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A New MRI for the Negev

June 29, 2012

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When members of the AABGU community learned that there was only one MRI machine serving Israel's total southern population of 550,000, as well as the research needs of BGU, they took action.

The result of their generosity came to fruition during the 42nd Annual Board of Governors Meeting this past May with the dedication of a new 3 Tesla (3T) MRI at the Brain Imaging Research Center (BIRC) at Soroka University Medical Center.

Rena and Martin Blackman representing the Skirball Foundation of New York, and Sandra and Steven Finkelman and Ellen Marcus from AABGU’s Greater Texas Region attended the dedication.

They were welcomed by head of the Zlotowski Center for Neuroscience Prof. Alon Friedman and BIRC Director Dr. Ilan Shelef, and joined by BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi, Director-General David Bareket and other members of the University's senior administration.

In addition to the Skirball Foundation, Jacob Shochat of Mahwah, New Jersey and an anonymous couple and other donors from the Greater Texas Region supplied the funds for this powerful MRI.

"The technology makes it possible to convert the emitted analog signal into digital data immediately after it leaves the body. Thanks to this, it is possible to significantly improve the resulting pictures, which are produced at high speed, compared to analog MRI systems," says Dr. Shelef.

This much needed MRI will be used by the University to conduct brain research that contributes to medical advances. Just as important, it will improve patient care for the residents of Israel's Negev region.

"The highly exact device will be used for patients with strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and autism, as well as other brain diseases," says Prof. Friedman.

Read more about the latest advancements in brain research at BGU >>