The Bernard and Irene Schwartz Center for Biomedical Imaging of New York University’s Department of Radiology was established in 2003. Its mission is to develop new imaging technologies for the improved medical care of patients. The core technologies being developed include high field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), computed tomography (CT), and quantitative image analysis and modeling. Major areas of research emphasis include neurologic and neurovascular disorders, cardiovascular disease, breast and prostate cancer, pulmonary function and disease, hepatobiliary and renal function and disease, and more. Much of the technical research focuses on development of MR hardware for accelerated imaging at high magnetic field strengths. The center houses a dedicated RF coil laboratory to support this research. With a world-class group of investigators, including onsite collaborators from industry, state-of-the-art imaging technology, substantial federal, commercial, and private supporters, and strong infrastructural support, the CBI is pushing the frontiers of biomedical imaging in ways that directly translate into better health care.
The CBIís director is Daniel K. Sodickson, M.D., Ph.D, who is also Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Radiology. Dr. Sodickson, recent recipient of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicineís highest honor, the Gold Medal, is one of the inventors of parallel MR imaging, a technique that has revolutionized the field of MRI. His current research centers on new approaches to the formation and use of medical images, through basic development and clinical application of rapid volumetric parallel MRI, investigation of new scanner architectures, and noninvasive detection of tissue electromagnetic properties. The CBI represents one facet of the Research Division of the Department of Radiology. The Department as a whole is led by Michael P. Recht, M.D., an internationally recognized musculoskeletal radiologist and the Louis Marx Professor and Chairman of Radiology.
Over 60 researchers and administrative staff are housed in the CBI. Twenty basic science faculty and their research teams have research interests spanning MR hardware, pulse sequence development, image reconstruction, image and data analysis, and clinical application across a broad spectrum of disease. The Center collaborates with faculty across the medical center, including Oncology, Neurology, Psychiatry, Molecular Biology, and Pharmacology, as well as with scientists at the main New York University campus in Chemistry, Physics, and Neural Sciences. Research funding primarily comes from the National Institutes of Health.
Central to the CBI’s mission is a commitment to combining two frequently separated lines of investigation: leading-edge technology development in close collaboration with industry, and clinically focused translational research. This commitment, along with the technology currently housed in the center, positions investigators at the CBI to explore and address key unsolved problems and unmet needs in the field of biomedical imaging. In addition to the individual lines of research pursued by our faculty, collective brainstorming represents a core activity of the center. We are committed to maintaining a culture of collaboration, combining teamwork on the industrial model with a persistent clinical conscience. We believe that it is in such an environment that the scanners and the imaging techniques of the future may best be created.
The CBI is located at 650 and 660 First Avenue, with a total of 24,000 square feet of floor space devoted to the Center at these two locations. At 660 First Avenue, the Center houses three Siemens MR research systems: two 3 Tesla whole-body units (including one with 32 channel TIM technology and another soon to be upgraded to a world-leading complement of 128 channels), and one 32 channel whole-body 7 Tesla human unit.In addition to the research equipment, the CBI was designed to provide space for patient reception and patient care, support staff, image analysis labs, coil and workshop laboratory space, and a conference room.