The Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas this week installed two 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. Housed on the ground floor of the Brain Performance Institute™, these are the first set of scanners for UT-Dallas and are some of the few MRI machines in North Texas that will be used exclusively for research related to the human brain.
The design and field strength of the Siemens MAGNETOM Prisma 3T MRI are optimized for functional MRI (fMRI), while providing crisp anatomical detail. The 3T provides unmatched performance, combining the most powerful gradients in the industry (80/200), unparalleled magnet homogeneity, the highest coil density, and the latest fast parallel imaging technology, for a signal-to-noise ratio that reduces distortion to facilitate the acquisition and interpretation of data.
These state-of-the-art machines expand the research capabilities of the Center for BrainHealth and open the door to innovative new approaches, such as hyper-scanning in which two subjects engage in simultaneous, linked studies.
“Research into how to reinforce and extend brain health is still in its infancy, but with each new discovery about the brain’s immense capacity for plasticity, we are gaining momentum,” said Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman, founder and chief director of the Center for BrainHealth. “Science is helping us discover how to harness and measure the vast potential of our brains. Our new BrainHealth Imaging Center will give us the most advanced tools to speed our progress in this endeavor.”
The arrival of the MRI machines comes less than one month after The University of Texas at Dallas achieved the critical benchmark criteria required to qualify for funding from the National Research University Fund (NRUF), an exclusive source of research support available to the state’s “emerging research universities.”
“As members of the UT Dallas family, we are looking forward to welcoming researchers from a variety of schools whose projects can benefit from using our brand new, state-of-the-art MRIs,” said Dr. Dan Krawczyk, deputy director of the Center for BrainHealth and Francis Chair in Behavioral and Brain Sciences at The University of Texas at Dallas.
Pending a battery of calibrating tests, the MRIs are expected to be operational in the next several weeks.