The BioImaging Resource Core (BRC) provides leadership, scientific expertise, and instrumental support in quantitative imaging, including MRI, CT, PET, DXA and ultrasound, critical to the WF OAIC's research theme: Integrating pathways affecting physical function for new approaches to disability treatment and prevention. The BRC is integrated with all OAIC cores and leads the development and implementation of imaging techniques and protocols to quantify and characterize body composition, especially skeletal (muscle and total, regional, and organ-specific adipose and fibrotic) tissue, and to obtain non-invasive measures of cardiovascular, nervous, vital organ, and musculoskeletal function. The Core also supports a robust image repository developed during the current cycle to facilitate cross-study comparisons and exploratory analyses of established imaging outcomes and rapid development and validation of new imaging phenotypes.
The Specific Aims of the BRC for the new cycle are to: 1) Support pilot, developmental, and externally- funded research projects with quantitative imaging phenotypes to be used as outcomes, mediators, effect modifiers, and exposures in both observational and intervention research focused on identifying and evaluating factors affecting pathways to physical disability; 2) Develop capabilities for assessment of new OAIC-relevant imaging measures, including exercise-related skeletal muscle perfusion and oxygenation; central nervous system measures of structure and function coupled with cerebrovascular assessments of microcirculatory reactivity, middle-size artery pulsatility and large vessel stiffness, and automated computer-derived measures of body composition and structure; and 3) Extend the application of advanced imaging techniques in support of the OAIC's programmatic goals by assisting early-career faculty members to integrate imaging into their work, collaborating with other OAIC Cores and investigators to develop multidisciplinary translational projects, and sharing with investigators beyond WF. In the initial year, the BRC will support 3 OAIC scholars, 3 pilot studies, 2 Research Development Projects, and 11 externally-funded projects. Dr. Greg Hundley will continue in his leadership role, to be joined by Dr. Christina Hugenschmidt. The BRC leadership team is composed of highly experienced, independently successful investigators with complementary skills and expertise with strong records of collaborative scientific and administrative achievements. They will ensure the achievement of the BRC goals and its contributions to the overall success of the WF OAIC.
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