Imaging Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin Receives $3.8 Million in Recovery Act Funding

The Imaging Research Center (IRC) at The University of Texas at Austin will be able to move into the Norman Hackerman Building with $3.8 million in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the National Institutes of Health.

The IRC is several miles away at the Pickle Research campus.

The new central location will support the installation of new imaging machines, such as a high-powered MRI scanner scientists will use to study the human brain.

"These funds will bring the IRC into the middle of campus and enhance the growing biomedical research community here," says Russell Poldrack, director of the IRC and professor of neurobiology and psychology. "Imaging has become central to nearly every aspect of biomedical research, and the availability of new imaging techniques at the university has the potential to greatly advance research on campus."

Poldrack says The University of Texas at Austin has strengths in neuroscience and cancer research, both of which will benefit from the new IRC.

Scientists will use the MRI and other imaging devices at the IRC to understand how humans remember and make decisions, diseases such as autism and depression, and other aspects of brain function.

The new IRC will also house new kinds of imaging systems that will enhance faculty members' research on cancer, drug addiction, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

"This award exemplifies the goals of the Recovery Act by creating and sustaining jobs contributing to research in critical areas, including brain function and neurological diseases," says Barbara Alving, M.D., director of NCRR. "The resources created by the Recovery Act construction awards both literally and figuratively are laying the groundwork to accelerate the pace of research discovery in the future."

The Norman Hackerman Building is under construction now and will house faculty from the Institute for Neuroscience, Center for Learning and Memory, Section of Neurobiology and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The building is to be completed in January 2011.