UNC to house 7T MR, cyclotron in new $260M imaging facility

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A new facility with the latest radiographic equipment will help researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill to better understand the exact events inside the body that lead to disease, and track how new treatments work, due to a $260 million state-funded investment.

Site preparation is under way for the seven-story, 343,000-square-foot Imaging Research Center, which will house the Biomedical Research Imaging Center (BRIC), research labs and a consortium and facility designed to support and advance biomedical imaging.

Among the advanced equipment the new facility will add are a 7Tesla MR scanner and a cyclotron that will enable UNC investigators to create short-life radioisotopes on site for the first time.

The cyclotron will allow researchers to make greater use of PET in studying the mechanisms at work in Alzheimer's disease, cancer, cerebrovascular disease, ischemic stroke and others diseases.

The new building will also advance BRIC’s goal to become a central resource for researchers across North Carolina to make the acquisition, processing, analysis, storage and retrieval of images more standardized and systematic.

The state General Assembly provided funding for the project, which should be completed by the end of 2012.