At the Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute (TMII), our main research goal is to employ cutting-edge imaging technology to visualize the brain in unprecedented details and through new filters.
Mount Sinai is one of the few institutions that has invested in the Tesla human MRI scanner that produces high-resolution images to better study the biochemical and structural changes associated with disease. This scanner helps to reveal early detection of neurological abnormalities so that we can choose the best course of action in terms of therapy or surgery.
Our team focuses on finding creative engineering solutions so that we can capitalize on the advantages and get one-step closer to unraveling the mystery of the human brain. We focus on research and development of imaging methods for studies in neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease.
We are also involved with other studies of brain function affected by cardiovascular issues that can affect brain functions such as ability to learn and retain information.
Although we mainly use functional imaging, such as resting state fMRI and diffusion tensor imaging, our team has developed novel software tools such as tractography. We are gaining a better understanding as to the structure and functional relationship of the tissue within the spinal cord for neurological clinical applications.
Advanced Neuroimaging Research Program
Over the last three decades, there has been unprecedented progress in the study of the brain. State-of-the-art brain imaging has allowed a first-time glimpse into the structure, functioning, and connectivity of the human and brain in both healthy and disease states.
The Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute (TMII) and the Friedman Brain Institute are working to accelerate use of these cutting-edge imaging tools to further research into brain activity. One of these tools, the Advanced Neuroimaging Research Program (ANRP) focuses on developing novel imaging technologies to diagnose and treat, a wide range of conditions, including epilepsy, brain tumors, psychiatric illnesses, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injury. Current areas of research and clinical focus include:
- Better MR methods for imaging brain stem and spinal cord at ultra-high field
- Development of diffusion weighted imaging (DWI), in particular, high-resolution DWI
- Fast and reliable MR techniques for functional and structural assessment of spinal cord and optic nerve
- Image analysis software approaches to integrate functional and structural connectivity using DTI, DSI, and fMRI. Development and application of advanced neuroimaging and functional MRI (fMRI) techniques towards the study of healthy and pathological brain function
- The in vivo characterization of neurobiological processes and the development of clinical neuroimaging biomarkers of neuropsychiatric disease using a collaborative approach
- RF pulse and pulse sequence design as well as specialized hardware solutions such as parallel transmission. Ultrahigh field (7 Tesla) multi-modal technical development and application to neurological diseases such as epilepsy, brain tumors, and psychiatric illnesses
- 7T parallel transmit body coil development and testing
Clinical Areas of Focus:
- Development of imaging methods and techniques to better guide neurosurgical resection of brain tumors, for applications in neurological disorders and the study of neuropsychiatric diseases.
- Imaging to reveal the neurobiology of depression
- Improved localization of epileptogenic foci to aid in epilepsy treatment and surgical planning
- Planning deep brain stimulation surgery to treat conditions such as Parkinson's disease, dystonia, and depression.
Areas of established or evolving strength in research platforms:
- Imaging to identify the brain/heart connection
- Imaging to reveal disease mechanisms and biomarkers
- Multimodal neuroimaging (structural, functional and spectroscopic
- Neuroimaging for surgical guidance
- RF pulse and pulse sequence development
- Spine Imaging
- Ultrahigh field neuroimaging
We envision a growing number of ANRP-affiliated laboratories, spanning multiple departments in the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, with shared interests that cross both departmental and institutional lines. The availability of established and expertly supported modalities for high-resolution brain imaging across research areas of interest will provide reliable, relatable information about brain morphology, function, and microstructure, as well as information about resting-based and task-based functional connectivity in healthy brains and brains affected by disease.