The Biomedical Research Imaging Center was established under the recommendation of a Task Force convened by the Provost of UNC-Chapel Hill and the Dean of the School of Medicine. The Center was planned with dual missions: To serve the imaging needs of the researchers of the University, and to advance the rapidly developing science of biomedical imaging.
Increasing numbers of researchers in Schools and Colleges at UNC-Chapel Hill investigate biological processes in humans and animals in order to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases. Their efforts will be enhanced by new and expanded bioimaging research capabilities. The UNC BRIC will focus on assisting these efforts:
- Through the imaging of animal models, UNC-Chapel Hill researchers will improve understanding of the pathophysiology of disease, will determine the effects of specific genetic alterations on disease development and progression, and will assess the efficacy of potential therapeutic agents.
- Through centralized and improved imaging facilities, UNC-Chapel Hill researchers will study the basic fundamentals of cell function and development, assess the effects of agents (microbes, pathogens and toxins) on cell and tissue function, and translate molecular biologic and biochemical knowledge into better understanding of disease.
- Through increased image analysis, processing and handling capabilities, UNC-Chapel Hill researchers will improve in vivo visualization and measurement of anatomy, physiology, and disease processes. Image analysis will advance measurement and assessment of disease status and create tools for enhanced therapeutic interventions. Capabilities will include image fusion and registration, segmentation of structures of interest, quantitative analysis of shape and structure, and interactive visualization.
- Through investigations in the science of biomedical imaging, UNC-Chapel Hill researchers will conceive and build new machines for in vivo and in vitro study, detection and diagnosis of disease, assess the diagnostic accuracy of these new technologies in human populations, and measure the effects of new technologies on health-care system and patient-centered measures, including cost effectiveness and quality of life.
- Through imaging of human research subjects, UNC-Chapel Hill researchers will elucidate the structure and function of normal organs and their interrelationships, and describe the disruptions of structure and function that cause human suffering, disease and death.
These goals for UNC BRIC apply across a broad spectrum of academic disciplines, including biology, bioinformatics, biomedical engineering, cardiology, cellular and developmental biology, chemistry, computer sciences, dentistry, gastroenterology, genetics, molecular physiology, neurology, neuroscience, nursing, oncology, pathology, pharmacology, physics, psychiatry, psychology, public health, radiology, rheumatology, and others.
The facilities and equipment provided in the BRIC will allow UNC researchers to apply imaging tools to their study targets, from cells to humans.