LFMI was founded in 1999 with the major goal of developing imaging techniques that provide anatomical,
functional and molecular information about tissue function. The specific emphasis is on advancing Magnetic
Resonance Imaging (MRI) techniques for analysis of the brain. MRI has grown into a critical imaging tool
for anatomical characterization of normal and pathophysiological states in human and animal models. Over
the past ten years progress in sensitizing MRI to parameters related to regional blood flow has opened up
the area of functional MRI (fMRI). FMRI studies are having a large impact on understanding the
localization of neural function in the brain. Scientists in LFMI played an early role in developing fMRI
techniques and presently are pushing these techniques to higher spatial and temporal resolution.
A feature of this work is to develop the highest magnetic field MRI scanners as possible to increase signal
to noise and contrast to noise in fMRI studies. Presently LFMI is developing a 7 Tesla/ 90 cm bore size
MRI for humans and an 11.7T/31 cm bore size MRI for animals.
A basic assumption in LFMI is that to understand the brain it will be important to image the whole cascade of events related to the processes that support neural function. FMRI techniques are able to localize activity, however, there are many other processes important for normal function of the brain. These include metabolism to support function, neuronal connections, gene expression, calcium dynamics, cell movements, receptor and neurotransmitter function, etc LFMI is interested in extending and developing techniques that enable imaging of these events in human and animal brains. While these studies rely heavily on MRI, other modalities are used as well, such as optical imaging and electrophysiological techniques. The ability to image specific molecular and cellular processes are part of the rapidly growing field of molecular imaging. Techniques developed are expected to impact the ability to diagnosis and stage a variety of diseases such as neurological disorders, cognitive disorders and cancers.
Other Interests in LFMI
Organization of LFMI
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