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NSF has just awarded Brown researchers funds to acquire a new 3-Tesla (3T) magnetic resonance (MR) system that will be a cornerstone of a multidisciplinary neuroimaging facility. Faculty, students and staff from the 10 physical and life science departments comprising Brown's Brain Sciences Program (BSP) and other University groups will utilize the new MR system. The facility will, the researchers believe, become a focal point both for established and highly successful interdisciplinary educational programs and research into the mind and brain structure, function, and chemistry, and also for the development of new methods of MR physics, data visualization, and biomedical engineering.

This on-campus 3T MR system is a pivotal BSP infrastructure item for the Brown MRI Research Facility (MRF) and a substantial research and instructional tool for the entire Brown community. The BSP and MRF build on the extensive existing interdisciplinary interactions among faculty and students the physical and life sciences. The 3T MR system will expand our research capabilities, provide unique instructional and training programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral levels, and enhance the development of novel methods to advance this unique technology to study the brain.

Brown has a proven record of collaboration between life scientists and physical/applied scientists. These collaborations provide an opportunity to use an MRI system not simply as yet another tool for studying the localization of brain function, but as a foundation for already planned advanced research in neural coding, connections between cognitive and neural studies of perception, language, and action, movement, complex image analysis, and the graphical presentation of high-dimensional data.

A MRI facility is essential in Brown's ambition to maintain and build on our growing interdisciplinary research and educational programs. The unique collaborations among Brown scientists from different disciplines will let us take MR technology in innovative directions, make significant advances in many research areas related to MR imaging, and train a new generation of multidisciplinary scientists with novel sets of skills.