Magnetic Resonance (MR) overcomes the
limitations of imaging methods such as CT and
x-ray imaging that are based solely on the measurement
of attenuation of x-rays as they pass through
tissues, which only provide gray scale structural
images of the body. MRI has multidimensional
capabilities that are ever expanding. For example,
in addition to providing gray scale anatomic
images, MRI allows scientists to
measure the speed of blood flowing through an
- Observe the rate and direction of
diffusion of water molecules through brain tissue,
- Measure the concentration of tissue metabolites
- Monitor brain function during the
performance of a specific task.
These exciting new
methods are allowing scientists to non-invasively
probe the inner workings of the human body in
more detail than was ever possible before.
Moreover, the potential for future growth in the
capabilities of MRI and the beneficial effects on
science and medicine is seemingly endless.
The University of Washington Magnetic
Resonance Research Laboratory has been
providing access to state-of-the-art MR systems
and technical expertise for more than a decade to
scientists throughout the UW campus and has
on-going research collaborations with many other
scientific centers throughout the world. It serves
as a major site for medical research, for the
development of new technology, and for teaching.
The laboratory is comprised of more than 25
research personnel that include physicists,
physicians, biochemists, bioengineers, research
technicians, and senior research fellows. In
addition, it supports projects with affiliate
researchers from more than 15 departments across
the university campus including the departments
of bioengineering, education, music, neurology,
neurosurgery, psychiatry, psychology, rehabilitation
medicine, and speech and hearing sciences.
The laboratory continues to extend collaboration
and support to aid in research throughout the UW
Medicine community and throughout the world in
order to increase scientific understanding and to
promote the quality of health care. The RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS
page highlights but a few of the more than 100
on-going projects currently supported in the MR
The MR laboratory is now equiped with a more powerful 3T MR systems.
A new Integrated Brain
Imaging Research Center (IBIC) is being created
to centralize efforts in multidisciplinary neuroscience
research. Interest in MR-based molecular
imaging research is also growing as novel methods
for imaging disease and for assessing response to
experimental therapies are devised. These are but
a few of the many research applications of MR that
are currently being pursued in the laboratory.
In all, the future of MR technology is very bright.
It promises to contribute revolutionary advances
in medical science areas as yet unimagined. The
University of Washington Magnetic Resonance
Research Laboratory will continue to contribute
to this forward progress.
Ken Maravilla, MD
The research projects supported by the MR Research
Laboratory are funded by a variety of public and
private institutions. The figure below illustrates the
categories and percentage of support from all sponsors.
- National Institutes of Health (NIH): 90%
- Research Royalty Fund (RRF): 0.3%
- Private Institutes and Foundations: 9%
- Other Government Sources (e.g. NASA, NSF): 0.7%
Total Funding for All Projects Conducting MR Research: $45,329,271