active participants – 2017

Jordan Amadio | Neurosurgery, Economics | Atlanta

Jordan Amadio, MD, MBA, is chief resident physician in neurosurgery at Emory University in Atlanta and a founding partner of NeuroLaunch, a global neuroscience venture accelerator. He earned his MD degree from Harvard Medical School where he was a research fellow in neurogenetics and was selected to complete his training in the Health Sciences and Technology (HST) program co-administered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was also among the first cohort of physicians to graduate with a concurrent master’s in business administration (with distinction) from Harvard Business School. Since the founding of NeuroLaunch in 2014, the organization has facilitated investment in 11 brain tech companies, the onboarding of over 150 mentors, and the worldwide growth of a neurotechnology startup community. Jordan Amadio currently serves as innovation fellow for the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the largest international society of neurosurgeons.

Rainer Birkenbach | Electrical And Software Engineering | Feldkirchen

Rainer Birkenbach has served as executive vice president of Brainlab since 1998. He is responsible for all R&D efforts including usability and design and manages an R&D team of over 400 specialists. He holds a Master of Science degree from the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Saarbrücken where he studied electrical engineering from 1989 to 1994.

David Black | Medical Image Computing, Interaction Design | Bremen

David Black is a researcher at the University of Bremen and the Fraunhofer Institute for Medical Image Computing MEVIS in Bremen. He has a music conservatory background in classical composition and electronic music as well as expertise in usability for medical applications. He applies sound synthesis techniques to medical applications, including navigated instrument guidance, novel gesture interaction, and dataset sonification. David is interested in discussing the use of auditory feedback for medicine and how this fits alongside other innovative methods into the operating room of the future.

Matthias Bruhn |  Art and Visual History | Berlin, Karlsruhe

Matthias Bruhn is an art historian and a member of the Berlin Cluster of Excellence An Interdisciplinary Laboratory. Image Knowledge Gestaltung and its research project on Image Guidance. He has a specialization in the field of ›Bildwissenschaft‹ (image studies) that deals with the functions and histories of visual media in an interdisciplinary perspective. After his dissertation on French baroque painter Nicolas
Poussin, he directed the Research Department of Political Iconography in Hamburg for some years and was later appointed head of the research group The Technical Image at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. He currently also teaches as a visiting professor in art science and media theory at the University of Arts and Design (HfG) in Karlsruhe.

Denny Chakkalakal | Medical Anthropology | Berlin

Denny Chakkalakal is a researcher at the Cluster of Excellence An Interdisciplinary Laboratory. Image Knowledge Gestaltung. He has a background in social and  medical anthropology, philosophy, and science & technology studies. His research interests include practices of interdisciplinary cooperation in medicine and the role of technology in the doctor-patient encounter. He currently works in the Empathy (›empowerment of the patient in therapy‹) project to develop a digital patient assistance tool.


Marcus Czabanka is a senior consultant at the Department of Neurosurgery, Charité University Hospital Berlin. He is overseeing the planning of more than 3000 neurosurgical procedures per year in six operating theatres. Recently, he has been responsible for implementing an intraoperative mobile CT scanner and an interventional angiography system into neurosurgical routine in close cooperation with industry and hospital representatives. He also has extensive experience in the use of both cranial as well as spinal navigation to support complex neurosurgical procedures.

Sarah Diner | Medicine, Philosophy | Berlin

Sarah Diner studied medicine, philosophy and economics in Berlin, New York and London. In 2017, she obtained her PhD with a dissertation on salience attribution and self-referential processing. Her interests include dimensional approaches to the development of disease symptoms and epistemological foundations of imaging techniques.

Felix Fehlhaber | Computer Engineering | Berlin

Felix Fehlhaber studied computer engineering at the Technical University of Berlin from 2005 to 2011. Already during his studies he enrolled at Fraunhofer IPK and examined concepts on alternate x-ray systems. After finishing his diploma thesis on a first implementation of an open x-ray scanner, he has been hired as a research associate. In his work, Fehlhaber implemented as part of the developer team open x-ray scanner ORBIT and different mobile visualization solutions together with clinicians of maxillofacial surgery. Since July 2016, he leads the Department Medical Systems Engineering at Fraunhofer IPK.

