Pixel Club: Towards high spatial and/or temporal resolution fMRI at ultra-high field 7T human MRI

Speaker:
Rita Schmidt (Weizmann Institute of Science)
Date:
Tuesday, 4.2.2020, 11:30
Place:
Electrical Eng. Building 1061

The recent push towards ultra-high (magnetic) fields in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is expected to change the face of biomedical imaging. Recent studies employing state of the art 7 T MRI scanners achieved submillimeter resolution in 3D anatomical imaging of the human brain. However, the higher field also comes with new challenges, especially since we want to acquire the images with high spatial or temporal resolution to study the human brain function. These challenges include complex RF field distribution in the region of interest as well as higher static field inhomogeneity. To realize the benefits of the ultra-high field MRI, we need to develop new pulse sequences accelerating the acquisition, designing new RF coils and developing new biomarkers. For localized excitation in the brain, we develop novel multi-channel RF transmit capabilities and artificial materials designed especially for MRI applications. Translating the new methods for human brain imaging, we implement MRI pulse sequences combining multi-channel parallel acquisition techniques with Compress Sensing for faster acquisition with improved SNR. One of the goals is to increase the time resolution (<100 msec) in functional MRI experiment. We examine different strategies – combining increase of the SNR with varying the timing of the stimuli versus that of the image acquisition. Such variation in time can yield higher resolution. I will share with you our recent advances utilizing the new 7T human MRI scanner that was recently installed in the Weizmann Institute. Further study of 7T MRI can offer many new opportunities for in-vivo brain functional studies.

Short Bio:
BSc and MSc – Physics, Tel-Aviv University
Several years in industry (Insightec company) -developing MRI guided FUS device for non-invasive treatment, which is used todayfor treatment of neurological disorders (essential tremors, tremor dominantParkinson’s disease) and neuropathic pain in the brain.
PhD - Chemical Physics in Weizmann Institute ofScience (supervisor - Prof. Lucio Frydman), developing new methods forultrafast MRI with applications in functional MRI.
Post-doc – Ultra high field MRI Center, Leiden,Netherlands (supervisor - Prof. Andrew Webb). The research focused on a deeper understanding of the RF fielddistribution in the biological tissues in ultra-high 7T MRI, development of artificialmaterials to locally increase the signal, as well as new pulse sequencesdevelopment for new contrasts and fast acquisitions.
From September 2018 – Faculty member in Neurobiologydepartment in Weizmann Institute, developing new tools at 7T human MRI to studybrain function.

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