Johannes Leisen and His Favorite Element

Principle research scientist in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry shares his favorite element

November 6, 2019

The monthly series "My Favorite Element" is part of Georgia Tech's celebration of 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements, #IYPT2019GT. Each month a member of the Georgia Tech community will share his/her favorite element via video.

The November edition features Johannes Leisen. He is a principal research scientist in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the manager of the Georgia Tech Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Center. His favorite element is helium. He is very familiar with the element because NMR instruments require superconducting magnets, which have to be cooled by liquid helium. 

With Leslie Gelbaum, Leisen manages the daily operation of the NMR center. This includes operation, maintenance, repair of NMR instruments; training of new users; advising on NMR experiment; and helping with data evaluation and interpretation. In particular, Leisen supports solid-state and diffusion NMR experiments, as well as NMR microimaging.

Leisen is also in charge of Georgia Tech's Magnetic Resonance Imaging core (MRI) facility, which is part of the Parker H. Petit Institute of Bioengineering and Bioscience and the Walter H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME). Leisen teaches the BME course "Conservation Principles in Biomedical Engineering." 

Renay San Miguel, communications officer in the College of Sciences, produced and edited the videos in this series. 

Other videos in this series are available at

November 2019, Margaret Kosal, associate professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs

September 2019, Hui Zhu, academic professional in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry

August 2019, Jasmine Au Howard, graduate student in the Scheller College of Business

July 2019, Jennifer Leavey, principal academic professional, director of the Georgia Tech Urban Honeybee Project, and much more

June 2019, Benjamin Breer, undergraduate double major in physics and aerospace engineering 

May 2019, G. P. "Bud" Peterson, president of Georgia Tech

April 2019: Kimberly Short, Ph.D. candidate

March 2019: Elayne Ashley, scientific glass blower

February 2019: Amit Reddi, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry

January 2019: Jeanine Williams, biochemistry major and track star