New Imaging System Offers Molecular View to Researchers Studying Heart Disease and Cancer

August 27, 2012

Thirty microns is pretty tiny. As a matter of fact, humans can't see something this small because this is the size of a molecule. A human hair is 100 times larger. But if you are a researcher studying the basis for diseases such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, cancer and coronary artery disease, being able to monitor disease and treatment on a molecular level, is the key to finding a cure.


Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researcher, K. Bridget Brosnihan, Ph.D., professor in the Hypertension and Vascular Research Center, has received nearly $1 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to purchase a state-of-the-art system that produces the non-invasive functional, anatomic and visual information needed to assess potential treatments for the major diseases that affect people around the world. 


The Vevo LAZR Photoacoustics imaging technology integrates the sensitivity of light-based imaging with the resolution of high-frequency sound waves to provide never-before-seen insights into living tissue cellular environment and flow of blood.


Supported by a total of 8 federal grants in two specialties -hypertension/atherosclerosis and cancer- Wake Forest Baptist's Hypertension Vascular Research Center (HVRC) and the Center for Biomolecular Imaging (CBI) will carry out 14 basic science projects in rodent models with the help of this imaging system. This two-team collaboration was so favorably reviewed by the NIH that it received a perfect score.


Other Wake Forest Baptist researchers whose NIH-funded projects (through RO1 and R21 grants) that will be supported using the Vevo LAZR Photoacoustics imaging  technology are: hypertension investigators Debra I. Diz, Ph.D., Ann Tallant, Ph.D., Patricia Gallagher, Ph.D.,  Mark C. Chappell, Ph.D,  Jasmina Varagic, M.D,  Liliya M. Yamaleyeva, M.D.; atherosclerosis investigators John Parks, Ph.D., and Mary G. Sorci-Thomas, Ph.D.; and cancer/angiogenesis investigators Linda Metheny-Barlow, Ph.D,  William Gmeiner, Ph.D., Frank C. Marini, Ph.D., and Aaron Mohs, Ph.D..



Note: The High End Instrumentation Grant 1S10 0D012330-01 was funded from the instrumentation program within the Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health. This program provides funds to purchase sophisticated equipment which are administered in a cost effective manner to enhance health-related research of groups of NIH-funded investigators.


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