The Resource for Quantitative Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging is an interdepartmental and interdisciplinary laboratory combining facilities of the F.M. Kirby Research Center for Functional Brain Imaging at the Hugo Moser Research Institute at Kennedy Krieger (KKI) and the Center for Imaging Science (CIS) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU). This Resource Center is dedicated to using its unique expertise to design novel MRI and MRS data acquisition and processing technology in order to facilitate the biomedical research of a large community of clinicians and neuroscientists in Maryland and throughout the USA, with a special focus on brain development, i.e. the changing brain throughout our life span. These NIH-funded driving biomedical projects have a continued need for the development of new quantitative technology to better achieve the aims in their grants, which focus on topics such as learning disabilities, impaired brain development, inherited metabolic disorders, attention deficit, neurodegeneration, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, and cancer. The Kirby Center has 3T and 7T state of the art scanners equipped with parallel imaging capabilities (8, 16, and 32-channel receive coils), and a dual transmit body coil at 3T. The 7T is to be extended with a 8-channel multi-transmit system. CIS has an IBM supercomputer that is part of a national supercomputing infrastructure. Our Resource combines a strong technical environment with unique expertise of the collaborators in our driving biomedical projects, who are continuously asking questions to improve technology for their studies in children, the elderly, and subjects with neurological and psychiatric disorders. These needs are reflected in the proposed developments in our technical research and development (TR&D) projects that focus on MRI and MR spectroscopy (MRS) assessment of tissue changes in metabolite levels, structure, physiology, and brain functioning when the brain is changing size during development. The resource provides training in these new acquisition and processing technologies and has a longstanding history of disseminating them to other research centers and hospitals.
The goal of the resource, now in its 10th year, is to develop technologies that allow quantitative measurement of MRI biomarkers for tracking changes in brain anatomy, function, metabolism and physiology. These developments are driven by the needs of our associated biomedical projects, who are studying impaired brain development, neurodegeneration.
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