All experiments will be conducted at the Center for Comparative NeuroImaging (CCNI), University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMass). CCNI is a research laboratory of ~ 3,000 sq-ft building on the main campus. This Center contains a conference room, faculty offices (~ 140 squared feet each), secretary cubicle, shared student rooms, MR laboratory, a wet lab, animal procedure room, and two temporary animal holding rooms, and a small room for mechanical and electronic work.
Animal MR Resources
This Center is equipped with a 4.7-T/40-cm horizontal magnet (Oxford, UK) equipped with a Biospec Bruker console (Bruker, Germany), and a 20-G/cm magnetic field gradient insert (ID = 12 cm) capable of 120-s rise time (Bruker, Germany). This magnet is solely dedicated to research.
Human MR Resources
The Advanced MRI Center in the Radiology Department at UMMS facilitates a new Philip’s 3.0T Achieva Quasar system with a higher order shim function which offers advanced shimming capabilities to obtain improved image quality in field-sensitive applications and techniques such as single-voxel spectroscopy, chemical shift imaging, single-shot EPI and Balanced FFE.
The advanced MRI Center at UMMS has the Achieva 3.0T, which features high performance whole body, non-resonant, self-shielded gradient technology with new amplifiers that deliver high peak and slew rates for the demanding requirements of the latest and emerging clinical imaging techniques. The Quasar Dual gradient system provides industry leading performance specifications for peak strength and slew rate with a dual mode capability that optimizes advanced applications requiring very high peak mode capabilities. This system is equipped with Multi-nuclear spectroscopy (MNS) system which is enabled for 3He and 129Xe MRI acquisition. This system is also equipped with animal RF coils which allow adjustment to inner volumes from 70 mm to 30 mm with a field of view of 40x40 mm and slice thickness of 0.5 mm with achievable 50x50 µm resolution for animal MRI studies.
The registered radiologic technologists with additional certification in magnetic resonance imaging, and the staff radiologists at the Central Massachusetts Magnetic Imaging Center (CMMIC) at UMMS are available for MRI research. MRI researchers have access to the facilities for conducting their studies. The Advanced MRI Center also includes a nurses’ station, two patient holding rooms, two patient changing rooms with lockers, a staff changing room with lockers and a shower, and an animal surgery room with a holding room. In addition, there is a chemistry laboratory, molecular biology laboratory, a biochemistry/cell biology laboratory, and approximately 500 sq ft of office space with 7 high-end personal computers with ethernet connections for access to the internet, a laser printer, a scanner and a high-volume copy machine.
A centralized 37,000 sq. ft. animal facility is designed, equipped and staffed to provide all aspects of contemporary lab animal care. There are 44 small animal rooms, including 2 strict environmental control rooms and 21 rooms.
CCNI itself has three temporary (24-48 hours) holding rooms for rat, cat, and monkey.
In addition to the host computer operating the scanner (HP, from Bruker), CCNI has 2 Sun workstation, 5 SGI Octane, 3 Macintosh Pro and 10 PC’s. Large capacity storage provides immediate access to their data via RAID data storage arrays attached to the CCNI File Server. This expandable RAID storage is configured to a total of 4 terabyte (4TB) hard drives dedicated to the CCNI researchers and its collaborators. All offices and laboratories are networked with switched 10/100 Mb/s TCP/IP communication lines. Some of these computers are in a “common” area where collaborators will have access to them for data analysis and software development.
CCNI has two laboratories (500 sq ft) for general neuroscience and behavioral testing. These labs also have space set aside for histology, physiology, electrophysiology and biochemical assays.
The Clinical Trials Unit is a 2600 sq. ft. ambulatory site located on the 7th floor of the medical school in suite # S7-714. A comfortable and accessible area for study participants, it includes a waiting area, conference room (study initiation, monitor visits and education meetings), four (4) staff offices, four (4) exam rooms and an infusion room with two recliners. Staffed with an experienced, certified clinical research nurse manager, research nurse coordinators and a receptionist/research assistant. The CTU will be available to the PIs for use during their study.