The Biomedical Imaging Resource (BIR) Core has extensive experience supporting basic, translational and clinical research protocols. By partnering with the core on the imaging-specific parts of their protocols, clients can focus their effort on carrying out the overall study — while knowing that their imaging needs will be met with costs kept to a minimum.
As examples of how the core has successfully worked with investigators, consider these three use cases.
Custom software design for an individual investigator
For some grants, imaging is the central theme; for others, it is yet another tool to investigate a biological process. The core works with many investigators who need imaging services but don't need to build their own infrastructure.
For example, the core worked with an investigator who was obtaining confocal microscopy images of the eye and needed to understand the number and types of cells in the cornea. However, the development of image analysis software was outside the scope of the investigator's expertise.
The BIR Core was contracted to write a custom analysis software package for the project. By building on significant existing infrastructure, the core was able to meet the investigator's requirements while keeping costs low.
Multisite clinical trials
Multisite clinical trials are a critical step in the development of new therapies. The use of imaging has dramatically impacted the clinical trial process, as imaging can often be used to evaluate patient progress before other outcome data can be obtained. As images are obtained during trials, investigators need a reliable, efficient way to process and analyze them.
For several clinical trials, the BIR Core has served as the image analysis core lab. The core has worked on trials with only 40 to 50 subjects, as well as trials with thousands of subjects.
Core staff specializes in routine image analysis, regardless of the anatomy and pathology. The core's analysis work flow is robust — with extensive testing and retesting of the measurement process — and results are consistent. Additionally, because the core leverages its internal infrastructure, costs are not prohibitive.
Robust, secure image data management
At the center of any valid research project is the research data. Imaging-related research projects are no different, except that many imaging studies will obtain 10 to 100 times more data than will nonimaging studies — and large volumes of data require large data stores.
As inexpensive hard drives can readily be found at consumer electronics stores, investigators often consider purchasing a few and managing their own data. However, such portable drives are designed for only minimal to moderate use, and include no warranty on the data stored on the drive.
The BIR Core provides clients low-cost, robust, secure research image data storage solutions. These storage solutions are fully backed up and "redundant," meaning all the data can be recovered even if some becomes corrupt. Security measures are in place to ensure that only designated study team members and core staff can access the data.