Alberta researchers receive multi-million dollar grant to study MRgFUS

By Staff News Brief

A team of scientists at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) of the University of Calgary’s School of Medicine has been awarded a $3.2 million Canadian research grant from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) in Ottawa, Ontario. The grant is to research the use of magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS).

The research program will be led by Bruce Pike, PhD, professor of clinical neurosciences in the Department of Radiology and who also serves as head of the division of image science. Working with national and international partners, this HBI research program will be among the first in the world to research the use of focused ultrasound at lower intensities to modulate brain activities levels in specific locations and to precisely delivery drugs. Such research may lead to treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, depression and other brain disorders. The HBI team will also be collaborating with Alberta Health Services and with industry partners, with the goal of expediting integration of their research and clinical application into Alberta’s health care system, according to the announcement by the University of Calgary.

Dr. Pike, the Campus Alberta Innovation Program Chair in Healthy Brain Aging, stated, “This revolutionary new technology enables precise neurosurgery to be performed without breaking the skin. We are also exploring the technology’s ability to help deliver drugs directly to brain tumors and to precisely simulate brain tissue on the millimeter scale. This remarkable technology offers a vast range of potential applications -- from treating movement disorders to epilepsy to Alzheimer’s disease.”

Zelma Kiss, MD, a neurosurgeon and professor in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences of the Cumming School of Medicine, commented that “the CFI award will allow us to learn how ultrasound alters brain cell activity and how it modulates the brain. Understanding it at a mechanistic level may lead to treatments for conditions we have not even thought of yet.”

In addition to the CFI grant, philanthropic support is being provided from the Rob McAlpine Legacy Initiative and the Cummings Medical Research Fund.

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Alberta researchers receive multi-million dollar grant to study MRgFUS.  Appl Radiol. 

By Staff News Brief| January 09, 2018
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