NIH showers 2006 grants on radiology research

September 7, 2006

Imaging research centers across the U.S. will get more than half of nearly $22 million earmarked by the National Institutes of Health this year for grants to fund cutting-edge biomedical research equipment purchases.

Imaging research centers across the U.S. will get more than half of nearly $22 million earmarked by the National Institutes of Health this year for grants to fund cutting-edge biomedical research equipment purchases.

The NIH's National Center for Research Resources began the High-End Instrumentation (HEI) program in 2002. The HEI allows research institutions to acquire equipment costing between $750,000 and $2 million. It complements the NCRR's long-standing Shared Instrumentation Grant program supporting the purchase of equipment in the $100,000 to $500,000 price range.

The HEI program provides numerous investigators access to equipment that is essential to advance their research projects. It often benefits entire research communities as well, said Dr. Barbara M. Alving, NCRR's acting director.

"These awards spur the kind of scientific discoveries necessary for the development of treatments for a broad spectrum of diseases," Alving said.

The NCRR announced in August it will provide $21.5 million during the 2006 fiscal year for 14 HEI grants. Awardees include the following diagnostic imaging research centers:

  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston: $938,175. Beth Israel's grant will support the purchase of a PET/SPECT/CT scanner for cancer research.

  • Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston: two grants worth $1,510,934 and $2 million. One of MGH's grants will be used to buy a high-performance supercomputer for postprocessing of MRI data from neuroimaging studies of Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and schizophrenia. The other will be used for a 15T ultrahigh-field horizontal MR microscope for small-animal imaging studies of cardiac conditions, diabetes, and tissue engineering and other research projects.

  • University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia: $2 million. This grant money will get Penn a whole-body 7T MR system to study neurodegenerative and metabolic disorders. It will also be used for detecting cancer and monitoring treatment and to develop new diagnostic techniques for cardiovascular disease.

  • University of Utah, Salt Lake City: $1,709,320. The grant will buy the university a high-field small-animal MR scanner to enable studies of breast cancer, carotid artery disease, and other conditions.

  • Yale University, New Haven: $2 million. Yale's grant will support the purchase of a 7T MR system for ultrahigh-resolution studies of diabetes, epilepsy, psychiatric disease, and learning disorders in human subjects.

The HEI provides a one-year nonrenewable award for the purchase of one major equipment item per application. The program may fund three or more investigators per institution needing instrumentation such as biomedical imaging equipment, NMR mass spectrometers, electron microscopes, or supercomputers.

The NCRR does not require matching funds but expects applicants to provide adequate support for the infrastructure associated to their purchase.

For more information from the Diagnostic Imaging archives:

Biomedical research in Oregon gets boost from 12T MR scanner

Focused ultrasound ablation goes after brain tumors

Multiple factors foster first-rate radiology research