Program leaders: Dick Veltman, Liesbeth Reneman
Taskforce team: Bart van Berckel, Fleur van Rootselaar
Rationale and common goals
Brain imaging aims to provide an excellent research infrastructure by optimizing the available scanners and analysis platforms, that are both demand-driven and top-down, also for shared presentation to industry. This includes a full integration of research and teaching facilities, by construction of a cross-departmental interactive platform of PIs, cross-fertilization via a ‘Talent House’ for learning and innovation (joint educational programs, master students and PhDs), exchange of PIs for PhD guidance, shared fund-raising and resource utilization, setting up a common imaging databank and computing facilities, and integration of genetic/biomarker data.
Assets: high end infrastructure
The brain-imaging program has an extensive infrastructure including all available imaging modalities for cellular imaging (including fluorescence microscopy, electron microscopy, flow cytometry as part of the core facility cellular Imaging), magnetic resonance imaging (including 7T MR as part of the Spinoza Center in Amsterdam), nuclear imaging techniques (including PET/MRI at VUmc campus), magneto-electro-encephalography (MEG at the VUmc campus), and optical imaging (at the VUmc campus. This high end infrastructure comes with advanced expertise to support data acquisition, data management, development of advanced data and statistical analysis tools, and ultimately the incorporation of these advanced technologies into translation (e.g., through Institute Quantivision, EATRIS). We provide services to other fields of medicine too, but the brain remains the main focus, at least for modalities such as MEG and high-field MRI.
Improved profiling in human brain studies is provided by [a] fully translational brain imaging capacities (enhance weak points like micro PET/SPECT/MRI) from bench to bedside; [b] multi-modal imaging capacities (improve new technologies: high-field MRI, PET-MRI, OCT, in addition to experimental modulations such as DBS, rTMS, ECT, MRS, TDCS, realtime fMRI/EEG and improve close integration with physics and mathematics for receptor mapping, pharmaco-fMRI and network analysis); [c] minimally invasive programs suitable for ‘personalized medicine’ and drug-targeting strategies (focus on network analysis, defining new physiological parameters such as pharmaco-fMRI and other inventive receptor imaging strategies, neurofeedback, real time fMRI/EEG).
Making the difference?
Brain imaging wishes to leverage the fully translational brain-imaging program, which focuses on multi-modal imaging and minimally invasive brain imaging techniques suitable for drug targeting strategies and individualization of treatment strategies. This is the available expertise of participating PIs and how we can make a difference compared to other large, more technology driven brain imaging facilities worldwide.