The University of Illinois at Chicago unveiled today the world’s most powerful magnetic resonance imaging machine for human studies, capable of imaging not just the anatomy but metabolism within the brain.
This advanced technology ushers in a new age of metabolic imaging that will help researchers understand the workings of the human brain, detect diseases before their clinical signs appear, develop targeted drug therapies for illnesses like stroke and provide a better understanding of learning disabilities.
Central to the technology is a 9.4-tesla magnet, larger than any other human-sized magnet, built by GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Company. A tesla is a large measuring unit of magnetic strength. “This technological leap forward is as revolutionary to the medical community as the transition from radio to television was for society,” said Dr. Keith Thulborn, director of the UIC Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, at the facility’s grand opening today. “GE’s magnet is introducing a whole new dimension to imaging by enabling researchers to better understand how the human brain thinks, learns, fights disease and responds to experimental therapies.”
“UIC’s new Center for Magnetic Resonance Research featuring GE’s 9.4-tesla magnet will be a premier international center for human brain research,” Thulborn said. “What we learn here in Chicago will be shared with researchers and physicians around the world.”