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New Johns Hopkins imaging center to widen windows on the brain
Date:2/9/2009

It's a classic academic mismatch: Researchers aren't able to make use of seminal improvements in technologyoften from colleagues just across the streeteither because they don't know about them or because gaining familiarity makes unrealistic demands on their time.

For those very reasons, Johns Hopkins' Brain Science Institute is underwriting the Center for Translational Imaging (CTI). The new enterprise aims to channel expertise from Hopkins' various imaging-dedicated centers into creating a surge, university-wide, in the understanding and use of imaging techniques for neuroscience research.

The translational goals are both immediate and long-term, says magnetic resonance physicist and CTI Co-Director Susumu Mori. Immediately, the idea is to make accessible very high-quality anatomical MRI, MR spectroscopy, functional MRI, PET and newer offshoots such as diffusion tensor imaging. The prime targets of such "upgrades" are researchers with basic and clinical neuroscience studies in fields such as neurology, psychiatry, developmental biology, psychology, genetics, pathology and biomedical engineering.

But the center's ultimate purposeand basis for Brain Science Institute supportupholds the traditional meaning of translational. Ideally, improved imaging in Hopkins' brain-oriented projects will hasten therapies for brain diseases.

The timing is right. "It's no coincidence that we're starting our center now," Mori says. "There's currently a bottleneck in the imaging field that interferes with the progress of biomedical research." But the problem, he says, isn't in the ability to acquire good data from imaging.

"That was the bottleneck 15 years ago," says Mori. "Now, however, high-quality MRI and PET scanners are available. Their new technology lets users access state-of-the-art capabilities just by pushing buttons. Yet we're victims of our own success; quality images are so easily generated that the volume overwhelms res
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Contact: Audrey Huang
audrey@jhmi.edu
410-614-5105
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

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