The Magnetic Resonance Research Center (MRRC)
This center was established in 1985 to develop novel magnetic resonance methods for studies in health and disease. A unique component of the MRRC research program is 13C MRS metabolic imaging to follow the metabolism of substrates in brain, liver, and muscle. Yale has also played a pioneering role in development of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Over 30 NIH funded investigators from 11 Yale departments make extensive use of the MRRC facilities, about half of whom are DERC members conducting diabetes-related research. The MRRC occupies 27,000 square feet of the new TAC building and has a 30 person research staff with extensive experience in the development of MR technology. Major equipment includes a 4T Bruker whole body system for human MRS, a 3T Siemans Trio for fMRI, a 1.5T Siemans Sonata for MRI, fMRI, and MRS, 11.7T, 9.4T and 4.7T horizontal small animal systems, a 500 and 600 MHz vertical MRS system for protein structure and biochemical analysis. These systems have state-of-the-art electronics and are capable of performing the full range of MRS and MRI sequences, including 13C, 31P, and 1H MRS, spectral editing, short echo acquisition, and 3/4D spectroscopic imaging. A 7 Tesla magnet has recently been purchased and will shortly be available for human research in diabetes.
The MRRC is fully equipped for patient studies, including a waiting area, interview room, changing rooms, showers, and two fully equipped patient research beds. There has been a steady increase patient-based research protocols using either fMRI or MRS and a rapidly growing list of investigators who incorporate MRI or MRS into their protocols. Funding of the CTSA provides DERC investigators with the opportunity to obtain assistance in designing protocols and performing MRI/MRS studies as well as providing pilot support for initiatives in diabetes.