A Healthier Wisconsin

Magnetoencephalography (MEG) Research Development Program

Establishing an MEG research program at the Medical College of Wisconsin

Full Project Name:Magnetoencephalography (MEG) Research Development ProgramPrincipal Investigator:Colin Humphries, PhD, NeurologyCo-Investigator:Jeffrey R. Binder, MD, NeurologyAward Amount:$694,124
Award Date
Project Duration:36 months

Project Description Narrative:

Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is a technique for non-invasively measuring small changes in magnetic fields produced by electrical activity in the brain. Because of its unique ability to accurately locate neural activity in space and time, MEG is a powerful tool that can be used to address a wide range of neuroscience-based problems.

Thanks to these benefits, MEG has been adopted at some of the leading medical centers in the world in a variety of research and clinical applications. Locally, Froedtert Hospital's MEG scanner is used to evaluate patients in the Medical College of Wisconsin epilepsy and brain tumor programs. However, only a small number of projects have used the facility for research due to several factors, including the unavailability of funds for pilot projects, lack of familiarity with MEG methodology, and a relatively steep learning curve for MEG data analysis.

Through this award, investigators aim to develop an established, self-sustaining MEG research program to expand the community of researchers who can use this resource for solving technical problems and advancing the health of Wisconsin residents.

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:

  • Successfully established MEG Research Program to increase understanding and use of the available local MEG scanner, recruiting necessary staff to begin managing all research being conducted at the MEG scanner, establishing administrative guidelines related to scheduling, billing, safety, and technical training
  • Documented a significant increase in number of hours of research scanning from previous years
  • Developed pilot and sub-award process to support investigator use of MEG for research purposes
  • Documented efforts to educate the MCW research community about MEG, developing tutorials on MEG analysis and experimental design; hosting educational workshops and open houses; and establishing an MEG Users Group to educate investigators about MEG and foster future collaborations
  • Began development of new software to make data analysis from MEG studies easier to conduct
  • Successfully received NIH funding for first grant at MCW to use MEG as a primary measure

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