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Programs:

Summary

The Laboratory works in close collaboration with many investigators within the Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program, the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging and across the country to advance the imaging technologies and their application to neuropsychiatric disorders. The Laboratory participates in a several multi-site consortium projects; each aimed at advancing the enabling aspects of imaging and associated bioinformatics technology. Within the Laboratory, most research projects focus on the investigations of the neural mechanisms underlying pain perception and its modulation by expectancy, placebo, and acupuncture treatment. A critical long-term goal of this work is to develop the capability to use functional neuroimaging as adjunct assessment in clinical evaluation of individual patients with chronic pain disorders. The laboratory also invests heavily in the training and education of the next generation of research scientists.

Ongoing Projects

  1. Neuroimaging studies of expectancy, placebo and verum acupuncture analgesia: This project uses quantitative brain imaging methods (fMRI and PET [11C]diprenorphine opioid receptor binding) to investigate the neurobiological mechanism of acupuncture analgesia, placebo analgesia and their interrelationship.

  2. Test-retest reliability of acupuncture induced changes in fMRI measures of brain activity: There is much debate in the literature regarding the neuronal networks that are activated during acupuncture treatment. This project uses a simple calibration paradigm to study the consistency of fMRI signal changes in response to acupuncture needle manipulation and sensorimotor controls across a cohort and within single subjects over repeated scan sessions.

  3. Effect of psychiatric co-morbidity on the efficacy of acupuncture analgesia: Concurrent psychiatric illness associated with poor response to treatment for chronic pain. This study aims to determine whether psychiatric co-morbidity also diminishes measures of acupuncture induced analgesia to the application of calibrated noxious stimuli. This study is a close collaboration with Dr. Wasan.
External Collaborative Projects

The Lab has major leadership responsibilities in:
  1. MIND clinical imaging consortium project. A joint study of first episode and chronic schizophrenia. This multi-institutional clinical consortium study of first onset and chronic schizophrenia seeks to identify the neural markers for disease onset and progression by using functional, structural, and diffusion weighted imaging combined with clinical characterization, neuropsychological evaluation and genomic analysis.

  2. Morphometry Biomedical Informatics Research Network (M-BIRN). This multi-site project focuses on the calibration, analysis, visualization and integration of quantitative structural MRI in large-scale, multi-site studies of Alzheimer's Disease, Minimal Cognitive Impairment and Depression. The technical goals include developing a distributed network infrastructure to support a federated structural MRI database and query tools. The clinical objective is to use the technology developed to answer fundamental questions about brain function in health, diseases that cause memory impairment and normal aging.

  3. National Alliance for Medical Image Computing (NAMIC). The goal of this interdisciplinary, multi-institutional center is to create, develop, integrate, and deploy computation tools for the analysis and visualization of medical image data. The goal of the Training Core is to develop and provide a rich educational program that supports these aims for trainees and post-doctoral fellows involved in the project and to the broader scientific community.
The Lab participates in:
  1. Functional Imaging Research of Schizophrenia Test Bed, Biomedical Informatics Research Network (FIRST BIRN). This multi-site project focuses on the development and validation of fMRI in large-scale, multi-site studies of schizophrenia. The technical goal involves developing a distributed network infrastructure to support a federated fMRI database and to identify sources of measurement variation. The clinical objective is to use the technology developed to answer fundamental questions about brain function in schizophrenia.
Training and Education Initiatives
  1. Medical Engineering Medical Physics (MEMP) Neuroimaging Training Program (NTP). This institutional pre-doctoral training grant supports a unique clinical neuroscience program to educate the next generation of quantitative neuroimaging research scientists. It is administered jointly by MIT and Harvard Medical School through the division of Health Sciences Technology (HST).


  2. HST-583 Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Data Acquisition & Analysis. To meet the need for a didactic curricular support for the rapidly advancing field of functional neuroimaging technologies and their applications, the Laboratory organized and led a team of peer colleagues in the development and implementation of this multi-disciplinary, graduate level semester course.
Funding

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM): R21 AT001922 & PO1 AT002048
Mental Illness and Neuroscience Discovery (MIND) Institute: DOE-DE-FG02-99ER62764
National Alliance for Medical Image Computing (NAMIC): NIBIB U54 EB005149
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR): U54 RR021382, MO1 RR01066

Links

MGH Mallinckrodt General Clinical Research Center Biomedical Imaging Core (BIC)
Athinoula A Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging

Staff

Randy L. Gollub, M.D. Ph.D.
Director, Neuroimaging Training Curriculum and Education
Publications by Dr. Gollub
Dr. Gollub is a physician scientist with a longstanding interest in clinical neuroscience.

Kong Jian, MD (equivalent), MS
Kong is a research physician scientist trained in Western and Eastern medicine including acupuncture as well as functional neuroimaging with an interest in sensory (pain) and cognitive neuroscience.

J. Megan Webb, BA - Research Assistant

Main Collaborators

Ted Kaptchuk, O.M.D.
Director, Asian Medicine and Healing Program
Division for Research and Education in Complementary and Integrative Therapies
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Irving Kirsh, Ph.D.
Chair of Psychology
University of Plymouth, United Kingdom

Ajay Wasan, MD. M.Sc.
Pain Management Center
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA

Mark Vangel, Ph.D.
Department of Radiology
MGH General Clinical Research Center and Athinoula
A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Charlestown, MA

Bruce Rosen, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Radiology
MGH and Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging

Bruce Fischl, Ph.D.
Department of Radiology
MGH and Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging

Jorge Jovicich, Ph.D.
Department of Radiology
MGH and Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging

Doug Greve, Ph.D.
Department of Radiology
MGH and Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging

Darin Dougherty, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Psychiatry (MGH)

Dara S. Manoach, Ph.D.
Department of Psychiatry (MGH)
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Laboratory for Neuroimaging Applications to Pain, Acupuncture and Placebo Research