New MRI Scanner Offers More Research Possibilities for Alabama

By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Micah Ward

A new MRI scanner purchased for the University of Alabama gives researchers the opportunity to further advance their capabilities of studying the human brain.

With a price tag of $1.7 million, the state-of-the-art MRI scanner was a grant from the National Science Foundation.

The scanner will help UA make strides in neuroscience research.

“The University of Alabama is recognized as a top-tier research institution, and we have a growing concentration of neuroimaging and neuroscience researchers at UA,” said Dr. Russell J. Mumper, vice president for research and economic development.

The University Medical Center plans to house the MRI and support services with the new UA MRI Center.

The grant also allowed UA to purchase an MRI compatible eye-tracker and a participant response system.

What makes this system so advanced is its ability to offer multichannel imaging, parallel transmit technology, and selective excitation that will allow investigators to shape the radio frequency pulse to specific anatomical regions for higher image quality and faster scan times.

Dr. Sharlene Newman, Alabama Life Research Institute executive director and co-lead of the NSF grant, said the research will help benefit our society as a whole.

“The research enabled through this MRI facility will boost our understanding of the neuroscience of learning and neurodegenerative diseases, bringing benefits to our entire state as well as the broader society.”

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