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Programs & Resources

M D Anderson Cancer Center

Southwest Small Animal Imaging Resource
John D. Hazle, Ph.D. and Juri Gelovani, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Texas M D Anderson Cancer Center

Grant Number: U24CA126577

Small Animal Imaging Facility

This proposal will establish a Small Animal Imaging Research Program (SAIRP) at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. The proposed SAIRP will complement the existing institutional facility that provides small animal imaging services to NIH funded investigators. The broad goal of this SAIRP is to develop novel imaging approaches to solve cancer related biological questions and evaluate new cancer therapies. Furthermore, the proposed SAIRP will actively develop new small animal imaging projects via collaborations with NIH funded investigators who have not used small animal imaging as a part of their research in the past. The lack of specific funding to introduce animal imaging into these research projects is a serious limitation for inclusion of small animal imaging technologies into their research. Thus, additional funds are requested through the current application to conduct several pilot studies that are aimed at producing convincing preliminary results sufficient for justification of additional funding by the PIs of corresponding projects through their original granting agencies.

The SAIRP is organized into three technology development programs (Instrumentation, Conventional Imaging and Molecular Imaging), seven cores (Instrumentation, Probes & Tracers, Animal Support, Histopathology & Molecular Biology, Computational, Biostatistics, and Administration), and an educational program. The programs work to address the issues of new instrumentation, developing new projects using conventional imaging techniques, and developing new projects using molecular imaging techniques. The cores provide the infrastructure to these programs. Existing imaging modalities include magnetic resonance (MR), x-ray computed tomography, singlephoton nuclear and positron emission tomography (PET). We will add two new optical imaging instruments (Diffuse Optical Tomography and a combined optical/x-ray/gamma scintigraphy device) as our new modality (optical) in Year 1. We will also focus on combining conventional morphologic and physiologic images from the Conventional Imaging Program with metabolic, genetic, and cellular imaging from the Molecular Imaging program through computational processes and refined imaging database. This will allow us to use the most comprehensive and complete imaging datasets for solving the biological questions posed in the Base Grants and New Imaging Projects.