Northeastern Ohio Animal Imaging Resource Center- NOAIRC

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): We propose to form the Northeastern Ohio Animal Imaging Resource Center (NOAIRC) to provide the many regional cancer researchers with state-of-the-art small animal, molecular and cellular imaging facilities and expertise. Systems will include a combined micro-X-ray computed tomography/SPECT system, a clinical SPECT system with pin-hole collimators, a high resolution micro-PET system, and 7T and 9.4T small animal MR imaging and spectroscopy systems. All are already on-site or ordered from recent grant awards and institutional sources. With an SAIRP award, we will acquire a bioluminescence/fluorescence imaging system to facilitate reporter gene methods and new opportunities in novel agents (e.g., quantum dots). We will also create small animal optical coherence tomography with color Doppler and microscopic OCT to promote in vivo spectroscopic methods and high spatial and temporal analysis of structure and function (e.g., perfusion).
Interdisciplinary backing for this project is unprecedented with financial and other commitments from three schools of Case Western Reserve University (Medicine, Engineering, Arts & Sciences), the University Hospitals of Cleveland, the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the State of Ohio. In addition to core resources via nuclear imaging, MR imaging and spectroscopy, bioluminescence/fluorescence, and OCT, the NOAIRC will also provide an integrated environment with core facilities in quantitative image analysis and visualization, animal welfare/experiment preparation and novel imaging agents like functionalized liposomes or CEST agents. This latter core integrates with our radionuclide imaging capabilities, our ongoing biomolecular and nanoscale engineering for targeted therapeutics initiative, ongoing research in reporter genes, and a P20 In-vivo and Molecular Imaging Center planning grant to add strategic strength in molecular imaging. All of these will be within a single facility to promote cross-collaboration and interdisciplinary research.
This proposal brings together researchers in imaging with the many regional scientists who are studying cancer biology via small animal models and rapidly gaining an appreciation of the power of in vivo imaging. We aim to advance small animal imaging technology by developing new image acquisition and analysis methods, new methods in reporter genes and functionalized agents, and pharmacokinetic modeling. We will apply developments to experiments in cancer biology and therapy. Animal welfare/preparation research will focus on analysis of physiologic effects of anesthesia and developing new formulations that maintain the physiology to be measured, while providing state-of-the-art methods for blood sampling and monitoring. The NOAIRC will include a strong educational focus to create a long-range impact. It will invigorate strong Ph.D. programs in imaging already at Case. It will strengthen educational programs for basic and clinical scientists in cancer via integration with existing T32 and K12 grants and promote new horizons via K25 proposals. The result will be clinicians, scientists, and engineers trained for the next generation of conventional and molecular imaging techniques.
Effective start/end date9/1/048/31/07


  • National Cancer Institute: $664,918.00
  • National Cancer Institute: $1,113,901.00
  • National Cancer Institute: $680,920.00


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