UCI's Brain Imaging Center chosen to help advance nation's Roadmap for Medical Research

Irvine, Calif., Oct. 5, 2004 -- With two new grants totaling $2.7 million, the Brain Imaging Center at UC Irvine's College of Medicine will be working with the National Institutes of Health to help advance the federal agency's ambitious "Roadmap for Medical Research" program.

The NIH Roadmap is a series of far-reaching initiatives designed to transform the nation's medical research capabilities and speed the movement of research discoveries from the bench to the bedside. UCI's Brain Imaging Center was chosen to help that effort with funding to participate in the National Alliance for Medical Imaging Computing effort and to establish the Transdisciplinary Imaging Genetics Center at UCI. Each grant provides funding for three years.

"We are so pleased to have the opportunity to combine the efforts of experts from several fields to tackle the mysteries of illnesses such as schizophrenia," said Dr. Steven G. Potkin, professor of psychiatry and the Robert R. Sprague Director of the Brain Imaging Center. "Working with experts from the U.S. and Canada, we will combine the most sophisticated brain imaging techniques and analysis methods."

As part of National Alliance for Medical Imaging Computing (NAMIC), a federally funded consortium, involving Harvard, Dartmouth, MIT, Georgia Tech, University of Utah, University of North Carolina, UCLA, UC San Diego and the University of Toronto, Potkin will lead a UCI research team using the combined power of fMRI, PET and DTI imaging techniques to reveal abnormal brain networks in schizophrenia. These new methods will allow researchers to simultaneously measure the structure, function and connections between important brain areas. The study's goal is to identify the underlying biology of schizophrenia, in order to understand the origins of this brain disease, and develop more effective treatments.

Schizophrenia effects 1 percent of the population worldwide and is a devastating illness that strikes just pe

Contact: Tom Vasich
University of California - Irvine

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