This concept of precision medicine has been identified as a national priority in the USA, leading to a need for biomarkers that can provide objective and reproducible information. In addition, regulatory science for the approval of new qualified drugs and medical technologies has an urgent need for qualified biomarkers to report on the success or failure of these drugs and technologies. Imaging biomarkers, providing in situ “biopsies”, have the potential to provide such specific information and, ultimately, to improve routine clinical care and speed up development of new treatments. The overall goal of this Resource is to develop novel noninvasive MRI candidate biomarkers with the potential to provide surrogate quantitative imaging endpoints that are as close as possible to clinical endpoints. As such, this Resource will focus on designing, calibrating and standardizing new magnetic resonance (MR) technologies to provide reliable measures across sessions, scanners, and raters. This technology will then be disseminated for larger scale patient studies to allow clinical validation.
The Resource has four Technology Research and Development (TRD) projects, three on MR acquisition approaches and one bringing them together with advanced multi-scale data analysis methods that include machine learning. To assure a proper choice of technologies, we will interact closely with a group of clinical and research experts through collaborative projects (CPs) that focus on brain diseases, disorders, and injuries which have a need for new quantitative MR technology to better and noninvasively assess them. As an initial testbed for our methods, we also have a group of service projects (SPs) to which we will provide both data acquisition methods and data analysis software. The process for technical developments and deliverables for our National Center for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NCBIB) is summarized below.
Abbreviations: CMRO2: cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen; CVR: cerebrovascular reactivity; BBB: Blood brain barrier; OEF: oxygen extraction fraction; CBF: cerebral blood flow; CBV: cerebral blood volume; pH: measure of acidity; MRF: magnetic resonance fingerprinting;