The NINDS P30 center core at Washington University (WashU), which operates as the Neuroimaging Informatics and Analysis Center (NIAC), was established in 2004 to facilitate neuroimaging as a core research tool in the drive to better understand and treat neurological conditions and diseases. Neuroimaging-based research at Washington University covers the spectrum from preclinical small animal studies to large-scale clinical trials to translational use of novel imaging methods in the clinic. In recent years, this research has become more expansive to include larger patient cohorts, more complex imaging protocols, greater diversity of clinical, genetic, and behavioral measures, and more extensive quantitative post-processing and analysis. This research covers a diversity of neurological diseases and conditions, including stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy. The overarching mission of the NIAC is to facilitate the full range of this research through a suite of innovative imaging physics, informatics, and analysis services supported by a rich consulting and educational program. With this continuation proposal, we will expand the Center's services to support the evolving practices of our investigators.
Specific Aim 1 will facilitate large scale, interdisciplinary neuroimaging-based research by providing a comprehensive informatics infrastructure that provides data management and automated image processing services for small animal imaging and human imaging obtained at WashU facilities and in multi- center clinical studies.
Specific Aim 2 will facilitate the development and adoption of new neuroimaging methods in clinical research and clinical practice by providing active expert consulting, MRI physics support, and advanced software development services. The NIAC will include three cores to achieve these aims. The Administrative Core will oversee the Center's operations and allocation of resources, operate an active outreach and education program, and ensure a high level of communication between the Center's faculty and staff and the neuroscience community. The Informatics Core will provide software and hardware to integrate the imaging facilities, provide database services, execute automated and semi-automated image processing pipelines, and share data within collaborative networks and the broader research community. The Imaging Core will provide direct user support through consulting services and training programs and will lead the effort to develop and transition new methods to the Center's users. The Center will be overseen by a Steering Committee composed of Center users and domain experts with deep and diverse experience. The three cores, under the Steering Committee's guidance, will work closely together to provide a comprehensive suite of services and resources to support the University's neuroimaging community.
Neuroimaging is one of the key methods used by biomedical researchers to study the brain in health and disease. The NINIDS Center Core for Brain Imaging provides informatics, imaging, analysis, and educational services resources to Washington University investigators via the Neuroimaging Informatics and Analysis Center (NIAC) to facilitate their basic, translational, and clinical research as applied to neurological conditions and disease.
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