Research institutes

Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging Institute

The Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging Institute (M4I) is a state-of-the art molecular imaging institute that brings together a powerful palette of high-end, innovative imaging technologies. The mission of the institute is to perform fundamental, instrumentation and applied studies in molecular imaging as a part of a translational, synergistic, interdisciplinary research programme. M4I aims to be a leading international molecular imaging center relevant for science, education, economy and society.  The institute aspires to generate a high-end research environment and a unique knowledge infrastructure, attractive to top researchers from all over the world.

A Brightlands institute

Brightlands logo

Brightlands is an open innovation community in a global context, connecting four campuses in the province of Limburg: in Maastricht, Heerlen, Sittard-Geleen and Venlo. The campuses provide entrepreneurs, scientists and students state-of-the-art facilities to support development, education, innovation and growth. Naturally, there are close links between all four Brightlands campuses, and together they enable Limburg to serve as an innovation region where researchers and entrepreneurs take on the major challenges in the areas of materials, health, food and smart services.

Two M4I Divisions

M4I | Division of Nanoscopy
Strives for greater insight into the 3D form of cell proteins, paving the way for developing more effective treatments for diseases such as cancer and tuberculosis while gaining better understanding of how protein complexes manage healthy and diseased cells, allowing drugs and vaccines to work more effectively.
 Go to division of Nanoscopy

M4I | Division of Imaging
Mass Spectrometry

Developing and applying state-of-the-art mass spectrometry based molecular imaging approaches for nanomedicine and biomedical research, including mass spectrometry as a diagnostic and prognostic tool for personalized medicine in oncology, neurology and cardiovascular medicine.  Go to division of IMS


The M4I Division of Nanoscopy investigates cell structures at a macromolecular level. Inside cells, proteins work together in complex structures and are responsible for virtually all processes in the human body, including diseases such as cancer. To understand the working mechanisms of protein complexes, three-dimensional imaging of normal and disease-causing protein complexes is essential. This could ultimately lead to more effective treatments, but also to vaccines against diseases such as tuberculosis.

The M4I Division of Imaging Mass Spectrometry is one of the world leaders in high resolution molecular imaging of biological surfaces. The division targets the development and application of state-of-the-art mass spectrometry based molecular imaging approaches for biomedical cellular and tissue research. Main research aim for the coming years is to develop and apply mass spectrometry as a diagnostic and prognostic tool for personalized medicine.


M4I’s scientists will be involved in teaching at a bachelor's, master's and PhD level, within the University College Maastricht, the Maastricht Science Programme and various programmes within the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences.

Access to facilities

Requests to access the Nanoscopy or Imaging Mass Spectrometry facilities of M4I can be specified using the 'Access to facilities'-contact form. The lab manager of the requested facility will evaluate your request.

M4I office wing

The M4I office wing has been designed with the same open and transparent look and feel as our labs. Based on C.O.R.E. collaborative open research education. C.O.R.E. requires a transparent and open environment for both laboratories and offices. M4I has invested heavily in an innovative and open environment for collaborative research. Research and office space is shared by scientist from very different backgrounds and disciplines, ranging from the fundamental sciences, technology and engineering as well as clinicians. In line with the CORE philosophy of Maastricht University the infrastructure is primed for researchers to cross the boundaries of their own disciplines and stimulate each other to excel in translational imaging science.

M4I office wing


  • vitrojet

    Technical feats at 180 degrees below zero

    Thursday, April 4, 2019

    Frank Nijpels is working on the Vitrojet, a new device that prepares samples for a form of electron microscopy that received the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

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  • Genetic modification

    Healthier crops through DNA modification

    Friday, March 29, 2019

    It’s a major step forward on the road to sustainable agriculture and healthy food.

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  • iKnife

    Helping surgeons and pathologists with the iKnife

    Thursday, March 21, 2019

    Researchers from the Maastricht M4I institute, led by Prof. Ron Heeren, are key partners in an international consortium that will validate the iKnife.

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  • vitrojet

    Vitrojet, indispensable for electron microscopes

    Friday, November 2, 2018

    Thanks to cryo-electron microscopy, scientists can see inside cells, all the way down to the molecular level. This revolution makes it possible to analyze the precise composition of the many thousands of proteins. It might also reveal the mysteries of how diseases such as Alzheimer’s or tuberculosis develop.

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  • Maastricht University and Avans University of Applied Sciences awarded €250,000 for forensic study of hair

    Friday, July 6, 2018

    Researchers at Maastricht University (UM) and Avans University of Applied Sciences are developing a method that enables person profiling on the basis of hair.

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  • Maastricht technology makes simultaneous lipid imaging and identification possible

    Thursday, May 24, 2018

    Scientists from Maastricht University (UM) and researchers from Denmark and Germany have developed a new technique to accurately determine both the location and identity of lipids in bodily tissues in a single workflow. Lipids are essential molecules in every cell of our body and intimately involved in many important biological functions. 

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  • Maastricht University is a linchpin in national microscopy research

    Thursday, April 12, 2018

    The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) is allocating more than 17 million euros in subsidies for the further development of a Dutch network for electron microscopy (NEMI). Almost 5 million of this will go to UM. From Maastricht, the M4I institute of university professors Ron Heeren (mass spectrometry) and Peter Peters (cryo-electron microscopy) is one of the initiators of NEMI.

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  • MSI symposium November 2017

    First workshop on Mass Spectrometry Imaging organised by M4i

    Friday, December 8, 2017

    From November 13-17th, 2017 M4i organised its first workshop dedicated to Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MSI). 

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  • The organising committe of OurCon V: Florian Barré (UM), Alina Astefanei (UvA), Irena Dapic (UvA), Philippe Saudemont (UdL), Brenda Bakker (UT), Lieke Lamont (UM), Pieter Kooijman (UM)

    International MSI conference OurCon organised by M4i

    Friday, November 10, 2017

    Three PhD students from Maastricht University's M4I took the lead in bringing the fifth edition of the OurCon mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) to the Netherlands.

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  • Lipiden MSI

    M4i research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)

    Tuesday, November 7, 2017

    Research into the influence of lipids on the severity of a bacterial infection in a mammalian host published in PNAS.

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