Neuroimaging Research Program

Establishing a Neuroscience Translational Research Initiative at the Medical College of Wisconsin

Full Project Name:Description of the Neuroimaging Research Program-Neuroscience Translational Research Initiative (NTRI)Principal Investigator:Dennis J. Maiman, MD, PhD, NeurosurgeryCo-Investigator:Shi-Jang Li, PhD, Biophysics, Psychiatry and Behavioral MedicineAward Amount:749,995
Award Date
March2011
Project Duration:72 months

Project Description Narrative:


In recent years, rapid evolution of imaging science has made it possible to distinguish pathological processes in unique ways, such as the increasing ability to understand normal physiological mechanisms within the nervous system using increasingly sophisticated digital imaging techniques. Ultimately, these advances in medical imaging will improve long-term outcomes for patients suffering from neurological disease and injury. Through this award, the Medical College of Wisconsin will establish a translational research program that will employ a wide spectrum of imaging techniques and allow for the study of patients with given pathologies, evaluation of the evolution of their disorders, and the development of techniques the will allow clinicians to begin therapies much earlier and improve quality of life for the health of patients in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:


• Established collaboration between the MCW Department of Neurosurgery, the Neuroscience Research Center, and the Center for Imaging Research to develop the program and successfully recruit additional faculty research members to add to the technical expertise in the area

• Awarded grants to program investigators for development of a range of new imaging techniques resulting in new knowledge that was disseminated across numerous publications and presentations, including the identification of a biomarker for lower back pain, modifications of MRI techniques for those with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, and a rapid technique for MRI scanning of critically ill patients with spinal cord injury

• Successfully utilized research findings to obtain extraumural funding for continuation of research in select topics

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