UC Irvine to debut brain research center with advanced MRI machine

The $3-million Siemens Prisma 3T MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machine is the centerpiece of UC Irvine's new FIBRE brain research facility. Its public debut is Oct. 2.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

UC Irvine’s Campus Center for Neuroimaging will have a grand opening next month for its new research center that aims to make breakthroughs in human brain research.

The centerpiece of the center — dubbed FIBRE, or Facility for Imaging & Brain Research — is a $3-million Siemens Prisma 3T magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, machine noted for its technology that collects higher-quality images in a shorter time. It came to UCI with help from Siemens and the National Institutes of Health.

Craig Stark, FIBRE’s designer and director and a professor of neurobiology and behavior, said the research facility will be studying a variety of brain-related topics, including cognition, aging, dementia, effects of radiation, depression, schizophrenia and autism.

UCI’s advanced Siemens MRI machine “is the tool we have that can allow us to look into the human brain non-invasively.”

FIBRE, which is on the ground floor of UCI’s Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway building, also has a data processing room and a mock scanner room where MRI participants can use a nonfunctional MRI-like machine that preps them for the real thing.

It also features a reception area with color-changing images of brain neurons on the walls.

The grand opening is scheduled for 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 2.

Craig Stark, designer of UC Irvine's FIBRE center and a professor of neurobiology and behavior, gives a tour of the new facility Wednesday.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Twitter: @BradleyZint