Translating Hyperpolarized MRI and MR Guided Focused Ultrasound

The University of Maryland School of Medicine's Center for Advanced Imaging Research (CAIR) was created in 2018 to consolidate major research resources in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine. The goal of CAIR is to employ cutting edge imaging equipment to advance the field of biomedicine.

CAIR focuses on developing and using state-of-the-art imaging methods such as advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron-emission tomography (PET), and focused ultrasound. These techniques are used in innovative ways to help scientists understand disease processes and advance diagnostic imaging, with the ultimate goal of improving treatment to patients in the clinical setting. CAIR researchers are using imaging to explore Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injury, brain cancer, and prostate cancer, to name a few. CAIR is also home to one of twenty-one national sites of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study.

Center for Metabolic Imaging & Therapeutics (CMIT)

The Center for Metabolic Imaging & Therapeutics (CMIT), formed in 2014, is the result of a joint collaboration between the University of Maryland Medical Center, the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Department of Diagnostic Radiology & Nuclear Medicine to facilitate and promote multi-disciplinary collaborations to translate novel imaging technologies to the clinic.

The focus of CMIT is on two major technologies, the first, metabolic imaging using Dynamic Nuclear Polarization, obtains real-time information on metabolism, and the second technology relates to therapeutics using MRI- guided focused ultrasound for neuro-interventions.

The center is powered by a state-of-the-art GE 750W 3T Discovery MRI system, a GE SpinLab that is fully automated and can polarize up to 4 samples operating at 5Tesla and 0.8-1oK, a Bruker 3.0 Tesla small animal system, and two Neuro ExAblate focused ultrasound systems from Insightec for neuro interventions operating at 670kHz and 220 kHz each.

Several metabolic imaging projects, led by Dr,. Dirk Mayer are underway on various topics to understand various metabolic pathways in multiple cancers, traumatic brain injury, and liver disease.

Multiple projects on MR- guided focused ultrasound are also underway, with our investigators making significant contributions that have led to the approval by the FDA to treat essential tremors; these tremors are now being treated clinically. Other projects that are being conducted as clinical trials include the treatment of Parkinson's disease led by Dr. Howard Eisenberg and Dr. Paul Fishman and neuropathic pain led by Dr. Dheeraj Gandhi. Dr. Graeme Woodworth from the Department of Neurosurgery is also the lead investigator on two major clinical trials involving blood brain barrier opening using this technology.

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