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Mission

The mission of the VU BIOmolecular Multimodal Imaging Center (BIOMIC) is to build a platform of integrated technologies for imaging and molecular analysis that enables the construction of comprehensive 3-dimensional (3-D) molecular atlases of human tissues. The technologies that we are bringing together in BIOMIC have been specifically selected to encompass a range of analytical capabilities that, once combined, will make possible the most detailed molecular atlases possible. The major theme of BIOMIC is the integration of high spatial resolution and high-content imaging modalities with comprehensive multi-omics data sets mapped across the 3D volume of the tissues.

The data sets that are being collected as part of BIOMIC span a vast range of spatial resolutions (gross anatomy of whole organs to singe cells). Through the use of known markers that can be used to segment tissues and cell subtypes, we are able to correlate additional molecular and clinical information, expanding upon the current knowledge of normal phenotype for these human organs while at the same time providing this expanded understanding in a manner that directly complements the existing clinical, histological, and molecular biological knowledge base.

The value of this approach cannot be overstated because the data generated are comprehensive but easily related to current paradigms of tissue biology. This resource, once fully developed will greatly aid and accelerate the generation and testing of new hypothesis-driven research. Furthermore, the data sets produced by this program, focused on characterization of normal tissues, will provide a foundation to better understand human health and disease.

History

The BIOmolecular Multimodal Imaging Center was founded at the Vanderbilt University Mass Spectrometry Research Center in 2018 with funds provided by the National Institutes of Health as part of the Human BioMolecular Atlas Program (HuBMAP). The Center brings together the state-of-the-art mass spectrometry based imaging capabilities of the MSRC with the world-class clinical environment of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and next-generation data integration and analysis approaches developed at the Delft University of Technology.