June 13, 2008
Celebrating a milestone at the Martinos Center

The Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging has been a fixture at the Charlestown Navy Yard research campus since 2000, bringing together students and thought leaders from the MGH, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST). On May 20, members of these research communities and MIT President Susan Hockfield, MGH President Peter L. Slavin, MD, and Martinos Center faculty and staff gathered with members of the Martinos family to celebrate the recent expansion of the center and its new headquarters in Building 75. The addition of this historic glass and stone building to the center's existing space in Building 149 nearly doubles its size to 85,000 square feet.

Festivities at the Martinos Center began with a luncheon in Building 75 in honor of Thanassis and Marina Martinos of Athens, Greece, who helped found the center with a $20 million dollar gift in memory of their daughter, Athinoula, and in honor of Daniel C. Shannon, MD, a physician at the MGH Martinos Center and longstanding friend of the family. Backed by the Martinos gift, the center was established as a partnership between HST and the MGH Radiology Department with a goal of fostering interdisciplinary research involving the basic biosciences and clinical investigation as well as the development and application of new imaging technologies.

martinos group

CELEBRATING AN EXPANSION: From left, Rosen, Sorensen, Hockfield, Marina and Thanassis Martinos and Slavin

The Martinos family toured the new facilities with directors Bruce Rosen, MD, PhD, and A. Gregory Sorensen, MD. A highlight of the tour was a new PET/MRI scanner, one of the first of its kind and a true example of the progressive imaging research underway at the center. The combined PET/MRI technologies enable simultaneous imaging to delineate both structural details of the brain and the metabolic and molecular processes associated with specific areas. Researchers hope this technology will advance the understanding of complex brain functions and ultimately provide insight into the processes of human thought.

The day concluded with a formal dedication and reception to celebrate the new space, where Slavin thanked the Martinos family. "I'm a great believer that interdisciplinary and interinstitutional collaborations are key to advancing progress in medicine. The Martinos Center is clearly magnifying the powers of discovery and invention at both the MGH and MIT," he said. "Thank you for being such extraordinary partners in bringing this unique collaboration to life."

Rosen added, "This expansion completes Thanassis's and Marina's vision for the Martinos Center as a research facility that unites the clinical and imaging expertise of the MGH with HST's strengths in engineering and basic neuroscience."

For more information, visit www.nmr.mgh.harvard.edu/martinos.

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