Neuroimaging Center Grand Opening

McLean Hospital opens $5-million Neuroimaging Center

New MRI is only one in world dedicated to psychiatric and substance abuse research

MRI Magnet Arrives at McLean Hospital
MRI magnet arrives
January 2001

May 8, 2001 - Belmont, Mass.- On Tuesday, May 15, McLean Hospital will celebrate the opening of its newly expanded Neuroimaging Center, which boasts one of the world's largest magnetic resonance (MR) imaging scanners and the only one dedicated solely to psychiatric and substance abuse research.

The Center is housed in McLean's Rehabilitation Center, which underwent nearly $5 million in renovations, from a one-story, 22,000-square-foot, multipurpose space to a three-floor, 25,000- square-foot, modern facility. The Brain Imaging Center will serve as the main occupant of the renovated building, while other occupants include the Behavioral Psychopharmacology Laboratory, the Sleep Disorders Center, the Biochemistry Laboratory, 60 research offices and a spacious conference room.

The Brain Imaging Center features two new magnetic resonance scanners: a $3.5 million Varian UnityInova 4.0 Tesla Whole Body Imaging Spectrometer, the only MR scanner of its kind in the world dedicated solely to psychiatric and substance abuse research, and a 1.5 Tesla scanner. The scanner is 80,000 times more powerful than the earth's magnetic field. Both machines will be used to conduct research on substance abuse, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, dementia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

A third scanner, a Varian 600 MHz vertical bore spectrometer, will be used to scan test tubes and identify chemical components and structures of substance abuse.

The total cost for all three scanners is $5 million.

On hand for the May 15 events will be Albert E. Brandenstein, PhD, director/chief scientist of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Executive Office of the President, which provided $2.8 million in funding for the 4.0 Tesla scanner. Also speaking will be Glen Hanson, PhD, DDS, director of the Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Washington, DC.

"The work we conduct in this new facility, using the new scanning technology, will significantly enhance McLean's continuing efforts to translate research into better patient care," said according to Bruce Cohen, MD, PhD, president and psychiatrist in chief for McLean. "The support we have received for this project is testimony to the quality of our work and the quality of our investigators."