Einstein unveils new MRI machine

The new MRI machine was unveiled at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Photo by Vito Signorile

The Albert Einstein College of Medicine officially unveiled one of the most advanced pieces of equipment in the medical industry.

Located in the Forchheimer Building at 1300 Morris Park Avenue, the Gruss Magnetic Research Center is the home of a brand new magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy system that will provide imaging capabilities that are unique to New York City.

The new machine, called the Philips 3.0 Tesla Achieva Quasar TX Multinuclear MRI/MRS system, was funded by a $2 million capital grant allocated by Councilman Jimmy Vacca. The grant was secured in 2008 and now the MRI machine is fully operational.

On Friday, December 16, Vacca joined medical personnel and distinguished guests at the Gruss Magnetic Research Center for a formal ribbon cutting to officially unveil the new MRI machine.

“In addition to our existing efforts, the system allows for significant upgrades that will allow Gruss MRRC to expand its capabilities,” said Dr. Craig Branch, director of the Gruss MRRC. “With planned improvements, we will enable new research directions, including a program to integrate MRI and other developing imaging technologies to develop noninvasive probes for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.”

The 3T MRI/MRS incorporates major advances in MRI technology, including a unique use of a dual energy source that improves tissue vitalization; 32 independent detectors, which improves image quality and greatly accelerates the speed of use; and the latest in imaging coil technology, which provides comfortable imaging of any part of the body.

The medical staff at Einstein took guests on a hands-on tour of the latest technology and gave full descriptions of what it will be able to provide for residents of the entire borough.

Vacca was impressed with the machine and knew that the money allocated was well spent for one of the city’s most vital medical institutions.

“I was very happy to be able to allocate capital funds to assist Einstein in purchasing this important equipment, which will enhance their already outstanding research capabilities,” Vacca said. “Not only is Einstein a leader in vital and cutting-edge medical research, but it is also an outstanding member of our community here in the Bronx.”

The machine has already been a vital addition since its installment and according to Branch, has already impacted the local community with science for both children and adults.

Researchers at Einstein are currently mapping brain networks in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and autism, probing structural changes in the body of obese adults, and studying the effects of aging on the brain.

“It is my hope that this new technology will allow the Gruss MRRC to make big strides in understanding a wide variety of diseases and disorders,” said Dr. Allen Spiegel, Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean of Einstein.

Reach Vito Signorile via e-mail at vsignorile@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383.

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