The Small Animal Imaging Facility (SAIF) provides Cancer Center Members with powerful imaging technologies, staff and expertise necessary to integrate imaging into preclinical cancer research. The facility is led by Drs. John D. Hazle and James A. Bankson and is supported by a network of faculty with research expertise in each imaging modality. Faculty and staff consult with users prior to planning of imaging experiments, and assist in all aspects of imaging services, including preparation of grants, experimental design, protocol optimization, data acquisition and analysis, interpretation, presentation, and publication of results. Instrumentation and full-service support are available for preclinical MRI (4.7T/40cm, 7.0T/30cm) including hyperpolarized "C-labeled tracers (such as [1-^^C]-pyruvate), x-ray computed tomography (in-vivo and specimen), micro-ultrasound, digital planar x-ray, nuclear imaging using PET, SPECT, and gamma camera, and optical (bioluminescence/fluorescence) imaging. More than $2.5M of institutional support allowed for upgrade, expansion, or addition of significant new services in ultrasound, optical, and MR imaging, hyperpolarized tracers, and image-guided radiation therapy. A modest 6.3% growth in overall utilization by hours during this period belies a continually expanding base of users supported by federal funding. 118 distinct principal investigators affiliated with 19 CCSG Programs made use of SAIF resources during this funding period. Peer-reviewed investigators account for 89% of the utilization, and 24% of the total costs are requested from the CCSG. Overall, the number of federally funded investigators making use of SAIF resources grew by more than 275% compared to the prior period. The requested CCSG support for these services corresponds to 24% of the projected operating budget. Publications cited using the SAIF have appeared in Proc Natl Acad Sci and J Natl Cancer Inst. In the forthcoming period, new satellite facilities in the South Campus Vivarium and the Center for Advanced Biomedical Imaging Research will be added, and new services will be offered in image-guided radiation therapy and metabolic imaging using hyperpolarized tracers.
The Small Animal Imaging Facility provides access to imaging instrumentation and expertise that allows Cancer Center Members to integrate powerful and cutting-edge imaging technologies into routine preclinical research with confidence that their scientific objectives will be achieved. The SAIF has also developed a new multi-animal imaging platform to reduce the cost of imaging in small animal research.
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