Welcome to The Experimental Imaging Centre

About Us

We aim to provide state of the art imaging modalities to the research community, and to facilitate the translation of imaging technology into the clinic.

The Experimental Imaging Centre (EIC) was established in March 2002 to serve as a critical resource in the development of multidisciplinary research programs using high-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) based in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary.  The development of the EIC involved a new partnership between the Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary and the Institute for Biodiagnostics of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC/IBD).  A satellite of the Institute for Biodiagnostics (IBD-West) was established to meld the strengths of the NRC in the theory and practise of imaging with the expertise of researchers and clinical scientists in the Faculty of Medicine, who are at the leading edge of using MR imaging technology in biomedical research. The development of the EIC was scheduled to occur in two phases.  The first phase involved the establishment of an interim facility in the basement of the Health Sciences Centre to house Canada’s first 9.4 Tesla magnet (20 cm bore),  a surgical and animal preparation area, an electronics workshop and a data analysis laboratory along with space to house 10 NRC scientific personnel within NRC/IBD (West).  The pivotal feature of the EIC is the 9.4 Tesla magnet, designed to give researchers MR images of near-cellular resolution in animals. The Centre provides opportunities to study animal models of diseases such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, vascular disease, diabetes, arthritis and cancer.  This means that important clinical questions can be examined in detail in animal models and translated back to health care solutions in the clinical setting.


Funding support for this project was provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada (WED), AHFMR, Alberta Innovation and Science (Alberta Science and Research Authority), the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary.

Dr Jeff Dunn

EIC Director: Prof. Jeff F. Dunn

Dr. Jeff Dunn is a Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Imaging and a Professor in the Department of Radiology, with adjunct positions in the Departments of Physiology and Pharmacology as well as the Dept. of Clinical Neuroscience. He was recruited from Dartmouth Medical School in 2004. He is a member of graduate programs in Neuroscience, Mountain Medicine and High altitude physiology and Medical Science (including musculoskeletal imaging). He has also had graduate students in Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering.

MISSION STATEMENT

To provide state of the art imaging modalities to the research community, and to facilitate the translation of imaging technology into the clinic. The current strength is in high field MRI and optical technologies—for use in animal and human studies.

To have a broad impact, and provide a major service to the UofC’s research and clinical programs

VISION

The goal of the EIC is to promote and foster innovative MR imaging research in three areas:  biomedical innovation, technical innovation and translational innovation.

High resolution MR and other imaging modalities makes it possible to carry out imaging in vivo at near cellular levels in model organisms without invasive procedures.  Through the development of the EIC, the recruitment of the NRC satellite to the University of Calgary and the development of the Mouse Genome Centre, a unique opportunity for carrying out work in the cellular and molecular imaging area has emerged that can only be matched at a few other centres in North America.  The goal is to use molecular and cellular imaging to investigate physiology and disease in vivo and to translate this information back to in vivo human imaging and diagnosis.

Equipment and Facility Access

Access to the 9.4T Magnet

Access to the 9.4T for animal research is open to all investigators. A valid animal protocol from the Faculty of Medicine is required. In addition, the EIC access form is required. Most projects are done in collaboration with an EIC member, but this is not a pre-requisite. An internal review of the project will be done, using the access form, before magnet time can be allocated. A benefit to working through this access committee is that the animal protocol review panel recognizes this committee as one that provides scientific review. Therefore when you are submitting a new protocol to the animal care committee, and have no peer reviewed funding with scientific review, the EIC review committee can provide such a review as a service.

To request the EIC access form or for more information concerning access, please contact David Rushforth.

Internal Imaging fees are currently:

                 In vivo experiments   $150 per hour including isoflurane anesthetic and monitoring.

                 Ex vivo experiments  $120 per hour

                 Blood gas analysis $30 per sample

                 Surgery time  and animal prep $100 per hour

                 Microscopy and Cryostat services are also available, Please contact Dave Rushforth for pricing.