Major Research Initiative: Biomedical Imaging
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Non-invasive visualization of anatomical and physiological processes of the body plays a vital role in today’s clinical healthcare and basic science research for the detection, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The University of Utah possesses state-of-the-art clinical scanners in MRI, CT, SPECT, PET, and ultrasound, and dedicated instruments for imaging small animals for bioluminescence imaging, CT, ultrasound, and MR imaging. Active imaging research is conducted in close collaboration among the Departments of Bioengineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Physics, and Pharmaceutics & Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Utah Center for Advanced Imaging Research (UCAIR) and Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute (SCI). Areas of research encompass hardware instrumentation (e.g., devices for image-guided therapy, MRI gradient systems), acquisition methodology (MRI angiography, diffusion tensor imaging, CT reconstruction), contrast agent development, image display and image analysis.

Medical and biomedical imaging research is highly interdisciplinary and synergy is naturally found in the areas of Bioelectricity, Computational Medicine and Bioengineering, and Mathematical Medicine and Physiology. For example, image analysis theory is applied to accelerate MR diffusion tensor imaging, which is highly useful for characterizing the structure of ordered tissues such as the brain white matter and myocardium. Advanced display techniques are used to present the multi-dimensional image information. The information in turn is incorporated or used to construct computational anatomical models of the heart for studying its electrophysiology, and biomechanics.