Image shows reconstruction of a baboon heart’s left ventricle from multiple axial magnetic resonance images taken at different part of the cardiac cycle. — Source: Dr. Peter Nathanielsz
Image shows reconstruction of a baboon heart’s left ventricle from multiple axial magnetic resonance images taken at different part of the cardiac cycle.
— Source: Dr. Peter Nathanielsz

The Research Imaging Core Laboratory (RICL) supports nonhuman primate research for investigators at the Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC) and Texas Biomedical Research Institute, as well as scientists from around the country. Using positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), we measure endophenotypes of neurologic, cardiologic and metabolic processes.

Non-invasive computer-aided imaging methods such as MRI and PET have become common tools to enhance our understanding of the pathophysiology of a host of diseases. These methods can also be applied to research in nonhuman primate models, which makes non-invasive imaging methods quintessentially “translational.” It also allows basic science advances in rodents to be adapted to nonhuman primate models and bridged seamlessly into human research.

For almost two decades, the Research Imaging Institute (RII) at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHSCSA) has provided imaging-research resources for projects involving nonhuman primate subjects to SNPR and other investigators. We aim to continue developing novel techniques that use MRI and PET imaging methodologies in a growing number of primate species. We also work to cover additional disease models. Our services also develop novel image analysis methods to address specific issues raised in nonhuman primate studies.

Our Biomedical Image Analysis Division (BIAD) supports a broad range of research projects at the RII through systems administration, data analysis and software/database research and development. BIAD faculty and staff develop and publish validations of image processing tools and methods. We can provide our investigators with specialized software to help conduct complex data analysis and visualization for research.