Marion Fröhlich | User Experience Design | BERLIN

Marion is responsible for the multidisciplinary design team of the SAP Health Innovation Hub where future concepts and technologies for personalized medicine and life sciences are being developed. Basing on a customer-centric innovation process, her team crafts new digital solutions together with customers and end users. Prior to this, Marion worked as a strategic design consultant and user experience manager for companies like Swisscom, Zalando and Vodafone, helping customers to establish design practices within their organizations and building award-winning consumer products.

Alexandra J. Golby | Neurosurgery | Boston

Alexandra J. Golby is a neurosurgeon, director of image-guided neurosurgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and professor of neurosurgery and associate professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School. She is also principal investigator of the Golby Lab, a surgical brain mapping laboratory devoted to improving neurosurgical care for patients by developing, translating and validating innovative imaging technologies. Dr. Golby has special clinical interests in surgery for brain tumors especially those involving critical brain regions. Her research focuses on functional and molecular brain mapping using a variety of emerging technologies to guide neurosurgical planning and intraoperative decision making.

Christian Hansen | Medical Informatics | Magdeburg

Christian Hansen is a junior professor for computer-assisted surgery at the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg. He leads the research group Therapy Planning and Navigation at the research campus STIMULATE. His research interests include human-computer interaction, medical augmented reality, and medical visualization.

CHRISToph Hauger | MEDICAL Engineering | Oberkochen

Christoph Hauger is a physicist and director of Advanced Development of Carl Zeiss Meditec AG in Oberkochen. His research and professional interests are in the field of biomedical optics, digital visualization systems, and innovation and IP management.

Aud Sissel Hoel | Media Studies, Philosophy of Science | Berlin, Trondheim

Aud Sissel Hoel is a professor of media studies and visual culture at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Currently, she is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow at the Cluster of Excellence An Interdisciplinary Laboratory. Image Knowledge Gestaltung at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, conducting a project on image-guided surgery together with colleagues at the Image Knowledge Gestaltung cluster.

Marta Kersten-Oertel | Computer Science, Software Engineering | Montreal

Marta Kersten-Oertel is an assistant professor and head of the Applied Perception Lab at Concordia University, Montreal. She is also a member of the PERFORM Centre for Health Research and associate member of the Neuroimaging and Surgical Technologies Lab at the Montreal Neuro, McGill University. Her research involves developing and testing novel visualization, display and interaction methods in the context of image-guided surgery with a focus on how new visualization and interaction paradigms can improve the planning and execution of treatment strategies and ultimately patient outcomes.

Ron Kikinis | Radiology, Medical Image Computing | Bremen, Boston

Ron Kikinis is the founding director of the Surgical Planning Laboratory and distinguished director of biomedical informatics in the Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, and a professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School. He is also Institutsleiter of Fraunhofer MEVIS and professor of medical image computing at the University of Bremen. His research activities include technological research (segmentation, registration, visualization, high performance computing), software system development, and biomedical research in a variety of biomedical specialties.

Karin Krauthausen | Literature, Culture Studies | Berlin

Karin Krauthausen is a literary scholar and cultural historian. She earned her doctoral degree with a thesis on drawing and sight in Paul Valéry’s work. From 2007 to 2011, she was a scholarship holder at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. Until October 2013, she worked as the coordinator for the PhD network Das Wissen der Literatur at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Since November 2013 she works as a researcher for the Cluster of Excellence An Interdisciplinary Laboratory. Image Knowledge Gestaltung and since 2015 as a co-leader of the cluster priority area Active Matter. Her current research focus is design procedures in the arts and sciences, the relation of realism and structuralism as well as poetics of history in the 20th century.

