The University of Lethbridge, in partnership with local radiologists, will soon open the U3T MRI Centre, a world-class research and diagnostic imaging facility, providing southern Alberta with the most powerful magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the region.
The new centre, scheduled to open in mid-July, will feature a 3T MRI (Siemens 3 Tesla MAGNETOM Skyra Magnetic Resonance Imaging System) that will greatly expand research possibilities for faculty and students in the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience (CCBN), as well as provide clinical scanning for southern Alberta patients wishing to pay for a private MRI study.
“The 3T state-of-the-art MRI will be game-changing for the researchers and students in neuroscience and related fields,” says Dr. Robert Sutherland, Chair of the U of L’s Department of Neuroscience.
Over the past decades, the University has built an internationally prominent centre of research and training excellence in behavioural and systems neuroscience. CCBN has been home to important discoveries about memory, memory disorders, aging, movement systems, recovery from brain injury, transgenerational effects of stress, brain development and addiction.
“The new MRI allows us to see into the living brain to examine its structure and function in exquisite detail,” says Sutherland. “We will be able translate our basic discoveries to improving human health, to create a deeper understanding of the human mind/brain, and to educate the next generation of U of L students in powerful new imaging methods.”
The MRI will also be used for private clinical scanning for patients wishing to pay for a private MRI study. Local radiologists who are fully accredited with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta and Fellows of the Canadian College of Physicians and Surgeons will provide the clinical interpretation of private examinations.
“It is very exciting to be able to offer the people of southern Alberta a state-of-the-art 3T MRI – one of only a few private 3T MRI machines in Canada,” says Dr. Michael Lane, radiologist. “This MRI allows for a very high degree of diagnostic confidence.”
Offering a larger bore and higher table weight capacity, the 3T MRI maximizes patient comfort while providing exceptional imaging quality. The superb reliability of high-field MRI allows radiologists to differentiate between benign and potentially hazardous medical conditions with confidence. This allows for earlier diagnosis and treatment, subsequently leading to more positive outcomes.
Renovations of the CCBN building are ongoing and the new 3T MRI will be installed in late May. The system will be ready for research and clinical use in mid-July.