Profesor UC3M

Dra. Mónica Abella García

Dra. Mónica
Abella García


Monica Abella obtained a PhD in Telecommunication Engineering by the Universidad Politécnica of Madrid. She started her professional career working for more than 4 years in the mobile phone industry (TECSIDEL and ERICSSON SPAIN), participating in R+D projects for the development of the GSM, GPRS and UMTS mobile networks.

Her vocation towards research together with the interest in image processing and a desire to contribute to the improvement of health care systems, led her to reorient her career when she found the Imaging Lab at the Gregorio Marañón Hospital, which joint a wide scientific production with strong relations with the Hospital Physicians and with the Industry. In 2005 she was granted with an FPI Research Fellowship grant by the Spanish Ministry of Education for research trainees and PhD students. She presented her thesis in 2010 obtaining the maximum grade, Cum Laude and a mention of European Doctorate.

During the first years in research, her main contributions were on image calibration and reconstruction for tomographic systems CT, PET and SPECT. Most of the results of her work have been incorporated to high resolution tomography systems distributed around the world by General Electric and SEDECAL.

She has worked in prestigious research institutions in USA (University of Washington, Lawrence Berkeley Lab., University of Michigan and University of Vritje in Brussels) and Europe collaborating with key professionals in the tomography image reconstruction field: Paul Kinahan, Grant Gullberg, Jeffrey Fessler, and Michel Defrise.

She has published 19 articles in international magazines with high impact on the area, 14 in the first quartile, 11 as first author and 3 as senior author. She has done 101 contributions to congresses and participated in 38 competitive investigation projects with public funding, being IP in four of them (CDTI, INNPACTO and RETOS).

Currently she is leading her own investigation line (with public funding) towards the advance in radiology systems. The main objectives are to improve the image quality, to reduce the radiation doses received by the patient and to incorporate tomographic capabilities to these systems. It is an investigation with clear transfer to the industry. Part of the funding comes from specific calls of CDTI to foment the transfer to the industry in collaboration with the company SEDECAL. From this collaboration two advanced X-ray room have been installed at the University Carlos III of Madrid and Gregorio Marañon Hospital.

She is a Professor in the Biomedical Engineering degree at Carlos III University in Madrid since 2010, where she was involved in the degree start-up phases. She also is has colaborated in different Master courses at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, and Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED). She is the Director of the Master of Science in Clinical Engineering.


Biomedical Engineering degree at UC3M (in english):

  • From edition 2010/11: “Introduction to Bioengineering” (coordinator)
  • From edition 2012/13: “Image processing and reconstruction”
  • From edition 2013/14: “Instrumentation and multimodality imaging” (coordinator)
  • From edition 2013/14: “Advanced topics in medical image”

Master in Information Master in Clinical Engineering:

  • From edition 2013/14: "Tecnologías de imagen médica" (coordinator)

Master in Information Master in Information Health Engineering:

  • From edition 2013/14: "Medical image reconstruction" (coordinator)

Mechanical Engineering degree at UC3M:

  • Editions 2011/12 and 2014/15: “Repercusiones sociales de las nuevas técnicas de imagen biomédicas”.

From edition 2011/12: Master in Cardioimaging, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. Master courses: “Cardioimaging in reaserch” and "Multimodality imaging".

June 2010: Visiting professor at the Physics Department, Faculty of Physics, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica. Master course (32 hours): “Medical image analysis and image reconstruction”

May 2012: Visiting professor at the Physics Department, Faculty of Physics, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica. Master course (40 hours): “Radiology, medical image analysis and image reconstruction” 

August 2012: Visiting professor for the Master in Biomedical Engineering, Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Two editions of the post-graduate program “Postgrado en infraestructura, equipamiento y mantenimiento de establecimientos de salud”, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Module “Gestión de tecnología del equipamiento”.

Form June 2012: Master en Fisica Médica, Facultad de Ciencias de la Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED). “PET/CT” and "Bases de la reconstrucción de imagen".

Selected publications

(* to indicate equal contribution of two authors (2 first authors) and ζ for Corresponding author)

E. Serrano, J. García-Blas, J. Carretero, M. Desco, M. Abella, Accelerated Image Reconstruction for Low-dose Computed Tomography through Big Data Frameworks, Future generation, in press.

M. Abellaζ, J.J. Vaquero, M. Desco, Jeffrey A. Fessler, Simplified Statistical Image Reconstruction for X-ray CT with Beam-Hardening Artifact Compensation, IEEE TMI, 39(1):111-118, 2020.

A. Martínez, A. García-Santos, N. Ballesteros, M. Desco, M. Abella. XAP-Lab: A software tool for designing flexible X-ray acquisition protocols, Computer Methods and programs in biomedicine, 177, 243-252, 2019.

M. Abellaζ, C. de Molina, N. Ballesteros, A. Garcia-Santos, A. Martínez, I. García, M. Desco. Enabling tomography with low-cost C-arm systems, Plos One, 13(9): e0203817, 2018.