Markus Kufeld | Neurosurgery, Radiosurgery | Berlin

Markus Kufeld, neurosurgeon, started his clinical career at the Charité University Hospital Berlin, where he was certified as a neurosurgeon with the board exam in 2006. Additionally, he achieved a Master degree in medical informatics in 2008. In 2007, he joined the European Cyberknife Center in Munich, where the first German robotic radiosurgery machine was installed. After more than 3000 radiosurgical treatments attended, Dr. Kufeld returned to Berlin in 2011 to support the installation of the Charité CyberKnife Center under the co-directorship of Prof. Vajkoczy, Department of Neurosurgery and Prof. Budach, Department of Radiation Oncology. Since then he is responsible for the neurological treatments as well as the operational administration of the Charité CyberKnife Center.

Phillip Landgraf | Medical Systems, Biomedical Engineering | Berlin

Philipp Landgraf studied physics before joining the simulation and training center at the Charité Department of Anesthesiology. There, he focused on telemedicine, which led to a degree in medical systems engineering. Starting with his thesis in systems architecting on implementability of interoperability, he is hoping to lay a foundation for a computer-aided anesthesiology medtech development environment at Charité University Hospital Berlin.

Rebekka Lauer | Interaction design | berlin

Rebekka Lauer studied product design with a focus on interaction design at Weißensee Art Academy Berlin. Currently, she is a research associate at the Cluster of Excellence An Interdisciplinary Laboratory. Image Knowledge Gestaltung at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Her research for the project Image Guidance traces the ways in which medical images are produced and used within the field of neurosurgery. This project includes field research at the Department of Neurosurgery at Charité University Hospital Berlin where Rebekka analyzes the needs of users who employ medical images and related software applications in various clinical settings and daily routines.

Heinz U. Lemke | Biomedical Engineering | Berlin

Heinz U. Lemke has been actively engaged in mathematical and IT modelling methods for patients and process representations for diagnosis and therapy. This was based on his earlier work on the development of patient-specific modelling, computer-assisted radiology and surgery, PACS, digital operating rooms, medical workstations and model management systems, which has been published in about 170 papers and 50 edited books.

Anne Letsch | Oncology, Palliative Care | Berlin

Dr. Anne Letsch is a consultant at the Department of Hematology and Oncology and the Palliative Care Unit at the Charité University Hospital Berlin, Campus Benjamin Franklin, belonging to the Charité Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCCC). Being significantly involved in the setup of a patient-oriented center for palliative cancer care, she dedicates her clinical work to new concepts of integrated supportive and palliative care in cancer treatment. Furthermore, she is focusing on innovative clinical trials and her research in tumor immunology has been awarded by the Berlin Cancer Society. Since 2015, she collaborates with the research project Health & Design: Empathy (Cluster of Excellence An Interdisciplinary Laboratory. Image Knowledge Gestaltung at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), developing new research designs in the field of  clinical care management and digital health applications for patients with tumor.

Thomas Neumuth | Biomedical Engineering | Leipzig

Thomas Neumuth is vice director of the Innovation Center Computer Assisted Surgery (ICCAS) at the Medical Faculty of the Leipzig University, and scientific director of the research group Model-based Automation and Integration. His research topics are focused on the field of model-based medicine, especially therapy process modeling, model management, human-machine interaction, clinical workflow management, and cross-disciplinary cooperative decision support systems. During his career, he has worked with many international project partners. In addition, he has been giving lectures in the fields of medical engineering, medical informatics and medical innovation management.

Kirsten Ostherr | Media Studies, Public Health | Houston

Kirsten Ostherr PhD, MPH, is a media scholar and health researcher at Rice University in Houston, Texas. She is the cofounder of the Medical Futures Lab and the author of Medical Visions: Producing the Patient through Film, Television and Imaging Technologies (Oxford, 2013). Her current research is on information and communication technologies in medicine, patient narratives, and the role of simulation as a mediator between human and technological forms of medical expertise. Her current book project is called Quantified Health: Making Stories from Data in the Algorithmic Age.

Thomas Picht | Neurosurgery | Berlin

Thomas Picht is a neurosurgeon and assistant medical director at the Department of Neurosurgery at Charité University Hospital Berlin. He has headed the lab Perioperative Functional Diagnostics for many years and was significantly involved in the introduction and further development of navigated TMS for neurosurgical planning. In cooperation with the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, his Charité lab is currently exploring how new visualization methods like stereoscopic projections or head-mounted-displays can benefit clinical work and how current workflows and interfaces can be improved to account for the ongoing technological shift.

