Prof. Dr. Tony Stoecker

Group Leader

German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
Sigmund-Freud-Str. 27 
53127 Bonn

+49 (0) 228 / 43302 - 860
+49 (0) 228 / 43302 - 868

Group members

Name Phone Fax
Research Group
Dr. Eberhard Pracht, Research Associate +49 (0) 228 / 43302-865 +49 (0) 228 / 43302-868
Ruediger Stirnberg, Dipl.-Phys., Research Associate +49 (0) 228 / 43302-866 +49 (0) 228 / 43302-868
Dr. Philipp Ehses,
Research Associate
+49 (0) 228 / 43302-864 +49 (0) 228 / 43302-868
Alexandra Tobisch, Ph.D. Student +49 (0) 228 / 43302-863 +49 (0) 228 / 43302-868
Markus Boland, Ph.D. Student +49 (0) 228 / 43302-862 +49 (0) 228 / 43302-868
Jolanda Schwarz, Ph.D. Student +49 (0) 228 / 43302-863 +49 (0) 228 / 43302-868
Yannik Völzke, Ph.D. Student +49 (0) 228 / 43302-862 +49 (0) 228 / 43302-868
Human-MRI Management
Christian Schmickler, Lab Manager +49 (0) 228 / 43302-861 +49 (0) 228 / 43302-868
Anke Rühling, Technical Assistant +49 (0) 228 / 43302-862 +49 (0) 228 / 43302-868

Selected publications

Nicotine effects on brain function during a visual oddball task: A comparison between conventional and EEG-informed fMRI analysis.

Warbrick T, Mobascher A, Brinkmeyer  J, Musso F, Stöcker T, Shah NJ, Fink GR, Winterer G. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 2012, 24(8):1682-1694.

Novel multi-section design of anisotropic diffusion phantoms.

Farrher E, Kaffanke J, Celik A, Stöcker T, Grinberg F, Shah NJ. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 2012, 30(4):518-526.

Altered Motor network Activation and Functional Connectivity in Adult Tourette's Syndrome.

Werner CJ, Stöcker T, Kellermann T, Bath J, Beldoch M, Schneider F, Wegener HP, Shah NJ, Neuner I. Human Brain Mapping, 2011, 32(11):2014–2026.

The impact of a Dysbindin schizophrenia susceptibility variant on fiber tract integrity in healthy individuals: a TBSS-based diffusion tensor imaging study.

Nickl-Jockschat T, Stöcker T, Markov V, Krug A, Huang R, Schneider F, Habel U, Zerres K, Nöthen M, Treutlein J, Rietschel M, Shah NJ, Kircher T. NeuroImage, 2012, 60 (2): 847–853.

On the numerically predicted spatial BOLD fMRI specificity for spin echo sequences.

Pflugfelder D, Vahedipour K, Uludag K, Shah NJ, Stöcker T., Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 2011, 29(9):1195-1204.

Empty nose syndrome: Limbic system activation observed by functional MRI.

Freund W, Wunderlich APW, Stöcker T,  Scheithauer MO. Laryngoscope, 2011, 121(9): 2019-2025.

Simulation of Spin Dynamics: a Tool in MRI System Development.

Stöcker T, Vahedipour K, Shah NJ. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 2011, 295:012020.

Electrophysiology meets fMRI: Neural correlates of the startle reflex and its modification.

Neuner I, Stöcker T, Kellermann T, Ermer V, Wegener HP, Eickhoff SB, Schneider F, Shah NJ. Human Brain Mapping, 2010; 31(11):1675-85.

High Performance Computer MRI Simulation.

Stöcker T, Vahedipour K, Pflugfelder D, Shah NJ. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 2010; 64:186–193.

Abnormalities in Tourette Syndrome Reach Beyond Motor Pathways.

Neuner I., Kupriyanova Y, Stöcker T, Huang R, Posnansky O, Tittgemeyer M, Schneider F, Shah NJ. White Matter, NeuroImage, 2010; 51(3):1184-93.

Whole Brain Single-Shot STEAM DTI at 4 Tesla Utilising Transverse Coherences for Enhanced SNR.

Stöcker T, Kaffanke JB, and Shah NJ. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 2009, 61:372–380.

fMRI reveals cognitive and emotional processing in a long-term comatose patient.

Eickhoff SB, Dafotakis M, Grefkes C, Stöcker T, Zilles K, Siebler M. Experimental Neurology, 2008, 214(2):240-6.

Fast Quantitative Mapping of Absolute Water Content with Full Brain Coverage.

Neeb H, Ermer V, Stöcker T, Shah NJ. NeuroImage, 2008; 42(3):1094-109.

Gender differences in the cognitive control of emotion: an fMRI study.

Koch K, Pauly K, Kellermann T, Seiferth N, Reske M, Backes V, Stöcker T, Shah NJ, Amunts K, Kircher T, Schneider F, Habel U. Neuropsychologia, 2007, 45:2744-2754.

