Skip to main content

The Center for Animal MRI (CAMRI) at the Biomedical Research Imaging Center (BRIC), led by Ian Shih, PhD, received two National Institutes of Health grants totaling $2.6 million for a new MRI instrument and to upgrade an existing MRI system.

Animal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) research at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill has been supported by a single Bruker Biospec 9.4T/30cm animal MRI system, which has been widely utilized by 96 investigators in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, with the majority of the research projects focusing on the brain.

Despite the center’s efforts to upgrade the system hardware over the past few years, the scanner console of this Bruker system is now 14 years old and at the “end of life.”

This year, the Center for Animal MRI, directed by Ian Shih, PhD, received two grants from the National Institutes of Health to upgrade the UNC School of Medicine’s animal MRI research capabilities. The first $2 million grant is to purchase a new 9.4T MRI scanner, and the second $600,000 grant is to upgrade the current Bruker 9.4T MRI system.

This new instrument and updated older machine will allow UNC School of Medicine researchers to conduct more advanced imaging research.

Both 9.4T MRI systems will continue to be managed by an experienced team of researchers with technical expertise and a track record of operating this system for research.

“These NIH grants will improve our imaging capacity and extend the lifetime of extremely well-utilized imaging equipment at UNC, afford users the opportunity to pursue new cutting-edge methods of acquiring MRI data, and advance our journey towards understanding the anatomical and functional architectures in vivo using experimental animal models,” said Shih, who is also an associate professor in the UNC Department of Neurology.