The Small Animal Imaging Shared Resource (SAISR) is a new facility that was started as an SR in Development at our last competing renewal, and established in 2012 as a full-fledged SR. The goal is to provide users with access to anatomical and functional imaging modalities, and provide scientific, technical, and administrative support for imaging experiments. Current imaging modalities include optical imaging (fluorescent and luminescent), optical/XR, high-resolution ultrasound, and MRI. Optical imaging is carried out on a Caliper IVIS Spectrum instrument, which provides whole-animal 2D, 3D, and kinetic imaging capabilities for mice with engineered or injected optical reporters. A Lumina II XR instrument was recently purchased to provide co-registered optical and XR imaging. Ultrasound is performed using a Vevo 2100 Instrument with 2D, 3D, power Doppler, color Doppler, RF mode, and non-linear contrast mode, along with an image-guided injection mount. MRI Is performed using a Bruker ICON benchtop (IT) system. Dr. Kenneth Olive serves as Director of the Small Animal Imaging SR. Dr. Olive has 8 years of experience using ultrasound for cancer research in mice. The facility is managed by Steven Sastra, who has 23 years of biomedical research experience, and nearly a decade of experience working with small animal imaging modalities, including ultrasound, optical, and micro CT imaging. Daily operations are overseen by Raymond Chang who has over a decade of experience with MRI, PET, SPECT, CT, ultrasound, and optical imaging modalities. Even though this SR has only been full-fledged for 2 years, it is already heavily used by more than 20 HICCC Principal Investigators. Our next stage in expanding this facility entails renovation of the barrier facility to create more space, followed by the addition of a PET-CT instrument and installation of a high-field MRI. The total operating budget of the facility is $236,389 of which we are requesting $38,889 from the CCSG.
Over the past two decades, many of the seminal achievements in cancer research were made possible through the use of mouse models of cancer. In recent years, the hard-won investment in basic cancer science has made possible an increasing focus on translational studies that are designed to evaluate new drugs for their ability to treat or cure established tumors. Just as imaging is used to monitor the effects of drug treatment on human patients, small animal imaging has become an indispensable technology for preclinical studies in mouse models of cancer.
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