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Brain Imaging

Center of Economic Excellence



Award Amount

$5 million

External Funding Above Match

$38.9 million

Research Focus

Creating world-class brain imaging center. Initiating the first study using transcrainial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Combined with functional MRI, TMS provides a short strong magnetic field useful for studying how the brain works. Specific studies include stroke-related brain injury and MRI physic techniques for clinical and neuroscience research.

University Partners

Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)
University of South Carolina

Private Sector Partner

Health Sciences South Carolina
Force Protection

This Center leverages USC’s expertise in cognitive neuroscience, computer science, engineering and public health, and MUSC’s international reputation in brain imaging and brain therapies. The Center is creating a world-class brain-imaging center and is likely to launch start-up companies in the areas of deception detection (lie detection) and minimally invasive brain diagnostic and stimulation technologies.

A Center resource is the McCausland Imaging Center, located at Palmetto Health, which includes dedicated research space and scanner time, allowing scientists to conduct research with neurologically healthy individuals as well as clinical populations. In 2005, the Center launched the Center for Animal Imaging, which provides translational research in substance abuse and epilepsy therapy. In 2008, MUSC opened the Center for Advanced Imaging Research.

Two MRI systems, a Siemens Trio MRI system and a Bruker 7ÔÇÉTesla, have attracted important companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, and BioValve, which use the systems to speed drug discovery and development in mood stabilizers, anticonvulsants and cognitive enhancers.

A partnership has been formed with Ladson-based Force Protection Industries. A leading manufacturer of tanks and armored vehicles, Force Protection is using Center research in the prevention of traumatic brain injury due to combat explosions. Tests have begun on “phantom” heads. Force Protection is using the research to develop better explosive-resistant military vehicles, while the Center will use the findings to better detect and treat traumatic brain injury.

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