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Biomedical Imaging Research Center
A Bridge from Molecule to Human
Hidehiko Okazawa We promote basic and clinical research to provide the advanced medical practice by means of various approaches in radiological sciences, aiming to open the gates to the future through the peaceful use of nuclear energy and radiation.
Biomedical Imaging Research Center
 Director, Hidehiko Okazawa, M.D.
Fukui Prefecture has the highest number of nuclear power plants in Japan, giving a great concern about radiation to the local community. Fukui Medical University, now a part of University of Fukui, has been promoting the medical use of radiation as basic concept of the University since it was founded in 1980. The long awaited research center to realize this mission was established in 1994 as Biomedical Imaging Research Center. The center aims to promote basic and clinical research on medical imaging by means of various non-invasive methods involving electromagnetic waves, such as X-ray and gamma ray.
X-ray and gamma ray can easily penetrate the human body and convey information of subtle changes inside the body. Taking advantage of these characteristics, we detect physiological and biochemical signals from various organs, and visualize the changes as two-dimensional image or three-dimensional tomographic image non-invasively. Various methods have been introduced for imaging the structure and function of organs. Among them, positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) play a major role in understanding human physiology and biochemistry.
The center aims to promote basic and clinical research for diagnosis and prevention of diseases by visualizing molecular signals reflecting functional changes brought by illness, which contributes to health in the local community. The newly developed methods of medical imaging based on this concept will play an important role in the establishment of new scientific field. In order to achieve this goal, the center has various equipments, including two cyclotrons and automated synthesis system for production of radiolabeled compounds, two PET scanners and a 3T-MRI, and the researchers in the center are actively working in collaboration with other institutions.
History  
March, 1994 Cyclotron building was completed.
March, 1994 Cyclotron was installed.
April, 1994 Radiopharmaceutical chemistry division (endowed division) was opened.
May, 1994 Biomedical Imaging Research Center(BIRC) was opened.
May, 1994 Positron emission tomography (PET) scanner was installed.
October, 1994 Biomedical Imaging Research Center opening ceremony
March, 1996 Animal PET scanner was installed.
August, 1996 BIRC hosted PET summer seminar.
August, 1996 BIRC hosted "International Workshop on Biomedical Imaging : MR and PET/SPECT" (Fukui96).
April, 1999 Molecular Imaging Division was opened.
June, 1999 High magnetic field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment was installed.
November, 2000 BIRC hosted "The Second International Workshop on Biomedical Imaging" (Fukui2000).
November, 2000 Biomedical Imaging Research Center Building was completed.
February, 2001 Opening Ceremony for Biomedical Imaging Research Center Building
October, 2003 Fukui Medical University and Fukui University were integrated into University of Fukui.
December, 2003 The second cyclotron was installed.
April, 2004 Reorganization of Biomedical Imaging Research Center into six divisions; Medical Imaging, molecular Imaging, Functional Neuroimaging (in cooperative with Faculty of Medical Sciences), Oncology (in cooperative with Faculty of Medical Sciences), Image Engineering (in cooperative with Faculty of Engneering), and Radiopharmaceutkcal Chemistry (Endowed).
December, 2004 BIRC hosted "The Third International Workshop on Biomedical Imaging" (Fukui2004).
April, 2005 PET Engineering Division (Endowed) was opened




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University of Fukui Biomedical Imaging Research Center
23-3 Matsuokashimoaizuki, Eiheiji-cho, Yoshida-gun, Fukui Prefecture, 910-1193, Japan
Tel: +81-776-61-8491 Email:bircfukui@gmail.com
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