Vanderbilt Addiction Center

Integrated Imaging of Brain Function at 7 Tesla

This application seeks support for the renewal of a highly successful and productive Bioengineering Research Partnership (BRP) at Vanderbilt University which was first established in 2002. In the past 5 years this BRP has focused on the development and integration of multimodal measurements of human brain function. In the next phase, the BRP will be reconfigured to focus on the challenges of optimizing the quality of data obtainable using MRI and MRS at ultra-high field (7 Tesla) and of integrating multiple MR approaches to assessing human brain structure and function. This BRP will bring together 6 highly experienced laboratories and three corporations, as well as a substantial group of clinical advisors and users, to develop, integrate and evaluate improved methods for optimizing the information available from 7 Tesla brain studies. The BRP will be centered around a state-of-the-art 7 Tesla human MR system, and will develop novel technical solutions and scientific capabilities that in turn will provide dramatic new insights into brain structure and function. The Lead Investigators of the partnership from Vanderbilt will be John C. Gore (PI, who will also direct developments in Functional MRI Methods); Adam Anderson (Developments in High Resolution Diffusion Tensor Imaging); J. Christopher Gatenby (Developments in Imaging Physics and Engineering); Malcolm Avison (Developments in Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy); Frank Tong (Visual Psychophysics, developing advanced methods of assessing the functional architecture of the cortex); Benoit Dawant (Image Analysis, developing algorithms for image processing and distortion corrections); and Limin Chen (Non- Human Primate Neuroscience, providing a core test-bed for many of the methods developed, and a unique facility for testing the absolute limits of performance of 7T studies). Dr. Craig Malloy of UTSW, Dallas will partner in the Development of Multinuclear MRS for assessing neurotransmitter synthesis and brain metabolism. The BRP will also involve the close cooperation of 3 corporations who will undertake to provide specific technical resources. The BRP will benefit from input from an expert group of Users and Advisors who will provide additional expertise to guide the research undertaken. The BRP would bring together and accelerate relevant ongoing research within these individual laboratories and provide the focus for integrating these different efforts in a highly synergistic manner. It will also provide unique training opportunities for imaging scientists, radiologists and neuroscientists."

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