The Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC) was established in 2000 as a quantitative imaging research center with the goal of extending the boundaries of current knowledge about neurological diseases and disorders through innovative research techniques and the application of bioinformatics resources. With the aid of talented researchers the BNAC grew quickly. The Center is equipped with the necessary technology, software and experience to carry out specialized neuroimaging studies, and houses a computer center that performs quantitative analysis of MRI scans. The BNAC network, designed for security and speed, connects 30 workstations to the server and backup server. Gigabytes Ethernet-based networking provides high-speed access to data from anywhere on the BNAC network. Connections managed by firewalls allow a constant flow of new images from external MRI centers to its internal network, allowing scans to arrive at the BNAC within minutes of acquisition.
In addition to the BNAC Director, BNAC Senior Staff includes the Director of Technical Imaging and MRI Sequence Development. General BNAC staff includes the following positions: Integration Director, Research Physicist, MRI Software Engineer, Sr. Clinical Trial Manager, Senior Clinical Database Manager/Quality Review Associate, Senior Biostatistician and Research Scientist, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Clinical Trial Manager/Sr. Clinical Trial Research Assistant, Sr. Research Support Specialist/MRI Technologist, MRI Physicist, Preclinical Lab Manager, Administrative Clinical Trial Assistant/Quality Review Assistant, a Clinical Trial Neuroimager/Sr. Clinical Trial Research Assistant, 2 Clinical Trial Research Assistants, 2 Administrative Assistants and Administrative Director. In addition, Training Record Manager/Document Manager manages BNAC standard operating procedures on a part-time basis. Two certified clinical neuroimagers and two MRI technicans collaborate with BNAC on a part-time basis. In addition to BNAC’s formal staff, the staff of the Neuropsyhology Unit includes a Director of the Unit and Fellows. This Unit works in collaboration with BNAC in different areas of neurological research. BNAC staff also includes Research Scholars, who participate in one or more of the center’s research projects by bringing expertise and knowledge to BNAC’s research activities.
Since its inception, BNAC has been establishing itself as a world leader in performing global and regional brain atrophy measurements in multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurodegenerative disorders. The BNAC also computes a variety of other conventional and non-conventional quantitative brain MRI measurements: estimates of T2-, T1-, gadolinium-enhancing and confluence lesion volumes and calculation of global and regional magnetization transfer, diffusion weighted and tensor, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, cerebrospinal fluid imaging, susceptibility-weighted imaging, functional MRI (fMRI), perfusion and atrophy MRI indices. In addition, BNAC has recently expanded its research to the spinal cord and optic nerve imaging.
From the start, BNAC research projects have involved international collaboration with a variety of clinicians and scientists pursuing the use of quantitative MRI to study brain disorders. The BNAC has participated in global research studies with grant funding of $25 million and established affiliations with more than twenty institutions worldwide.