The National Institutes of Health has awarded University of Arizona researchers a $2 million High-End Instrumentation grant to help purchase an advanced 3Tesla MRI instrument for studying the human brain. The university will be among the first institutions in the country to receive the new model, which is manufactured by Siemens Healthineers.
These NIH grants are highly competitive and fund the purchase of a biomedical research instrument worth up to $2 million, rather than a specific research project. Eighteen UArizona investigators working on nearly two dozen projects already have plans for how to use the instrument.
Psychology, medical imaging, biomedical engineering
The instrument will be located in the Translational Bioimaging Resource, a new 20,000-square-foot facility in the Biosciences Research Laboratories building. There, it can be used by researchers across campus to improve understanding of brain functions ranging from memory to sleep to empathy, as well as diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
"For many of the faculty in psychology, it will change the basic research questions we can ask and significantly increase the quality of the data we collect," said Lee Ryan, head of the psychology department and associate director of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute. "MRI has been critical for understanding the neural mechanisms of memory, language and spatial navigation, how the brain changes with age, and how therapeutic interventions affect brain structure and function. We are all excited to see where this new MRI system takes us."