The Neuroimaging and Biostatistics (NIBS) Core, under the leadership of Dr. Bruce Rosen, will provide technical support to synthesize and integrate neuroimaging and statistical methods and analyses across the CERC Projects. Dr. Rosen, who is also the PI ofthe proposed CERC to investigate the central mechanisms of acupuncture action in chronic low back pain, is Director of the Athinoua A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at MGH. The Martinos Center has provided the broad research community with a range of innovations in the domains of MRI acquisition and analysis, many of which our group has extensive experience using to study acupuncture mechanisms in the brain. The three Projects in our proposed CERC focus on evaluating how different components of acupuncture therapy contribute to analgesia in chronic low back pain (cLBP). By providing a common image acquisition and analysis framework, the NIBS Core will facilitate the ability to perform intra- and inter-project analyses as well as larger-scale analyses that integrate not only across the CERC, but also across our other related NCCAM-funded studies, allowing us to address larger-scale questions about the neurobiology of acupuncture action in chronic pain conditions, and thus increase the value of such data to the broader community when shared according to our Data Sharing Plan. Specifically, the NIBS Core will seek to optimize and integrate neuroimaging methods across projects, which will be critical for cross-project synergy and pooled analysis. Further, the Core aims to provide unified, comprehensive data analysis and biostatistical support for all projects, as well as neuroanatomical support to ensure that our hypotheses and inferences gleaned from the neuroimaging data are firmly grounded in a consistent and up-to-date neuroanatomical framework. The NIBS core will also aim to organize a unified database and data sharing infrastructure for data collected across projects. Finally, this core will support and/or perform exploratory analyses on combined datasets collected from all three projects.

Public Health Relevance

The Neuroimaging and Biostatistics Core will support the CERC Projects by providing a unified framework for the neuroimaging analyses. This framework will improve cross-project synergy and ensure that the whole of our CERC PPG is greater than the sum of its parts.

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Massachusetts General Hospital
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