Resource for Quantitative Functional MRI

Principal Investigator: Peter Van Zijl

The Resource for Quantitative Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging is an interdepartmental and interdisciplinary laboratory combining facilities of the F.M. Kirby Research Center for Functional Brain Imaging at the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI) and the Center for Imaging Science (CIS) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU). This Resource Center is dedicated to using its unique expertise to design novel MRI and MRS data acquisition and processing technology in order to facilitate the biomedical research of a large community of clinicians and neuroscientists at several institutions in Maryland and throughout the USA, with a special focus on pediatric and neurodevelopmental applications. These NIH-funded researchers have a continued need for the development of new quantitative technology to better achieve the aims in their grants, which focus on topics such as mental retardation, trauma, impaired brain development, attention, working memory, psychosis, cancer, stroke, and the understanding of brain function.

The Kirby Center has 1.5T and 3T state of the art scanners equipped with parallel imaging capabilities and highend (4.5 and 8 G/cm whole body) gradients, and will be extended with a wide-bore 7T scanner, where important benefits such as higher signal to noise and better signal dispersion for MR spectroscopy are expected. CIS has an IBM supercomputer that is part of a national supercomputing infrastructure. Our Resource combines a strong technical environment with unique expertise of the collaborators especially valuable for studies in children, the elderly, and subjects with neurological and psychiatric disorders. This is reflected in the technical research and development (TRD) projects that focus on reducing the need for compliance in difficult populations (the very young, the elderly, and the mentally impaired) and on multi-modality assessment of tissue changes, arid apparent alterations in brain activation and/or pathology, when the brain