The mission of the Biomedical Imaging Program at the BWH Brigham Research Institute (BRI) is to build bridges between imaging scientists, and basic researchers, and translational researchers.
Over the past 100 years, the field of biomedical imaging has developed from Roentgen’s original discovery of the X-ray, to the imaging tools of today such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computed Tomography (CT), Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Ultrasound (US). The benefits of using these sophisticated non-invasive imaging tools are already evident: more individualized, accurate and timely diagnosis, staging and monitoring of cancer has translated into improved patient care.
Biomedical imaging provides exquisite, unprecedented anatomical detail and functional information useful for studying regional structure and function and displaying molecular targets. There has been a growing demand for imaging studies to be a component of clinical trials, drug development, and device improvement. The scientific communities in Brigham radiology are striving to optimize existing imaging technologies and develop new ones. Major new areas of research and development are molecular, functional and cellular imaging, along with image guided interventions and procedures. New information technology and image processing, analysis, fusion/integration capabilities are critical to these efforts to improve the ability of imaging tests to detect and guide treatment of disease.
These and other new imaging techniques will not only enhance our ability to accurately diagnose and recognize disease but they will also allow us to understand the molecular mechanisms of cancer and its treatment, with imaging to monitor response to therapy. We have developed new non-invasive tissue ablation methods; know as MR guided Focused ultrasound (MRgFUS). This approach is currently being used to treat uterine fibroids and in trials for bone metastases and brain tumors. The image guided therapy program in now a national center funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and involves a broad range of physician, computer scientists, bioengineers and physicists. In collaboration with General Electric and others, we are working to establish the new image guided therapy facility or the Advanced Multi-modal Image Guided Operating room (AMIGO) which will integrate all the imaging modalities into a 4-room operating/interventional suite.
With the continued support and guidance of our Core Members and Working Group Members bridges between imaging scientists, and basic and translational researchers are being built.