The Imaging Core of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute (LRI) and a group of sixteen investigators (12 NIH-funded) request funds to purchase a PerkinElmer IVIS Spectrum CT. It will be placed in the Small-Animal Imaging section of the well-established Imaging Core where it will be broadly used in the pre-clinical and translational medicine research program at Cleveland Clinic. In its twenty years the Core has provided leading-edge imaging equipment and expertise for the Cleveland Clinic research community. It is a strong and successful Core in a significant research facility. As the calculatio of the costs and benefits of research funding grows more acute, investigators are seeking a more immediate pathway from basic biomedical research to clinical application - often with wider and more frequent reliance on animal model studies. The instrument here requested is fundamental to such research, and essential to the projects presented herein. This integrated, multi-modal system will provide us a new and much-needed level of imaging capability and flexibility, including the possibility of Computed Tomography (an option previously available to very few researchers on a 9-year-old GE Explorer Locus RS that is now failing and is officially obsolete). The improved sensitivity, resolution, and three-dimensional quantitative imaging of the IVIS Spectrum CT will allow for a broad range of applications envisioned by the studies included here: for example, the impact of the gut microbiome on cardiovascular disease or the factors that modulate glioblastoma development, progression, and response to therapy. The need of the included investigators for this instrument is further underscored by the decision of our Institute to enhance animal health and experimental safety by creating a mouse barrier facility. This is a costly project, already underway. It significantly affects our investigators' experiments, since they will have to take place inside the barrier. Because of this, the new facility will include an Imaging Suite-with a room designated specifically for this instrument. The new system will be under the Imaging Core's management, assuring its supervision and support by a skilled staff. Dr. Judith Drazba, Core Director, has over thirty years' experience in biomedical imaging, twenty of them running this facility. Dr. Dolores Hambardzumyan, co-PI on this grant, has ten years of intensive experience in a full range of small animal imaging. Other members of the Imaging Core staff will assist with user training, and equipment troubleshooting and maintenance. Finally, the LRI has a long history of strong support for centralized facilities and will continue its commitment to the Imaging Core by providing funds for salary support, service contracts, and infrastructure.
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