News and Events

Rambam’s Renewed and Expanded MRI Institute – Leading the Way for Clinical Practice and Brain Research

Publication Date: 10/30/2022 10:30 AM

A state-of-the-art MRI device was recently acquired by Rambam Health Care Campus together with the University of Haifa and deployed in the refurbished MRI Institute at the hospital.

L-R Dr. Esty Golan, Dr. Ayelet Eran, Prof. Miki Halberthal, Dr. Anat Ilivitzki, Prof. Ron Robin and Roee Avraham with University of  Haifa researchers.
Photography: Rambam HCCL-R Dr. Esty Golan, Dr. Ayelet Eran, Prof. Miki Halberthal, Dr. Anat Ilivitzki, Prof. Ron Robin and Roee Avraham with University of Haifa researchers. Photography: Rambam HCC

It was an exciting moment when Rambam's new MRI Institute was inaugurated just a few days ago, following a period of extensive renewal and expansion. Participating in this significant event, which also celebrates a unique partnership between Rambam HCC and the University of Haifa, were Prof. Michael Halberthal, Director General of Rambam HCC, Prof. Ron Robin, President of the University of Haifa, special guests, hospital physicians, and university researchers.

The state-of-the-art MRI device (manufactured by Siemens – an international technology company) was acquired jointly by Rambam Health Care Campus and the University of Haifa and was deployed in the refurbished MRI Institute. This MRI device has a magnetic field strength of 3 Tesla (Tesla is a unit of magnetic field strength and unrelated to the electric vehicle of the same name).

Multiple research studies at the University of Haifa examine various aspects of the brain and behavior, i.e., depression and post-trauma, social behavior, autism, anxiety, and cognitive development. Recently, the university established a center for brain and behavior research. The collaborative interprofessional research team resulting from the strategic partnership of a university and a hospital affords an unique opportunity to advance research.

Shared research conducted by the two institutions will be aimed at discovering new links between the brain and behavior.

At the inauguration ceremony, Halberthal remarked: "This is a day of celebration! An unmet need that I identified when I assumed my responsibilities at the hospital has been addressed. In partnership with the university, under the leadership of Prof. Robin, we are implementing and will continue to advance research and crucial medical discoveries. The strategic vision is to support health services and, at the same time, pursue a robust research agenda."

Robin added: "Employing an MRI device for research purposes is a singular model for collaboration among experts in academia and medicine. It will strengthen the University of Haifa's ability to harness the power of its research on behalf of society. Our key alliance with researchers at Rambam empowers our researchers to integrate their knowledge gleaned in the laboratory with the clinical mastery of the Rambam HCC's physicians. This vibrant blend of the best minds from both institutions is the way forward to fueling breakthroughs that will benefit all of society."

Dr. Ayelet Eran, Director of the MRI Institute at Rambam, notes: "The MRI device is equipped with cutting-edge technology that enables implementation of clinical and basic research, particularly brain research, meeting the highest global standards."

In addition to this unique collaboration between the two institutions, Rambam is pleased to announce the completion of its MRI Institute upgrade--a process that took a little over a year. Emphasis was placed on increased patient accessibility to keep pace with Northern Israel's growing population and meet the soaring demand for this essential medical imaging tool. This is excellent news for the communities in the north of Israel and further cements Rambam's reputation as a top-tier center for MRI clinical services and research.

The MRI Institute now has three MRI devices: the new, shared 3 Tesla machine, a second upgraded 3 Tesla machine, and one 1.5 Tesla machine.

"Our main goal is to study the human brain, which is the most fascinating object in the world. The device we purchased and the unique collaboration with Rambam HCC will allow us to better understand its wonders," enthused Dr. Roi Admon, Head of the Laboratory for Stress and Psychopathology Research at the University of Haifa's School of Psychology.

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