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The Joint department of Biomedical Engineering has a wealth of ongoing research in the field of Biomedical Imaging. Part of the driving force behind this research area is the Biomedical Research Imaging Center (BRIC) onthe UNC campus, which partners closely with the Biomedical Engineering department. The BRIC, established in 2005 and located in the brand new (2014) Marsico Hall building, serves as a backbone for pre-clinical and clinical imaging research, and includes a some of the most state-of-the art biomedical imaging facilities in the world. Core resources include multiple 3T research MRI systems, including one of only a handful of MR-PET systems in the country, a new 7T human MRI system, two cyclotrons, and a radiochemistry facility. Preclinical research systems include two Visualsonics Vevo2100 ultrasound systems, several optical imaging systems, a 9.4T MRI, a PET-CT, SPECT-CT, carbon nanotube CT, and extensive support facilities and vivaria.

Marsico Hall. Image courtesy of Loney Johnson. ©2014

In addition to the BRIC, BME plays a key role in the UNC-NC State Ultrasound Research Consortium. The Ultrasound Consortium consists of a large group of faculty from UNC and NC State who’s research focuses on developing and applying novel ultrasound technologies for diagnostic medical imaging, targeted therapeutics, sensing, and industrial applications.

BME and BRIC faculty specialize in imaging hardware, image processing, signal processing, imaging contrast agents, image segmentation, applications, and imaging informatics. BME graduate students are able to perform research work with any BRIC faculty member, in addition to BME faculty, for their dissertation studies. Faculty Modalities of particular interest include ultrasound imaging, magnetic resonance imaging, x-ray, SPECT, PET and live-cell imaging.