Matthias Planitzer | Medicine, fine Arts | Berlin

Matthias Planitzer is a physician and currently pursuing his PhD on interventional neuroradiological procedures in acute ischemic stroke at Charité University Hospital Berlin. Between 2013 and 2016, he was part of the study group Image Guidance at the Cluster of Excellence An Interdisciplinary Laboratory. Image Knowledge Gestaltung and involved in interdisciplinary research on instrumental images within medical contexts. In 2016, he began to study fine arts at Berlin University of the Arts and continues his work with artistic means.

 Konrad Roepke | User Experience Design | Potsdam

Konrad Roepke is a user experience designer with a passion for healthcare challenges. Before joining the SAP Health Innovation Hub, he worked at the Telekom Innovation Lab, IxDS Berlin and IDEO Boston, always curious to understand user problems and needs to be able to prototype improved experiences.

Anna L. Roethe | Medicine, Culture studies | berlin

Anna L. Roethe is a clinician researcher and a cultural scientist at the Cluster of Excellence An Interdisciplinary Laboratory. Image Knowledge Gestaltung at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Charité University Hospital Berlin, Department of Neurosurgery. Since 2013, she investigates surgical and visual practices in the OR and the mediating role of technology in doctor-doctor and patient-doctor interactions, focusing on both workflow and care optimization, and interdisciplinary research methodology development.

Igor M. Sauer | General Surgery | Berlin

Igor M. Sauer is a transplant surgeon at the Department of Surgery and head of Experimental Surgery, Charité University Hospital Berlin. In addition to his clinical work, he directs research in the field of experimental surgery and regenerative medicine. More than a year ago, he initiated a novel project concerning the use of head mounted displays in visceral surgery.

Markus Schade | Biomedical Engineering | Berlin

Markus Schade studied physical engineering at Technical University of Berlin. For 14 years, he has been working for Brainlab as a senior application consultant, taking care of technical and application-related needs of hospitals in the northeastern area of Germany. His focus is on how companies can bring better technical solutions to surgeons who demand it.


Johannes Schäfer combines deep analytical skills with intuition, empathy and creativity. Driven by the ambition to create unique user experiences by blending coherent concepts, user needs and desires with exceptionally intuitive and appealing aesthetics; well-grounded in human factors within the field of computer-human interaction (CHI) and work and engineering psychology; extended by applying his knowledge for more than 15 years of hands-on work. Two degrees in computer science and psychology confirm his abilities. Johannes worked as project lead and consultant on human-centered design processes and usability engineering across multiple industries, including IBM, Roche, Fresenius, GfK, Viessmann, Dürr, Moog and Fraunhofer, as well as in multi-national European research projects. Currently, he works as a design team manager at Phoenix Design, Stuttgart.

Thomas Schlich | History of Surgery | Montreal

Thomas Schlich, MD, is James McGill professor in history of medicine at the Department of Social Studies of Medicine at McGill University in Montreal. After working as a physician at the University Hospital in Marburg, he held different research and teaching positions in the history of medicine in Cambridge (England), Stuttgart and Freiburg. His research interest is the history of modern medicine and science (18th-21st centuries). Previous books dealt with the history of transplantation and the relationship of surgery, science and industry in modern fracture care. Currently, he is working on a monograph on the history of modern surgery.

Tormod Selbekk | Medical Physics | Trondheim

Tormod Selbekk, MSc, PhD, is a research manager at SINTEF for the research group Ultrasound and Image-Guided Therapy. His main research focus has been technological R&D and clinical evaluation of new technology in the field of neurosurgery. Tormod has collaborated with clinicians for development of new technology for more than 15 years, covering the whole span from initial concepts to clinical verification and commercialization. At imagINe surgery he will present his experience from two projects that are developing medical technology for ultrasound imaging in brain surgery and a noninvasive method for measurement of intracranial pressure.

