A new arrival has joined the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and it will allow UNMC to compete with the elite research institutions in the country in better understanding the complexities of the brain.
The new arrival comes in the form of the most advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner in Nebraska – a state-of-the-art, 28,000-pound unit that will provide the highest resolution imaging available while cutting the time the subject has to be in the MRI in half.
“This is truly a game changer,” said Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D. “Having an MRI that is dedicated to research is the missing piece of the puzzle that we needed to take our research enterprise to the next level. “It will not only have a huge impact on research, but it also will enhance our education and clinical care. Ultimately, it will help us unlock the mysteries of the brain and hopefully provide some answers to complex neurological problems such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, which presently don’t have any real solutions.”
The unit – the Siemens Prisma MRI scanner – cost $2.5 million with an additional expense of about $1.5 million to install it. It is located in the heart of the UNMC/Nebraska Medicine campus on the first floor of the Hixson-Lied Center, which connects the Clarkson and University hospital towers.
Primary funding – about $3 million – was provided by the UNMC College of Medicine under the leadership of Dean Bradley Britigan, M.D., with the remaining $1 million coming from a National Institutes of Health research grant.
Initially, the research-dedicated MRI will be used by UNMC researchers in neurological sciences, psychiatry, cardiology and neurosurgery, he said. But, it also will be available for investigators who are part of the four-state collaborative grant as well as any other researchers who can benefit from it.
Installation of the MRI was completed on Dec. 3, and research studies are already underway.