Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has emerged as one of the main modalities for medical imaging in future healthcare, the main reason being the ability to visualise and measure physiological processes in tissue and organs, in addition to the superior quality of the anatomical information, especially for soft tissue. New advanced MRI methods also provide diagnostic information about organ function, physiology, metabolism and molecular activity.
The MRI research community, located at the MR Centre in Trondheim, has performed preclinical and clinical MRI research since 1986. It has a broad competence and experience in a wide variety of MR Imaging and Spectroscopy research activities. The medical imaging research community in Trondheim counts more than 100 scientists and students across several departments at NTNU and St. Olavs University Hospital, with the majority belonging to the Department of circulation and medical imaging at the Medical Faculty, NTNU. A special feature is that basic high-resolution MRI spectroscopy, in-vivo imaging of animal models of disease, and clinical research on human volunteers and patients are organised as vertically integrated translational research in all the attached research groups.
The MRI systems for research activities are organised at the MR Core Facility which provides access to state-of-the-art research infrastructure and equipment, including an internationally unique MR metabolomics lab, dedicated preclinical and clinical MRI scanners for research and (soon) the only hybrid MRI-PET system in Norway.
In recent years the main research activities have been related to the brain and cancer, and are mainly organised in four research groups:
The MR cancer group
The MR Cancer Group counts approximately 25 persons, and the group has broad experience with quantitative MRI, in vivo MRS and ex vivo MRS in cancer diagnostics and therapy monitoring. The long‐term objective of the group is to improve and individualise cancer treatment by developing integrated MRI methods and data analysis tools for functional and molecular tumour characterisation. The group is internationally recognised for its pioneering work within large-scale intact tissue analyses (metabolomics), but is also heavily involved in several biofluid metabolomics projects.
The Live MR Group
The Laboratory for in vivo experimental MR group focuses on pre-clinical MRI of disease models to provide new knowledge of disease processes, evaluate new treatments and the development of new MRI methods for diagnosis and evaluation of disease states. The research activities are a continuation of activities and competence established at the FUGE molecular imaging centre. The group has broad experience in working with novel MRI contrast agents and a recent focus of our research is the use of targeted contrast agents and nanoparticles as well as stem cell treatment using cells labelled with MRI contrast agents.
Trondheim fMRI group
The fMRI group works on three different pathways towards a better understanding of structural and functional pathology in brain disease, aiming to improve diagnosis and treatment. The research activity focuses on clinical use of MRI methods, such as BOLD fMRI, diffusion tensor MRI (DTI) and other diffusion methods, MRI methods for perfusion, MRI based methods for cortical thickness measurements, and standard MRI methods for structural pathology. Using these methods the group aims to uncover the neural substrates of functional deficits seen in various diseases, and the effect of intervention. For more information, visit the National Competence Service for Functional MRI (in Norwegian).
The Metabolic Neuroscience Group
The metabolic neuroscience group is working to obtain new knowledge about how metabolic processes are coupled to brain function/dysfunction and anatomy with special emphasis on glial/neuronal interactions in conditions such as epilepsy, schizophrenia and Alzheimer`s disease. A special research focus is on energy metabolism in the brain and effects of pharmacological agents. The key methods of the group to look at cerebral metabolism are 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and mass spectrometry (MS) that are carried out on brain cell culture extracts, rodent brain and tissue extracts, after incubation/injection of 13C labelled substrates.
Olav Haraldseth, Professor
Tel: 72 82 80 40
NTNU, MI Lab MR Centre
Olav Kyrresgate 9
MTFS, 2. floor, south
NTNU, the Faculty of Medicine
Department of circulation and medical imaging