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Radiology Investigators Awarded $300K in Coulter Funding

Posted on Mar 19, 2009

We are pleased to announce that Department of Radiology investigators were very successful in the recent Coulter Foundation competition for translational research, securing more than $300,000 in grant funding to pursue research involving imaging and image-guided therapy. The goal of the Coulter Foundation projects are to support translational research carried out by teams of engineers and clinical scientists working in collaboration to bring discoveries from the "bench" to the "bedside". The program is unique in the sense that proposals are judged not only on scientific merit, but also based upon the likelihood that the inventions can be brought to market to benefit human health. While we want to recognize the specific investigators and their collaborators, we also want to stress that many of our technologist and nursing staff have contributed significantly to the success of these research teams by virtue of their contributions to our clinical research efforts. These projects would not be possible without the dedication and commitment of our clinical staff to translate research into clinical practice to benefit our patients.

Please join us in congratulating these research teams on their success! The three proposals set to receive 1 year grants from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation this year include:

HYPERFLOW Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)

Professors Patrick Turski and Charles Mistretta received a 1 year grant totaling $100,000 from the UW Coulter Translational Research Partnership to further develop HYPR-Flow Functional MRA. Functional MRA is a family of MRA methods that visualize the vascular structures of the brain using two innovations developed by the UW MR research group (VIPR and HYPR) The fMRA techniques have benefits over current methods in that they cover the entire brain, provide subsecond temporal information, high spatial resolution and cardiac gated flow dynamics in very short scan times. It is a major advance in the evaluation of patients with atherosclerotic disease, brain aneurysms and vascular malformations, which are the leading causes of non hemorrhagic and hemorrhagic stoke in the USA. Collaborators include Yijing Wu PhD, Wally Block PhD, Oliver Wieben PhD, Howard Rowley MD, Richard Bruce MD, Charles Strother MD, Bev Aargaard Kienitz MD and David Niemann MD.

A Closed Loop Neural Activity Triggered Stroke Rehabilitation Device

Vivek Prabhakaran MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Neuroradiology and Justin Williams PhD, Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering received a 1 year grant from the Coulter Foundation totaling $100,000 for the proposal “A Closed Loop Neural Activity Triggered Stroke Rehabilitation Device”. This project proposes to develop a closed-loop neurological feedback device that can be utilized during stroke rehabilitation. The device will consist of three components; 1) an EEG sensor system for detecting real-time volitional command signals from motor cortex, 2) a functional electrical stimulation (FES) component for activating muscle contraction in the affected limb, and 3) a sensory stimulation module (i.e., tongue stimulation display) to provide sensory feedback and increase the general excitability of the afflicted sensory-motor system through latent intact neural pathways. It is proposed that this device would be used during post-stroke rehabilitation procedures (i.e., physical therapy sessions) and would reduce the duration of rehabilitation and increase the level of recovery. As an adjunct to the device, we will also develop fMRI imaging protocols for post-stroke patient screening and rehabilitation planning. Main collaborators include Mitchell Tyler, MS, Justin Sattin, MD, Dorothy Farrar Edwards, PhD.

Targeted, accelerated MR spectroscopic imaging to treatment planning to maximize neural function in stroke patients

Professors Sean Fain, Josh Medow and Dr. Krishna Kurpad received a 1 year grant totaling $100,000 from the UW Coulter Translational Research Partnership to develop novel rf-coil technology for MR imaging of sodium in stroke assessment. Sodium MRI holds the promise of determining the time since onset of stroke so that treatments can be more effective. The technology uses novel methods for controlling the rf excitation that allows localized excitation of both sodium and proton nuclei for comparing more conventional diffusion and perfusion imaging to the sodium MRI. More generally, the technology has the potential to make quantitative multi-spectral MRI more practical for a range of functional measures in the brain and other tissues. Collaborators include Howard Rowley, MD.



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