Fetal and Infant Developmental Imaging

We are an interdisciplinary research group led by Prof. Dr. Andras Jakab, part of the Center for MR-Research at the University Children’s Hospital Zürich and the University of Zürich. Our team uses advanced imaging techniques, image analysis and machine learning to better understand the developing human brain. We aim to study the links between brain structure and function and neurological outcome in common malformations before birth.

Fetal and infant brain development provides a critically important basis for our health and well-being. Our research projects bridges the gap between computational imaging research in 3D microscopic, molecular and MRI techniques and application into clinical care, and thus establish foundations for imaging-driven precision medicine. We develop and apply tools to analyse the dynamic aspects of human brain development before and immediately after birth.

fetal developmental imaging

Morphology and connectivity of the developing human brain

Fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a cutting-edge, noninvasive medical diagnostic procedure that is used to diagnose abnormalities before birth. Our research allows the visualisation of the 3D structure of the developing fiber connectivity of the fetal brain. We are interested in how this novel technology can support clinical decision making and how the in vivo – in utero approach can extend our current knowledge of human brain development. To reveal the microstructural properties and neuronal populations of the developing human brain, we are using novel 3D microscopic imaging techniques, such as the mesoSPIM microscope at the University of Zurich.

Watch the video about this research here.

Semester and master thesis topics
We offer exciting research projects for undergraduate students enrolled at one of Zurich's Universities (UZH/ETH). Please have a look at the current advertisements at the VAM Masterarbeit Themenbörse in OLAT, or on the Sirop.org website. You can also contact us for topics at andras.jakab at uzh.ch.

Alumni and ex-members
Marcel Burri (master’s thesis in 2020, FHNW)
Lin Zhang (master’s thesis in 2019, ETH)
Cosima Ruzzo (master’s thesis in 2021, ETH)
Marina Fernandez Garcia (semester project in 2021-2022, ETH)
Rodrigo Gonzalez Laiz (semester project in 2021-2022, ETH)
Jaye Plüss (semester project in 2022, ETH)



Virtual Fetus - Mapping the development of the human brain