To carry out their activities, Research Teams of the Frédéric Joliot Institute for Life Sciences have developed high-profile technological platforms in many areas : biomedical imaging, structural biology, metabolomics, High-Throughput screening, level 3 microbiological safety laboratory...
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NeuroSpin is a research center built to develop and validate neuroimaging using
ultra-high Magnetic Field headed by Dr. Denis Le Bihan, a Member of the French
Academy of Sciences. It was opened on
January 1st 2007. The center is recognized as a large infrastructure, for
biomedical imaging, such as the CERN in Genève. It is a shared imaging facility
with unique imaging devices,. An 11.7T MRI scanner for human will be installed
in 2016, one of the first in the world.
The research is organised along six scientific programs:
Neurospin is organized five research units whose activities combine research and support to the research programs :
The NeuroSpin platform (managed by Jean-Robert Deverre) has nearly 11000 m² of laboratories, offices, technical facilities, and conference areas. This platform consists of both a clinical facility for hosting human volunteers and patients, including children, with 8 beds, test/examination rooms, a nursing facility, a mock scanner and an ICU (for studies of consciousness), as well as a preclinical facility for small animals. NeuroSpin also houses several laboratories (electronics, chemistry, biology, histology, etc.). NeuroSpin has been developed specifically with the idea of being a platform for different research teams to use (see platform access policy).
Benefiting from the CEA expertise in magnet and NMR technology, NeuroSpin is equipped with unique MRI systems operating at ultra-high magnetic field (UHF) not yet available elsewhere in the world, as well as related tools and an advanced computer platform. The use of UHF for MR studies is attractive for several reasons. Firstly, the signal to noise ratio (SNR) increases approximately in proportion to field strength. This gain can be used to either increase spatial resolution beyond that available at lower field strengths or traded off against other imaging parameters such as scan time. Secondly, additional contrast mechanisms can be exploited for the imaging. The most obvious example of this are images which are weighted to reflect local differences in susceptibility, which are now producing images of the in-vivo human brain in unprecedented detail. Thirdly, for MRS, an additional advantage is the greater separation of spectral lines, allowing the discrimination of peaks that overlap at lower field.
Neurospin was conceived to join together on the same location the methodological and neurobiological players so that they develop, in synergy, the tools and the models which will enable them to better understand the working of the human brain in normal and deficient conditions. The grouping of teams around a state-of-the-art imaging facility, dedicated to both human and animal studies, appears as an ideal solution, both from scientific and biomedical as well as economic points of view.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.