Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) today announced that it had received a $4.9 million grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) to create a state-of the-art facility to accelerate development of novel brain imaging techniques to track subtle changes in the brain after neurotrauma. The Center for Translation Neurotrauma Imaging (CTNI), hopes to pioneer biomarkers, diagnostics and therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD) and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
In addition to the MLSC grant, one of the largest this year, BUSM has received in-kind donations for the CTNI valued at $6.3 million.
"While these tools are urgently needed, none are currently available. This gap must be filled before emerging treatments for brain injury can be successfully tested and deployed in humans," explained Lee Goldstein, MD, PhD, co-director of the CTNI and associate professor of radiology, psychiatry, neurology, ophthalmology, pathology & laboratory medicine, biomedical engineering, and electrical & computer engineering at BUSM and College of Engineering.
The CTNI will also include a research ultrasound platform enabling both ultrasound imaging and focused ultrasound applications. "The use of focused ultrasound is an emerging area in neuroscience, enabling fundamental discoveries in neurotrauma as well the potential development of novel, acoustically-enabled therapeutics," said Stephan Anderson, MD, co-director of the CTNI and professor of radiology and mechanical engineering at the School of Medicine and College of Engineering as well as a faculty member of BU's Nanotechnology Innovation Center and Photonics Center.
From a location in the heart of the city of Boston, the CTNI will be uniquely situated to serve and benefit from the clinical and research resources at Boston Medical Center, the safety net hospital anchoring the entire Northeast, featuring the busiest Level 1 trauma center and emergency department in the region. With the financial support of the MLSC and others, the CTNI aims to become a center of excellence and discovery focusing on acute and chronic effects of neurotrauma. The CTNI will spur high-tech job and industry growth, train the next generation research leaders, and further position the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a global leader in life science innovation.
MLSC received 45 applicants. BUSM was one of 11 finalists. A total of $30.5 million was awarded to the 11 proposals.
The Competitive Capital Program is designed to provide grants for capital projects that support the life sciences ecosystem in Massachusetts by enabling and supporting life sciences workforce development and training, research and development, commercialization and/or manufacturing in the Commonwealth.
To date, the MLSC has awarded or committed more than $455 million to support capital projects across the state, which includes projects funded through the Life Sciences Initiative and projects funded through the MLSC's Capital Programs.