Thomas Link, MD, PhD

Professor, & Chief of Musculoskeletal Imaging
Clinical Director of MQIR
Co-Director, Musculoskeletal RIG
Director, T32 Program
Professor in Residence


Thomas M. Link, MD, PhD, is Chief of the Musculoskeletal Imaging Section and Clinical Director of the Musculoskeletal and Quantitative Imaging Research (MQIR) Group in the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Link completed his medical residency in Muenster, Germany. He performed a research fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco in 1996 and was a Visiting Associate Professor at UCSF from 1999-2001. Before joining the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging in 2003 he was a Vice-Chair of the Department of Radiology at the Technical University of Munich.

As Clinical Director of the Musculoskeletal and Quantitative Imaging Research (MQIR) Group, Dr. Link’s main interest is translational research. He wants to provide clinical background to basic science researchers, assessing clinical feasibility of research projects and to apply new imaging techniques in clinical studies.

Dr. Link’s research program in MQIR has five main focuses: imaging of osteoporosis, particularly developing new imaging techniques for assessment of bone quality and density, application on new imaging techniques for the clinical assessment of osteoarthritis, cartilage and prevention of cartilage degeneration, new imaging sequences for musculoskeletal imaging at high field, and MR guided high intensity focused ultrasound for treatment of osseous abnormalities.

Dr. Link has published extensively with more than 400 peer-reviewed articles, 48 review articles, 47 book chapters, and 3 books.

Musculoskeletal Radiology

Bone tumors and interventional procedures, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis

Professional Interests:
New techniques for musculoskeletal imaging, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, cartilage imaging, high field musculoskeletal MRI at 3.0 and 7.0T, MR-guided focused ultrasound

Education and Training:
• Medical School: Johannes-Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany
• Medical School: Groote Schuur Hospital University of Cape Town, Cape Town, RSA
• Internship: City Hospital Idar-Oberstein, Teaching Hospital of the Johannes-Gutenberg, Mainz Germany
• Residency: Department of Radiology Center for Rheumatic Diseases of the State of Rheinland-Pfalz, Bad Kreuznach, Germany
• Residency: Department of Radiology, KKH Hellersen, Teaching Hospital of the University of Bonn, Germany
• Residency: Department of Radiology, University Hospital, Muenster
• Fellowship: University of California, San Francisco Department of Radiology
• Doctor of Philosophy: University Hospital, Muenster Department of Radiology
• Board Examination in Radiology (including Radiation Therapy), Muenster, Germany
• Board Examination in Diagnostic Radiology, Muenster, Germany
• ECFMG (USMLE, Step 1 and 2)
• Temporary California License
• USMLE Step 3
• DEA License
• Permanent California License
• Fluoroscopy Supervisor License
• Equivalence certification of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Medicine (for German qualifications) by Center for Educational Documentation, Boston
• Diagnostic Radiology Core Exam, American Board of Radiology
• Board Certification Diagnostic Radiology, American Board of Radiology


M.D., 1987 - School of Medicine, Johannes Gutenberg University

Honors and Awards

Outstanding Reviewer Award, Osteoarthritis&Cartilage, 2017
Senior Fellow Award, International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 2017
Distinguished Investigator Award, Academy of Radiology Research, 2016
Certificate of Special Distinction, Skeletal Radiology, 2014
George J. Davies - James A. Gould, Excellence in Clinical Inquiry Award, The Journal of Othopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 2012
Editor-in-Chief, Current Radiology Reports, 2012
Editor’s Recognition Award with Distinction, Radiology, 2011
The Founder's Lecturer, International Skeletal Society, Washington, 2009
Editors Recognition, European Journal of Radiology, 2007-2008
Plenary Lecturer, World Congress on Osteoarthritis, Prague. Czech Republic, 2007
Top Cited Award, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 2006-2008
Appointed Chairman, Osteoporosis Group of the European Society of Skeletal Radiology (ESSR), 2006
Teaching Award, Medical School of the Technical University of Munich, Germany, 2000
Caffey Award, Society of Pediatric Radiology, 1997