Clear-Eyed Vision​​

Through her work with powerful medical imaging software, alumna Christine Lorenz is helping create a healthier world.

When Christine Lorenz was growing up, she placed her trust in people who saw a bright future for her. Now, as a vice president at Siemens Healthcare, who leads research and clinical collaborations in molecular imaging, she gives doctors the tools they need to help give patients brighter futures, too.

Christine Lorenz

Growing up in Lake County, Ill., in a family that had bred hunting dogs for generations, Lorenz could have followed in the footsteps of her father and grandfather. But her grandmother, who’d never had the chance to get a strong education, was one of several people in her life who urged Lorenz to find a way to go to college. With the help of a Langsdorf Scholarship, which offered full tuition, she was able to attend Washington University.

Appreciating her undergraduate opportunities — and wanting to help others obtain a similar education — Lorenz has been a longtime supporter of scholarships in the School of Engineering & Applied Science.

Washington University helped hone her capabilities, but even before Lorenz arrived on campus as an undergraduate, she had a strong sense of purpose. She had long been fascinated by a neighbor’s work on dialysis equipment and was eager to explore fields that would allow her to do something similar.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, Lorenz headed to Vanderbilt University. There, she became fascinated by medical imaging and went on to earn a PhD in biomedical engineering. She was a member of the faculty at Vanderbilt for seven years before being recruited back to WashU as a faculty member in cardiovascular medicine.

Her research during this time included using MRI to study heart disease and do clinical imaging. Though it was work she loved, Lorenz eventually realized that to make the kind of impact she wanted, she’d need to move to industry. “In medical imaging, you’re completely dependent on the companies that make equipment — MRI, CT, X-ray [machines] — to provide the instrumentation,” she says. “An academic lab can’t create a $2 million MRI machine from the ground up. It was attractive to be able to influence what gets made and then goes out into the world.”

Read more in Washington Magazine.