Pioneering a New Vision into Disease

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) offers clinicians the stunning prospect of seeing into the deepest mysteries of diseases that afflict hundreds of millions of people, without the need for surgery, X-rays, or radioactive tracers. Because MRI uses only harmless magnetic fields and radio waves, it offers one of the most benign technologies in medicine for studying and diagnosing medical disorders.

AIRC Center Director Dean Sherry and Medical Director Craig Malloy
Dean Sherry, Ph.D., former AIRC Director, left, and Medical Director Craig Malloy, M.D.

AIRC researchers are world leaders in developing new MRI tracers, all of which are non-radioactive, and techniques to reveal the aberrant machinery of cancer, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, depression, and diseases of the heart, lung, and liver. They are also mapping the brain in unprecedented detail, offering researchers and students new understanding of the normal brain, as well as the abnormalities of such disorders as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

This new vision into disease will save lives and alleviate suffering on a vast scale, enabling clinicians to diagnose these disorders at their earliest stages and to track the success of treatment with a precision never before possible.

AIRC researchers are also helping realize the dream of cancer patients and their doctors: treatments that target only cancers and spare healthy tissues, reducing and even eliminating the sometimes devastating side effects of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

The sections below explain the AIRC's extraordinary research efforts and their profound implications for the future of medicine.