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Gail Eckhardt"In the last decades, the enormous progress has been made in characterizing molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of neurological diseases, pain management and neurotoxicity. In neuroscience, the use of different animal models, which mimic multiple aspects of the human brain response, is extremely useful. Non-invasive imaging based on functional MRI (fMRI) or receptor-targeting PET, provides a translational bridge for anesthesiology-based investigational studies. As such, the Department of Anesthesiology proudly presents the outstanding Animal Imaging Initiative which has been grown and nurtured by the Department since 2005. The future addition of a high-filed 9.4 Tesla MRI scanner will add an incredible value and competiveness toresearch projects of our faculty."

Gail Eckhardt

— Vesna Jevtovich-Todorovich, MD, PhD, MBA
Professor and Chair

— Richard Traystman, PhD
Professor and Vice-Chancellor, Vice Chair for Research, Department of Anesthesiology

“We have used MRI and micro-CT imaging modality in the Animal Imaging Shared Resource to assess the growth of prostate and lung tumors, respectively, and to track the efficacy of cancer chemopreventive agents against tumor growth and progression in relevant pre-clinical animal models.These imaging resources help in real-time assessment of data, which is particularly helpful if the experiment is to be conducted for long time periods. In other words, there is no need to wait until the end of the experiment.”

— Rajesh Agarwal, PhD
Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences University of Colorado School of Pharmacy

Gail Eckhardt“The Animal Imaging Shared Resource has been very important in our preclinical studies. We will often study a novel combination of drugs in our preclinical models and then assess the effects on either DCE-MRI (for angiogenesis), or FDG-PET (for macro-metabolomics), in preparation for the clinical trial. These imaging modalities are very, very expensive to use clinically, so the AISR helps us determine whether such studies warrant the cost in an early clinical trial.

Other benefits  are the expertise of  its leaders, the ease of working with the facility, and the novelty of being able run a "near-clinical" animal study that can easily be translated to the clinic.”

 — S. Gail Eckhardt, MD, FASCO
Professor and Associate Dean of Cancer Programs, Chair of Department of Oncology, Director of Livestrong Cancer Institute, UT Austin Medical Branch