at the National Institutes of Health (USA) beginning in 1987, clinical associate professor of radiology at Georgetown University Hospital’s department of radiology from 1991, and director at the Laboratory of Anatomical and Functional Neuroimaging at Service Hospitalier Frédéric Joliot (CEA, Orsay, France) from 1999. Currently, since 2000, he serves as director of the Federative Research Institute on Functional Neuroimaging (Paris, France), visiting professor at the Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine’s Human Brain Research Center (Department of Functional Brain Imaging), and director of NeuroSpin for Ultrahigh Field MRI (France).

A pioneer of diffusion MRI technology, Visiting Professor Le Bihan medically and scientifically established the technology from its fundamental theory to application in clinical practice, and his innovative imaging techniques have contributed to the rapid spread of MRI technology throughout the world. Combined with advancements in intravenous thrombolytic therapy, diffusion MRI technology has made great contributions to the diagnosis and treatment of acute strokes by dramatically shortening the time required for diagnosis within a few hours after the onset of an acute stroke, when it is effectively treatable. At the same time, diffusion MRI images that are clear and sharp have also improved diagnostic accuracy and made possible the ability to determine the extent of tumor dissection before performing surgery, which has led to a dramatic decline in the risk of damage to brain fibers associated with bodily function during surgical procedures.

For these achievements, he was awarded in 2001 the Gold Medal of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. He is also the 2003 recipient of the Lounsbery Award from the National Academy of Sciences (USA) and the French Academy of Sciences. He is a knight of the French National Order of Merit.