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College to benefit from new MRI Research Center

February 2010  

A 45,000-square foot facility set to open in fall 2010 will serve as a staging area for research partnerships in such areas as cardioprotection, orthopedic injury rehabilitation and autism.

Auburn University broke ground on the $21 million Magnetic Resonance Imaging Research Center on February 4, 2010. Located in the Auburn Research Park on Devall Drive, the MRI Research Center will house a Siemens Verio open-bore 3T MRI scanner for clinical and research use, as well as the nation's first shielded whole-body 7T MRI.

Magnetic resonance imaging uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of organs, tissues and the skeletal system. The core of the MRI machine is a large magnet, which has a strength measured in Tesla, or T, and is named after inventor Nikola Tesla. Auburn's 7T MRI, one of only 28 worldwide, will be the only actively shielded unit in the U.S.

The third-floor tenants of the facility will include the Department of Kinesiology, East Alabama Medical Center Rehab Works and The Auburn Spine and Neurosurgery Center.  The U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory (USAARL) externalwebsite, which collaborates with Kinesiology faculty on research involving head and spinal injuries, will also have office space in the building.

Other features of the center will include distance-enabled classrooms for MRI training, a research laboratory and a waiting room. Dr. Thomas Denney, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, will serve as director of the research center.

"This effort supports Alabama's goal of becoming known as a key state in advancing the biomedical frontier,'' said Auburn Board of Trustees member Charles McCrary. "It sets an example and establishes a precedent on which programs between Auburn University and other institutions, both private and public, can build to strengthen Alabama's economy and future. We fully expect to see additional partnerships and collaborations grow from these initial efforts.''

To read more about the groundbreaking for the facility, click here.

Last Updated: May 17, 2011

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