CMRR Sponsors

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W.M. Keck Foundation

The W.M. Keck Foundation has been a supporter of the Center for Magnetic Resonance since the laboratory's inception. The W.M. Keck Foundation has provided major funding toward the acquisition of three of CMRR's unique, ultra high field MR systems, and the development of new directions in brain imaging.


Expanding the capabilities of MR imaging and spectroscopy in biomedical research using high magnetic fields is one of the central research themes in CMRR. In 1990, when the highest magnetic field used for human imaging was 1.5 Tesla, CMRR and two other research institutions initiated research in humans using a magnetic field of 4 Tesla.

The success of the 4 Tesla effort at CMRR led to the W.M. Keck Foundation for the development of the first ever 9.4 Tesla/31 cm bore magnet to explore the potential of ultrahigh magnetic fields for brain studies. The results from the research conducted at 9.4 Tesla in CMRR underscored the substantial advances possible for the study of brain function, connectivity, and neurochemistry using ultrahigh magnetic fields. Consequently, development of a 7 Tesla/90 cm bore magnet, large enough to work with humans, was initiated in 1995, leading to a working system in CMRR in 1999. The W.M. Keck Foundation, together with contributions from the NIH, NSF, and the University of Minnesota, funded the acquisition of this 7 Tesla magnet.

Using thise unique 7 Tesla/90 cm MR system, CMRR investigators produced the first functional and spectroscopic studies of the human brain at magnetic fields greater than 4 Tesla, and demonstrated major gains in sensitivity, image resolution and specificity (for functional imaging), and chemical resolution ability to distinguish neurochemicals from each other (using MR in spectroscopy).

In 2002, CMRR benefited once again from major support from the W.M. Keck Foundation. The current grant from the Foundation, combined with additional funding from other sources (University of Minnesota Medical and Graduate Schools, the MIND Institute, and NIH), will enable CMRR to undertake a facility expansion, acquire a 9.4 Tesla/65 cm bore magnet system, and establish capabilities in methodologies complementary to MR that significantly broadens the scope of neuroscience research conducted at the Center.