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Auckland Uni – Centre for Advanced MRI Opening

The University of Auckland – Centre for Advanced MRI Opening

Medical research and diagnosis in New Zealand will move a step further thanks to a new research facility at The University of Auckland, now home to the country’s most advanced MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) equipment.

Led by Dr Brett Cowan, who is renowned internationally for his work in cardiac imaging, the Centre for Advanced MRI is the first of its kind in New Zealand to focus on high-end clinical and research work as well as medical training and routine clinical imaging.

The Centre for Advanced MRI has a vision to become a leading research and clinical MRI institution in Australasia and will be officially opened on Thursday April 21, 2005, by the Minister for Health, the Hon. Annette King.

Centre Director Dr Brett Cowan says the opening of the Centre is an important step in advancing medical research in New Zealand.

“MRI or magnetic resonance imaging is an essential part of medical research and teaching. The Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2003 was for MRI, demonstrating the importance of the technology.

“The Centre for Advanced MRI, as the only research centre dedicated to high-level MRI research in the country and equipped with the best available technology, will ensure that we don’t lag behind international trends,” he says.

The Centre boasts the latest MRI scanner, the Siemens MAGNETOM Avanto System, and is among the first in the world to own one, making it a reference site for Siemens and local and international visitors.

The Centre will be a base for researchers from across the University, who will bring their extensive international experience in conducting large-scale international clinical trials and expertise in MRI research. In addition to research, the Centre for Advanced MRI will also be involved in the training of medical and postgraduate students.

MRI is an imaging technique used to produce high quality images of the inside of the human body. It is a method of choice for the diagnosis of many injuries and conditions including all disorders of the brain, spine and joints. More recently imaging of the heart, blood vessels and abdomen has become common place.

“What makes MRI technology so important is its extreme versatility. It can show detailed information such as where the brain is thinking and provide an accurate measure of blood flow,” says Dr Cowan.

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