This shared instrumentation grant request funds to partially offset the cost of an upgrade of the current 3 Tesla whole body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system at the UCSD Center for Functional MRI (CFMRI). In comparison to our existing system, the upgrade is expected to provide significant improvements in performance in the following areas: (1) improved signal stability, (2) increased ability to perform demanding experimental protocols for functional MRI studies, and (3) a greater level of reliability, resulting in less down- time of the system. These improvements in performance will benefit over 30 currently funded NIH studies covering a diverse set of research areas, including the neurobiology of alcoholism, brain function in Alzheimer's disease, and the perception of pain in depression. The upgrade of the 3 Tesla system, which serves the needs of the San Diego research community, will allow the CFMRI to continue to support the cutting-edge research being performed at UCSD and its neighboring institutions.
The proposed system upgrade will greatly benefit ongoing NIH-funded studies that are focused on understanding the function of the brain in both health and disease. These studies are likely to result in the improved diagnosis and treatment of a number of health conditions, such as alcoholism, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease.