Advanced, non-invasive human scanning performed in the 7T ultra-high field, whole-body MRI scanner at the AIRC. Current areas of research include brain, breast, muscle, and lipid metabolism, as well as the development of novel methods for high-resolution structural and functional neurological studies.
The Advanced Imaging Research Center (AIRC) was created in September 2005 as a collaborative effort between UT Southwestern, UT Dallas and UT Arlington. The goal was to have a well-equipped imaging facility where scientists, engineers & physicians from the three institutions could collaborate on novel imaging methodologies & technologies for the ultimate benefit of patients. The AIRC is housed in the Bill and Rita Clements Advanced Medical Imaging Building on the north campus of UT Southwestern Medical Center adjacent to the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Currently, there are twenty faculty members with primary appointments to the AIRC and four faculty members with secondary appointments. Our faculty are actively involved in training graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the areas of functional brain imaging (fMRI), high field in vivo NMR spectroscopy, analysis of metabolic pathways in vivo using stable isotope tracers, and the chemistry and physics of novel molecular imaging agents and techniques.
The AIRC is well equipped with modern imaging systems that include whole-body magnets for human experiments (two 3 Tesla and one 7 Tesla scanner), preclinical imaging devices (three small-animal magnets for MRI and MRS, a PET/CT and a SPECT scanner) for imaging radioactive tracers, and three dynamic nuclear polarization systems for generating hyperpolarized nuclei for metabolic imaging. In addition to these tools, we will soon add a cyclotron to the facility to generate new isotopes for animal and human imaging. The AIRC also houses a chemistry lab for development of imaging agents used to visualize cellular functions and to assist researchers in studies of liver function, diabetes, brain diseases, cancer and cardiac conditions.