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CFMM: Canada’s National Ultra-High Field MRI Platform

Principal Investigator:
  • Ravi Menon, University of Western Ontario
Team Members:
  • Robert Bartha, Robarts Research Institute
  • Stefan Everling, University of Western Ontario
  • Elizabeth Finger, University of Western Ontario
  • Adrian Owen, University of Western Ontario
  • Jody Culham, University of Western Ontario
  • Lena Palaniyappan, London Health Sciences Centre
  • Corey Baron, Western University
  • Marieke Mur, Western University
  • Ali Kahn, Western University
  • University of Western Ontario

Project Overview

Brain imaging using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an essential tool in modern neuroscience, with many uses for examining brain structure and function in health and disease. The Centre for Functional and Metabolic Mapping (CFMM) at Western’s Robarts Research Institute houses Canada’s only collection of high-field (3 Tesla human) and ultra-high field (7 T human and 9.4 T animal) MRI systems. A Tesla is a unit of magnetic field and is equal to about 20,000 times the earth’s magnetic field. The Centre is dedicated to establishing the anatomical, metabolic and functional characteristics of normal brain development and healthy ageing across the lifespan; as well as establishing the brain basis of developmental, neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative deficits. The CFMM enables the research of over several hundred local, regional and national faculty and trainees, including many international collaborators, as well as many Canadian and multinational companies. Students from a number of CIHR and NSERC training programs (based at Western and elsewhere) also acquire their data at the CFMM, and several large consortia such as the multiple Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) programs, the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration and Ageing (CCNA) and the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) utilize the facilities as well. Data sharing is accomplished through these consortia, the Canadian Open Neuroscience Platform (CONP) and the PRIME-DE initiative. Neuroscientists use the CFMM to peer inside the brain of human subjects to understand normal brain function as well as to examine what gets disrupted in diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Schizophrenia. They also use MRI to study animal models of these disease used to develop cures for these devastating conditions.