Professor of Neuroradiology at Amsterdam UMC Frederik Barkhof has been awarded the prestigious Gold Medal by the International Society for Magnetic Resonance Imaging on May 17, 2021. This is the highest honor awarded by this organization to a scientist who has contributed in the use of MRI in hospitals.

Gold medal

This medal is awarded to recognize a major research contribution to the field of magnetic resonance within the scope of the society. Frederik Barkhof received this award for his seminal contributions to the understanding of various neurological diseases and conditions using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), including multiple sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer’s disease. Since 2015, Barkhof also works at UCL, in London. In a recent UCL newsitem Barkhof said: “I felt humbled to be listed among a list of very prominent MRI researchers included Nobel-prize winners that developed and introduced clinical MRI, and am delighted to receive this award for my seminal contributions to the understanding of white matter disease and dementia using novel MRI techniques.”

Barkhof criteria

Internationally, Barkhof enjoyed great fame with the criteria for assessing MRI scans. In specific, the MRI criteria for diagnosing MS were known at the time as the Barkhof criteria. Previously, the diagnosis of MS depended mainly on symptoms reported to the neurologist and examination of cerebrospinal fluid. In 2001, the results of MRI examinations were an addition in MS diagnosis. Barkhof’s research has also been used to better predict the course of the disease and to measure the effect of medications on the disease.


The International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine is an international, non-profit, scientific association whose purpose is to promote communication, research, development, and applications in the field of magnetic resonance in medicine and biology and other related topics and to develop and provide channels and facilities for continuing education in the field. Its multidisciplinary membership of over 9,000 consists of clinicians, physicists, engineers, biochemists, and technologists.