Neural correlates of working memory dysfunctions in first-episode schizophrenia patients: An fMRI multicenter study.

Schneider F, Habel U, Klein M, Kellermann T, Stöcker T, Shah NJ, Zilles K, Braus D, Schmitt A, Schlösser R, Wagner M, Frommann I, Kircher T, Rapp A, Meisenzahl E, Ufer S, Ruhrmann S, Thienel R, Sauer H, Henn FA, Gaebel W. Schizophrenia Research 2007, 89:198-210.

MP-SAGE: a New MP-RAGE Sequence with Enhanced SNR & CNR for Brain Imaging Utilising Square-Spiral Phase Encoding and Variable Flip Angles.

Stöcker T, Shah NJ. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 2006, 56(4):824-834.

Dependence of Amygdala Activation on Echo Time: Results from Olfactory fMRI Experiments.

Stöcker T, Kellermann K, Schneider F, Habel U, Amunts K, Pieperhoff P, Zilles K, Shah NJ. NeuroImage 2006, 30:151-159.

Automated Quality Assurance Routines for fMRI Data Applied to a Multi-Center Study.

Stöcker T, Schneider F, Klein M, Habel U, Kellermann T, Zilles K, Shah NJ. Human Brain Mapping 2005, 25(2):237-246.

Linking retinotopic fMRI mapping and anatomical probability maps of human occipital areas V1 and V2.

Wohlschläger AM, Specht K, Lie C-H, Mohlberg H, Wohlschläger A, Bente K, Pietrzyk U, Stöcker T, Zilles K, Amunts K, Fink G.R, NeuroImage 2005, 26(1): 73-82.

Curriculum Vitae

Tony Stöcker studied Geophysics at the Ruhr-University Bochum with focus on theoretical physics and mathematics. In 2000 he finished his PhD thesis about signal analysis and synthesis of tomographic data. In 2001 he joined the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the University of Düsseldorf with Dr. Frank Schneider, with focus on methodological developments in functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). In 2004 he changed to the Institute of Medical Imaging Physics at the Research Center Jülich with Dr. Jon Shah. His main focus was on the development of new MR imaging techniques, especially the theoretical and practical aspects of acquisitions tailored for structural and functional neuroimaging. Here, he was heading the MRI Sequence Development Team from 2007 until March 2012. His research interests are sequence development and optimization by means of MRI-simulation tailored for neuroscience applications, especially in the context of high-field MRI.

Tony Stöcker joined the DZNE in April 2012 as group leader of the MR Physics Research Group.

Areas of investigation/research focus

The research group MR Physics investigates novel medical imaging methods for preclinical biomarkers of neurodegenerative diseases. The early detection of neurodegenerative diseases using medical imaging techniques is a challenging and still unsolved task. Nevertheless, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is the method of choice due to its inherently multi-modal character: MRI exploits many different biophysical and biochemical properties and provides quantitative information for brain tissue characterization. Furthermore, the noninvasive nature of MRI offers a great opportunity to perform large-scale longitudinal studies in patient groups as well as in healthy volunteers. However, it is very difficult to detect small changes in brain tissue, as they occur in neurodegeneration.

MR Images of a healthy volunteer: Left: T1-weighted acquisition. Middle: T2-weighted acquisition. Right: Gray matter image (Simultaneous suppresion of white matter and CSF signal). Source: E. Pracht
MR Images of a healthy volunteerClick on the magnifying glass for a large image.

Our main focus is the MRI sequence development on a new state-of-the-art 7 Tesla human MRI scanner, probing for neurodegeneration with high sensitivity and resolution. The higher sensitivity of ultra-high magnetic field MRI brings the opportunity to detect subtle changes in brain function, structure, and metabolism as known to be present in early stages of neurodegenerative diseases. The accompanied challenges of ultra-high field MRI are an active and important area of basic physics research.

Another major aim is the support of high-throughput and high-quality neuroimaging at clinical 3 Tesla MRI scanners in the context of large-scale patient and population studies. It is intended to establish new fast and robust acquisition methods with high image quality for anatomical and diffusion MRI, MR parameter mapping, as well as functional and perfusion MRI. Due to their quantitative nature such methods are of ongoing interest with a future view to longitudinal image analysis and noninvasive MR-based computer aided diagnostics for neurodegeneration. In this context, fast MR image reconstruction algorithms and image post-processing routines need to be developed.

The MR Physics group also develops image acquisition methods on a state-of-the-art small animal MRI system. The system is equipped with a cryogenic probe and allows MR imaging at very high spatial and temporal resolution. These imaging techniques are suitable to detect neural plasticity, neurodegeneration, and regeneration in small animal disease models, which will provide new insights in cell biology and function and support translational research.

All projects are carried out in a multidisciplinary approach in close cooperation with the neuroscientists at the DZNE, as well as national and international collaborators, in order to find new ways for answering the urging questions on the processes of neurodegenerative diseases.