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History of the department General Radiology and Medical Physics

History of the department General Radiology and Medical Physics


By 1975, the physics education of veterinary students was the responsibility of the Physics institutes at the University of Hannover. In 1975, Prof. Dr. Giese, who had completed his academic studies in physics as a veterinarian and researcher at the Physiological Institute", was entrusted with developing and running the Medical Physics Department. Since that time, the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover has carried out the physics and radiology training of its veterinary students itself. This opportunity is unique if you compare the five faculties of veterinary medicine in Germany.

In addition to the teaching various studies with the radioactive isotopes (e.g. placental blood circulation) were carried out. In 1985 the University of Veterinary Medicine acquired an isotope mass spectrometer at Prof. Giese`s suggestion. With this device and a subsequently available infrared spectrometer physical measurement methods have been developed which have made it possible to largely dispense with investigations into radioactive isotopes. In addition to tracer experiments, metabolic processes that lead to a different enrichment of naturally occurring stable isotopes, such as the carbon (C-13/C-12), can be investigated amongst others. Thus, due to illness (e.g.acetonaemia) triggered disturbances of these processes are detected early.

In addition to basic research, various electronic measuring systems have been developed and used for clinics and institutes of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover. These include a measuring system for monitoring the core temperature in slaughtered animal halves during cooling. This makes it possible to optimise the cooling of the animals after slaughtering. For the Clinic for Small Cloven-hoofed Animals a device for fast temperature measurements has been developedthat can be used to detect diseases early on, especially in large animal populations. Both these research activities formed the basis of many dissertations, the research of which focused on the subject area itself or was carried out in cooperation with other institutions.

After the nuclear power plant accident in Chernobyl in 1986 the decontamination of people, animals and food has been an important issue. Prof. Dr. Giese developed a cesium-specific ion exchanger ("Giese-salt"), which was applied on a large scale in the decontamination of 5,000 tonnes of contaminated whey powder. In addition, “Giese-salt” was internationally approved as harmless feed and food additive and was used as licks for decontaminating wild animals in different states and European countries.

In 1999, Prof. Dr. Giese retired and Prof. Dr. Breves headed the institute between 1999 and 2002. During this time, the teaching was done by Dr. Koch and Dr. Lüpke. In July 2002, Prof. Dr. Seifert, who had worked as a medical physicist at the Radiological University Hospital, Homburg / Saar for 10 years, became  Prof. Giese`s successor. At this time the Institute was renamed and is known today as the Institute for General Radiology and Medical Physics.

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