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The Children's National Research Institute

Human and Animal Imaging Core

The Human and Animal Imaging Core (HAIC) provides non-invasive in vivo investigation of disease mechanisms in human and in animal models, effects of IDDs and their causes on brain structure and function, expression and perturbation of cognitive networks in IDDs, and identification of IDD/brain injury biomarkers. The HAIC provides access to state-of-the-art in vivo whole brain imaging technologies and expertise to DC-IDDRC investigators in order to support, facilitate and enhance IDD-targeted research in humans and in animal models. To achieve the Core’s aims we have established advanced imaging facilities at three collaborating DC-IDDRC institutions — Howard University (HU), Georgetown University (GU) and Children’s National Hospital (CNH) — which provide integrated structural and functional imaging of animal models and human populations.

The HAIC supports access to a wide array of imaging tools to investigate mechanisms of disease, establish biomarkers, examine effects of disease and monitor outcomes of interventions. We have made significant institutional investments in 3T human MRI scanners at CNH and GU that provide researchers with state-of-the-art imaging instrumentation and expand our imaging capacity in neonates and ill children. Furthermore, we have also invested in state-of-the-art MRI scanner/software upgrades and added PET, SPECT and CT to the preclinical animal imaging facilities at HU.

HAIC personnel provide technical expertise in imaging strategy design, essential imaging services, acquisition and innovative analysis methods across all sites and institutions. Core faculty and staff also help educate, train and support investigators in the use of advanced neuroimaging methods, applications and analysis software as well as foster innovation.

The HAIC works synergistically and fosters collaborations with other DC-IDDRC cores, including the Neurobehavioral Evaluation, the Cell and Tissue Microscopy, and Clinical Translational Cores, and plays a crucial role in supporting the Research Project. Our administrative structure provides the quality control necessary for the integrity of a smoothly functioning and integrated core to achieve the DC-IDDRC mission.