The human brain is amazingly complex, with 100 billion neurons and trillions of synaptic connections controlling all functions of the body. A healthy brain lets us sense and participate in the world around us, while an unhealthy brain may cause much disability and suffering. More than 1,000 diseases affect the brain, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), stroke, multiple sclerosis, mood disorders, depression, schizophrenia, and addiction.
The Faculty of Medicine is seeking support to create a state-of-the-art Brain Imaging Suite within the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, the largest centre in Canada to integrate research and clinical expertise in neuroscience, psychiatry, and neurology under one roof. The ethos of collaboration among scientists, health professionals, and patients within the centre is driving new discoveries that advance care and promote healthy ageing here in British Columbia and around the world.
Highly advanced imaging technologies are critical to the success of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health. These powerful tools will enable our clinicians and scientists to visualize the workings of the brain. We would see not only structure and patterns of activity, but also the connectivity and chemistry of the normal and diseased brain. New insights gained about one aspect of the human brain and one disease will advance our understanding of many others, accelerating our contributions to brain health.
A dedicated, custom-designed space to house next-generation imaging technology within the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health is urgently needed. This shared space will enable the seamless integration of state-of-the-art imaging modalities to support vanguard research and patient care. The 6,500 square-foot suite will be outfitted with several new brain imaging platforms such as 3 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET)-MRI; an Electrophysiology Suite for mapping and stimulating brain activity; and an Image Analysis Laboratory, with the computing power required to find meaning in the explosion of data captured by the imaging platforms. All three components will work in concert to deepen our understanding of the human brain.
The technological revolution has modernized imaging in ways unimaginable a decade ago, enabling researchers and clinicians to observe in extraordinary detail how the brain works in health and illness. Access to the latest imaging technology is the foundation for research excellence in the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health.
UBC is seeking philanthropic support to build a world-class imaging suite equipped with next-generation technology at the nucleus of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health. With a full suite of imaging platforms, UBC will be in a strong position to recruit and retain the world’s best investigators, create enriched learning experiences and career-building opportunities for students, and provide UBC’s existing talent with necessary tools to conduct leading-edge research that delivers innovative cures for many common, debilitating brain disorders.