UC Irvine launches human brain research center

University of California, Irvine’s Campus Center for Neuroimaging recently opened a new research center, named FIBRE or Facility for Imaging & Brain Research, that aims to study the human brain. FIBRE is designed to suit a wide range of basic and translational research programs by researchers across the UC, Irvine campus and beyond.

Headed by Craig Stark, director of FIBRE and professor of the department of neurobiology and behavior at UC, Irvine, the facility will be studying a variety of brain-related topics, including cognition, dementia, the effects of radiation, depression, schizophrenia and autism.

The research facility will house a $3 million Siemens Prisma 3T MRI scanner capable of high spatial and temporal resolution.

“The Prisma scanner is the outcome of a tremendous effort by both Siemens and the National Institutes of Health to develop an MRI machine that is a generation above the current technology,” the FIBRE website noted. “This was done in the service of the Human Connectome Project that has now laid out specifications for 'connectome-ready' scanners that can provide far greater resolution and detail when mapping connectivity within the human brain.”

Aside from the newly-introduced FIBRE, the Campus Center for Neuroimaging also comprises the Neuroscience Imaging Center, which has a variety of team members including physicians, physicists, biomedical engineers, psychologists and computer programmers who look to make advances in brain imaging methodology.