Neuroimaging methods are increasingly applied to all phases of neuroscience research ranging from preclinical studies in animal models to human patients. Even in an era of genomics and molecular medicine, neuroimaging remains essential for phenotyping brain structure and function, and for monitoring the evolution of brain disorders and their treatments. However, neuroimaging methodologies are constantly evolving, and their optimal use requires specialized methodological expertise. The Acquisition Core consolidates expertise in neuroimaging physics and engineering at the University of Pennsylvania to support a broad range of imaging methodologies relevant to the NINDS mission to reduce the burden of neurological disease. The primary supported acquisition strategy is MRI, which provides multiple contrast mechanisms relevant to brain structure and function. For this, the Acquisition Core leverages the availability of multiple research MRI systems at the University of Pennsylvania including human whole-body MRI systems operating at 3 Tesla and 7 Tesla and animal MRI systems operating at 3 Tesla, 4.7 Tesla and 9.4 Tesla. The Acquisition Core also supports optical imaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as well as a range of ancillary instrumentation used for stimulus delivery and biobehavioral response monitoring during neuroimaging. Supported technical expertise is used to provide consultation concerning specific imaging modalities, to implement new or improved imaging strategies, to provide troubleshooting and quality assurance for image artifacts, and to collaborate on multimodal image acquisition protocols. NNC users benefit from simplified access to methodological consultations and consolidation of technical expertise also improves efficiency and reduces the cost of neuroimaging research since most technical problems need not be solved separately for each project. Accordingly, neuroimaging application projects do not need to budget for extensive methodological support. Finally, consolidation of technical expertise fosters a highly collaborative environment for both Core personnel and Core users leading tonew approaches and research directions and rapid dissemination of methodological advances to the entire user community

Public Health Relevance

Neuroimaging allows noninvasive assessment of brain structure and function and is an important research tool for both preclinical and clinical studies. The Acquisition Core provides expertise in the implementation and use of neuroimaging methods s to investigators working within the NINDS mission to reduce the burden of neurological disease.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZNS1)
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University of Pennsylvania
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