Pedro M. Gordaliza, Arrate Muñoz-Barrutia, Monica Abella, Manuel Desco, Sally Sharpe, and Juan José Vaquero. Unsupervised CT Lung Image Segmentation of a Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Infection Model, Scientific Reports, 8:9802, 1-10, 2018.

C. de Molina, E. Serrano, J. Garcia-Blas, J. Carretero, M. Desco and M. Abella. GPU-accelerated Iterative Reconstruction for Limited-Data Tomography in CBCT Systems, BMC Bioinformatics, 9:171, 2018.

M. Abella*ζ, E. Serrano*, J. Garcia-Blas, I. García, C. de Molina, J. Carretero, M. Desco. FUX-Sim: An implementation of a fast universal simulation/reconstruction framework for X-ray systems, Plos One, 12(7): e0180363, 2017. 

M. Abella*ζ, E. Serrano*, J. Garcia-Blas, I. García, C. de Molina, J. Carretero, M. Desco. FUX-Sim: An implementation of a fast universal simulation/reconstruction framework for X-ray systems, Plos One, 12(7): e0180363, 2017. 

J.F.P.J. Abascal*, M. Abella*ζ, E. Marinetto, J. Pascau, J.J. Vaquero, M. Desco, 2016, A novel prior- and motion-based compressed sensing method for small-animal respiratory gated CT, Plos One, 11:e0149841.

J.F.P.J. Abascal*, M. Abella*ζ, A. Sisniega, J.J. Vaquero and M. Desco, Investigation of different sparsity transforms for the PICCS algorithm in small-animal respiratory gated CT, Plos One, 10(4), e0120140, 2015.

J. Garcia Blas, M. Abella, F. Isaila, J. Carretero, M. Desco. Surfing the optimization space of a multiple-GPU parallel implementation of an X-ray tomography reconstruction algorithm, Journal of Systems and Software, 95, 2014, 166–175.

A. Sisniega, M. Abella, M. Desco and J. J. Vaquero, Dual exposure technique for extending the dynamic range of x-ray flat panel detectors, Physics in Medicine and Biology, 2014, vol. 59(2), 421-439.

M. Abellaζ, E. Vicente, S. España, E. Lage, J.J. Vaquero, J.M. Udias, M. Desco, Misalignments calibration in small-animal PETscanners based on rotating planar detectors and parallel-beam geometry, Physics in Medicine and Biology, vol. 57, 7493–7518, 2012

M. Abellaζ, D.A. Mankoff, L.R. MacDonald, J.J. Vaquero, M. Desco, P.E. Kinahan, Accuracy of CT-based attenuation correction in PET/CT bone imaging, Physics in Medicine and Biology, vol. 57, 2477-2490, 2012.

M. Abellaζ, A. Sisniega, J.J. Vaquero, A. Rodriguez, J. Pascau, I. Vidal, M. Desco, Software Architecture for Multi-Bed FDK-based Reconstruction in X-ray CT Scanners, Computer. Methods and programs in Biomedicine, 107, 218-232, 2012

E. Lage, J.J. Vaquero, A. Sisniega, S. España, G. Tapias, M. Abella, A. Rodríguez-Ruano, J.E. Ortuño, A. Udías and M. Desco, Design and performance evaluation of a coplanar multimodality scanner for rodent imaging, Physics in  Medicine and  Biology, vol. 54(18), 5427-5441, 2009

E. Lage, J.L. Villena, G. Tapias, M.L. Soto-Montenegro, M. Abella, A. Sisniega, N.P. Martínez, F. Pino, D. Ros, J. Pavía, M. Desco, J.J. Vaquero. A SPECT Scanner for Rodent Imaging Based on Small-Area Gamma Cameras, IEEE Transaction on Nuclear Imaging, vol. 57(5), 2524-2531, 2010

M. Abella, J.J. Vaquero, M.L. Soto-Montenegro, E. Lage, M. Desco, Sinogram Bow-Tie Filtering in FBP PET Reconstruction, Medical Physics, vol. 36 (5), 1663-1671, 2009

M. Abella, J.M. Zubeldia, L. Conejero, N. Malpica, J.J. Vaquero, M. Desco, Automatic quantification of histological studies in allergic asthma, Cytometry Part A, vol. 75(3), 169-171, 2009

J.J. Vaquero, S. Redondo, E. Lage, M. Abella, A. Sisniega, G. Tapias, M.L. Soto-Montenegro, M. Desco, Assessment of a New High-Performance Small-Animal X-Ray Tomograph, IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science,  vol. 55(3), 898-905, 2008


Mónica Abella García
Departamento de Bioingeniería e 
Ingeniería Aeroespacial
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
Avda. de la Universidad 30
28911 Leganés - Madrid - Spain
Phone: 916248194 / 914265067