This shared instrumentation proposal is for upgrade of an existing research-dedicated General Electric 3T MRI scanner from Version 11B to Version 15. This scanner was installed in 2005 using funds from a high-end instrumentation award from NCRR (S10 RR017215). James S. Hyde, Ph.D., Professor of Biophysics at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) was PI of that proposal and serves again as PI of this proposal. The Department of Biophysics occupies the ground floor of a research tower on the MCW campus, and the scanner was installed in a purpose-built, one-story building attached to the tower at the same level as the departmental floor, providing very convenient access. Funds for construction of this one-story building were provided by MCW, indicating substantial support of imaging research by the institution. The scanner is used exclusively for Neuroimaging. Although there are numerous hospitals and medical facilities immediately adjacent to the MCW campus, there is no clinical fee-for-service usage of this scanner. It is dedicated totally to research. Investigators from numerous departments of MCW, both basic science and clinical, make use of the facility. This upgrade has four major benefits for the user community: (1) greatly improved gradient drivers;(2) state-of- the-art diffusion tensor imaging;(3) upgrade of the eight-channel head coil, eight-channel receiver, and image- formation software to 16 channels for SENSE imaging;and (4) upgrade of the control interface to current levels. With respect to benefit (4), this scanner will be a key aspect of the Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Imaging Core at MCW and will be employed by investigators across university boundaries at MCW, Marquette University, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. It is felt to be important that the control interface be up to date for projects intended for early stage translational research. Ten projects are described from nine major funded users. In addition, projects are summarized in tabular form for 14 minor users. The MRI Biophysics research team at MCW has a long history of pioneering technological advances, including very early papers on surface coils (1980s), early human studies at 3T using a 60-cm Bruker scanner that was purchased from a shared instrumentation award (1990s), the first paper to be published on fMRI (1992), the discovery of functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI) (1995), and the earliest report of real-time fMRI. Similarly, the MCW Neuroscience team has long been at the forefront of imaging research on speech and language processing, presurgical mapping in epilepsy, vision and visual attention, motor control and timing, neural systems involved in drug addiction, brain tumor imaging, and early detection of Alzheimer's disease. Projects described in this proposal cover the wide range of imaging science, neuroscience, and translational research that has evolved from these pioneering contributions. The upgrade will enhance the shared use of the centralized MRI resources, enrich ongoing research, promote new research directions, foster a cooperative and interactive research environment, and stimulate multidisciplinary approaches to neuroscience.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) continues to be a rapidly evolving technique that continues to reveal new information about both the healthy and the diseased human brain. This shared instrumentation proposal to upgrade an existing research-dedicated 3 Tesla MRI scanner will have many advantages for the investigators who use the instrument, of which the most important is higher sensitivity using 16 channels of data acquired from the brain simultaneously-so-called SENSE imaging. The applicants are pioneers in the development and application of fMRI.
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