The Preclinical Imaging Research Laboratory (PIRL) is a shared resource of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center (Lombardi), formalized in 2006. The objective ofthe PIRL is to provide high-resolution in vivo small animal imaging and image analysis for Lombardi researchers involved in the study of cancer initiation, progression, and interdiction/therapy. The high-end instruments in PIRL enable noninvasive, longitudinal studies of cancer in vivo. The PIRL provides expertise in the design, acquisition, and analysis of preclinical imaging studies using the following instrumentation: a Bruker 7-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) console, a small-animal ultrasound (Vevo660) workstation, an X-ray imaging unit (Faxltron) and a visible-near infrared spectroscopic imaging workstation (Maestro II). Support from the Lombardi in 2008 allowed the PIRL to acquire the Maestro workstation, update imaging software for the Bruker magnet to Paravision 4.0, and hire Dr. Yi-Chien Lee to perform the MR imaging. Additional upgrades to the magnet will be completed in May of 2009. The PIRL provides drop-off imaging, as well as training sessions for invesfigator initiated image acquisition. All original MRI and MRS data regardless of who has performed the acquisition are analyzed by the PIRL using Bruker software that is licensed to the PIRL. The director, Christopher Albanese, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology, is a molecular biologist with expertise in genetically engineered mouse modeling and imaging. The PIRL is co-directed by John VanMeter, PhD, director of the ST human fMRI facility at Georgetown University Medical Center, with over 15 years of expertise in medical imaging and software development and Dr. Olga Rodriguez, MD, PhD, an Assistant Professor of Oncology and an expert in preclinical MRI as well as clinical and preclinical pathology. In 2008, the PIRL was utilized by 13 Lombardi investigators from four Lombardi programs.

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National Cancer Institute (NCI)
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Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
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Georgetown University
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