Director of Multimodal Whole Animal Imaging Core Appointed at Boston University’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories

in Press Releases
August 2nd, 2010

Boston University School of Medicine

For Immediate Release: August 2, 2010

Contact: Ellen Berlin, 617-638-6838, Ellen.berlin@bmc.org

(Boston) – Ronald Killiany, PhD, the director of the Center for Biomedical Imaging (CBI) at Boston University Medical Campus has been appointed director of the Multimodal Whole Animal Imaging Core at the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories at Boston University (NEIDL).  Killiany also serves as associate professor in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and associate professor in Environmental Health at the School of Public Health.

As director of the Multimodal Whole Animal Imaging Core, Killiany will be responsible for directing the overall whole animal imaging program including recruiting and training staff, developing services that the core will provide, writing procedural manuals and standard operating procedures for core services, and supervising experiments utilizing the whole animal imaging facilities in the NEIDL. 

A joint statement from Mark Klempner, MD, Director of the NEIDL, Mark Moss, PhD, Chair of Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, and Alex Norbash, MD, Chair, Radiology Department, said “Research on many emerging infectious diseases has been hampered by the inability to probe experimental models with modern imaging techniques. Killiany brings extensive experience with sophisticated, experimental imaging, especially MRI, to the research “toolbox” that can now be applied to these serious infectious diseases.  We are excited that he will help launch the NEIDL into a leadership position for such studies.” 

The primary objective of the Multimodal Whole Animal Imaging Core is to utilize newly available imaging modalities to study the pathogenesis, treatment and prevention of emerging infectious diseases.  Recent and anticipated innovations in multimodal imaging technologies, including a custom-designed, one-of-a-kind BSL-4 compatible 4.7 Tesla whole animal MRI scanner, fluorescence optical tomography, and X-ray computed tomography are some of the imaging techniques that are located in the NEIDL.  In-house developed multimodal imaging software packages designed specifically for emerging infectious diseases’ needs will facilitate further quantitative and multimodal analyses of data to gain insights into the pathogenesis and treatment of major infectious diseases that are public health concerns.

Killiany’s research has focused on investigating structure function relationships in the brain to uncover morphological changes that occur during aging and disease processes.  He has extensive experience directing imaging studies in non-human primates and processing specimens for analysis of gross anatomy and histopathology.

Killiany received his master’s in psychology from the University of Hartford and doctorate in psychology from Northeastern University.  He has held postdoctoral fellowships in neuroanatomy, neurobiology and neuropsychology at BUSM.  As a research associate and professor he has published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles, contributed to numerous book chapters and served as an ad hoc reviewer on over 15 scientific journals.

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The National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) at Boston University is part of a national network of secure facilities that will study infectious diseases – whether they occur naturally or are introduced deliberately through bioterrorism. The facility is dedicated to the development of diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics to combat emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. In addition to BSL-2 and BSL-3 laboratories, the NEIDL houses a BSL-4 laboratory that operates at the highest level of containment. The NEIDL adds to the growing life sciences industry in the region, throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and across the country. 

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