Ulrich-Wilhelm Thomale | Neurosurgery | Berlin

After attending medical schools in Tübingen, Wien and Berlin, Ulrich-Wilhelm Thomale completed the neurosurgical training at the Department of Neurosurgery, Charité University Hospital Berlin, Germany and specialized in pediatric neurosurgery in 2005. He was research and clinical fellow at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in 2007. In 2014, he became head of the Department of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the Charité University Hospital Berlin. Since 2011, he is representative of the section for ›Neuroendoscopy, Neuronavigation and Intraoperative Imaging‹ of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC). His expertise covers brain tumors in children, cerebrospinal fluid dynamics disturbances, and congenital malformations of the central nervous system, skull and spine. He took part in several collaborative research projects with engineers and software developers to develop neurosurgical instruments, implants and planning tools in order to enhance patient’s safety.

Peter Vajkoczy | Neurosurgery | Berlin

Peter Vajkoczy is a full professor and chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery, Charité University Hospital Berlin. His clinical special fields of interest in brain surgery are vascular neurosurgery (aneurysms, AVMs, bypass) and neurooncology (glioma, skull base surgery, pituitary surgery). In spine surgery, his fields of interest are degenerative spine disease, spinal oncology, and spinal navigation. His research fields are biology of blood vessels, the pathophysiology underlying brain tumors, the pathogenesis and therapy of spinal metastatic disease, neuroimmunology of the spinal cord, the relevance of the sagittal balance for degenerative spine disease, and image-guided / robotic spine surgery.


Markus Wild | Industrial Design | Gelsenkirchen

Markus Wild is an expert in integrated product design, medical design and design management. As industrial designer and design consultant he is deeply committed to bring simplicity, functionality and easy to use-ness into the field of medical product development. After graduation in industrial design at the Folkwang University in 1990, he founded WILDDESIGN and developed it into an internationally operating design agency with locations in the Ruhr Area, Munich and in Shanghai with a strong focus on medical design. 

Karla Zaar | Neuropsychology | Graz

Karla Zaar studied psychology at the Karl Franzens University Graz. Since 2001, she has been working as a clinical neuropsychologist at the University Hospital of Graz, initially at the Department of Neurology (Epilepsy Center), since 2014 at the Department of Neurosurgery. There, she gives psychological support before and after surgical interventions to neurosurgical patients who are suffering from anxieties, a depressed mood, pain, psychosocial problems and/or cognitive limitations. For her, awake craniotomies are an extraordinary professional challenge: in an one to five hours lasting procedure on an awake patient, an absolute precondition is a well prepared and coordinated interaction between patient and clinical team.


Stefan Zachow | Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science | BERlin

Stefan Zachow is a senior researcher at Zuse Institute Berlin (ZIB). He is heading the Therapy Planning and co-heading the Computational Medicine research groups. His interests are on computer-assisted model-guided surgery, visualization, medical image computing, geometric modeling, therapy planning, and simulation. Stefan received a degree in computer engineering (M.S.) in 1991 and a degree in computer science (M.S.) in 1999. He finished a postgradual study in medical physics in 2002 and obtained his Ph.D. in computer science in 2005. He is a member of the advisory board of the German Society for Computer and Robot-assisted Surgery (CURAC) as well as a representative of the German Society of Information Technology (GI), section Visual Computing in Biology and Medicine (VCBM).

Laura Ziegler | Biomedical Engineering | Tuttlingen

Laura Ziegler graduated with a Master of Science in biomedical engineering in 2016 before joining KARL STORZ. There, she is working as a junior marketing manager and focuses on new applications in image-guided surgery, especially in fluorescence imaging for various applications and medical specialties. Her research interests include medical visualization, user requirements of new image-guided surgery technologies and how it can improve the surgical workflow and patient outcome.

Carola zwick | industrial Design | BERlin

Carola Zwick is a professor for product design with a focus on designing interactions and experiences at Weißensee Art Academy Berlin. She is co-founder of the internationally acclaimed design studio 7.5 Berlin and a principal investigator at the Cluster of Excellence An Interdisciplinary Laboratory. Image Knowledge Gestaltung at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The focus of her work is on developing innovative tools and environments to support collaborative work. She recently co-founded DesignFarmBerlin, an accelerator for design-driven innovations.