HMRI opened the first clinical magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy laboratories in the western United States and has been one of the premier centers for MR research over the last 3 decades. We have provided critical insight into cardiovascular diseases, chemical and metabolic changes of neurodegenerative diseases, and mechanisms and growth factors of cancer.
Over the years, the Advanced Imaging and Spectroscopy Center has also been dedicated to providing training for physicians, scientists and technologists from all over the world in advanced magnetic resonance spectroscopy techniques. In addition, we co-sponsor postdoctoral fellowships with the California Institute of Technology through the Boswell Fellowship in a collaborative effort to develop technologies that will improve medical care and treatment.
In July 2017, the Imaging Center installed a state-of-the-art 3 Tesla MR scanner that allows for better resolution and faster imaging times. This broadband system also allows us to employ specialized multi-nuclear imaging and spectroscopy such as carbon-13 (13C) to detect brain metabolism in different neurological diseases and phosphorus-31 (31P) to study energy of the heart muscle. In future, we also foresee tapping into sodium imaging for migraine studies in collaboration with Dr. Michael Harrington (Neurosciences). In addition, Dr. Kevin King (Directory of Imaging Research) has successfully implemented the cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) method to study the brain’s vascular function due to aging and disease. Because Imaging Research is central to HMRI’s strategic plan moving forward, the new scanner will not only advance MR research, it will allow the Cardiovascular, Neurosciences, Metabolism, Tissue Engineering, Liver, and Immunology programs to use imaging and spectroscopy as a tool to further their research efforts. Along with Immunology and Metabolism, the Advanced Imaging and Spectroscopy Center will function collaboratively and will develop internal collaborations and support of other research programs at HMRI.