TRUSTEES OF BOSTON UNIVERSITY
This award is for $1,944,611.50 in direct costs from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) High-End Instrumentation Grant Program (S10) to fund a crucial 3T quasar dual MRI scanner for multimodal and molecular imaging. This new instrumentation will replace the technically significantly inferior 3T Philips Intera MRI scanner currently operational at the Center for Biomedical Imaging of the Boston University Medical School. The Center for Biomedical Imaging (CBI) is a Core Research Center of the Boston University serving both the greater Boston University and Boston area biomedical research community. Currently, a total of more than 70 different biomedical imaging projects are being performed using the existing system, ranging from longitudinal assessment of Autism Spectrum Disease, changes in cortical metabolite concentration in Alcoholism, and Alzheimers Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. The explanatory power of our current 3T scanner for these important mental health questions, however, is greatly hampered due to the limited technical capabilities of the current scanner configuration, such as low gradient strength, lack of multinuclei MR spectroscopy capability, and limited number of receive channels. The new, quasar dual 3T MRI scanner will provide a quantum jump of improvements in our Center's capability to serve the critical imaging needs of our NIH funded investigators. The major improvements are: 1. Significant enhancement of the gradient strength: from current 2.5 Gauss to 8 Gauss/cm. 2. From current proton only to broadband multi-nuclei detection capabilities. 3. From current 6-receive channels to 16-receive channels. These increased capabilities will have an immensely positive impact on the many projects presently executed, and on those that are planned for future execution on the 3T scanner (see Project Narrative for further details). PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The vastly improved technical capabilities resulting from the requested new instrumentation will be of highest relevance for the Boston University and Boston area biomedical research community. The improvements are more than incremental, resulting in qualitatively higher level of explanatory power for the 3T MRI data obtained in our Center. This in turn is expected to greatly facilitate the translation of basic biomedical imaging results into clinical reality.