The long-term objective of this Shared Instrumentation Grant application is to bring to the research community at Stanford a next-generation 7 Tesla whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system, specifically the GE Discover MR950 7.0T system with parallel transmit capabilities, to serve as a platform for cutting-edge imaging technology research and development, as well as for radiological and neuroscience research. The approach we describe in this proposal is interdisciplinary, bringing together researchers from the specialties of physics, engineering, bioengineering, biology, physiology, radiology, neurology, psychiatry, and psychology. The shared instrumentation requested here will act as a catalyst and common platform for this group to create, refine, implement, validate and utilize the most advanced forms of magnetic resonance imaging. Major patient-based imaging research applications of the next-generation 7T MRI platform include studies of brain development, psychopathology, drug dependence, alcohol-induced brain damage and its functional consequences, neurodegenerative processes, Williams, Turner and fragile X syndromes, brain injury, breast cancer, joint injuries, and therapeutic interventions associated with some or all of the above. Major technology development directions that will be enabled by this next-generation 7T MRI platform include MR spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) of the proton (1H) nucleus as well as non-proton nuclei, in both brain and musculoskeletal systems, advanced perfusion and diffusion tensor imaging in brain, whole breast imaging, and, importantly, parallel transmit technology for mitigating B1 inhomogeneities that limit the use of high magnetic field MRI in any organ system. The overarching aims of the proposed research are to develop software and hardware methods to allow 7T MRI to have a much greater impact on clinical research than possible before, as well as to extend the capabilities of high-field MRI to unprecedented levels of spatial resolution, metabolite and iron sensitivity, and tissue characterization. The proposed research projects are highly compatible with the mission of the Department of Health and Human Services and relevant to public health. The proposed research will take place at interdisciplinary laboratories directed by international leaders in imaging research: high field and high sensitivity MRI methodology development (Dr. Brian Rutt, PI), developmental disorders and clinical neuroscience (Dr. Allan Reiss), DTI methodology development (Dr. Roland Bammer), musculoskeletal disorders and radiological research (Dr. Garry Gold), breast MRI methodology development (Dr. Brian Hargreaves), parallel transmit and RF pulse technology development (Dr. John Pauly), psychiatric disorders and neuroimaging (Drs. Dolf Pfefferbaum and Edith Sullivan), MR spectroscopic imaging methodology development (Dr. Dan Spielman), psychiatric disorders and clinical neuroscience (Dr. Edith Sullivan), cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging (Dr. Brian Wandell) and neurovascular imaging (Dr. Greg Zaharchuk). Project Narrative / Relevance: Disorders of brain development and function (both early and late in life), breast cancer and joint injuries/pain are three disparate pathologies that affect billions of people worldwide. The placement of a next generation, human 7T MRI system to Stanford will provide a platform for significant expansion of not just MRI methodology development, but also both basic biological as well as clinical research, all of which promise to contribute substantively to our institution's long-term goals for improving the health and well being of individuals suffering from these disorders.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Biomedical Research Support Shared Instrumentation Grants (S10)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-SBIB-D (30))
Program Officer
Levy, Abraham
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Stanford University
Schools of Medicine
United States
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