History

CRMBM (Centre de Résonance Magnétique Biologique et Médicale, Center for Magnetic Resonance in Biology and Medicine) was established in 1985 on the Campus of the Medical School in Marseille, adjacent to the University Hospitals of La Timone (adult hospital and children hospital), the largest medical facility in Southern Europe. CRMBM is jointly operated and funded by CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research), AMU (Aix-Marseille University) and has a contractual agreement with AP-HM (Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Marseille, the Public Hospital System of Marseille).

Imaging equipment of CRMBM has been labeled as an operational platform by RIO in 2000, confirmed by IBiSA in 2006 and renewed in 2015. It is also included since 2015 in the network of technological platforms of Aix-Marseille University (AMU). CRMBM is certified with the label ISO 9001 and NFX 50/900. CRMBM is member of Carnot network through IC STAR with a focus on Sport, health and well-being, CRMBM is included in the national in vivo imaging infrastructure France Life Imaging; FLI (Infrastructures en Biologie Santé, Investissements d’Avenir, CRMBM is the pilot laboratory of the Marseille node) and is part of the network REMI (National network for MRI). At the European level CRMBM is affiliated to EIBIR (European Initiative in BioImaging research) since its establishment in 2006 and is part of different networks as for instance EUFIND for the neurodegenerative diseases in Europe or COST network MYO-MRI for studies on muscle. With a multidisciplinary staff of 80 basic scientists, engineers and clinicians, CRMBM pilots basic and clinical research protocols both internally or in collaboration with a network of over 200 academic researchers and clinicians, locally, nationally and abroad. It is also actively engaged in contract research with industrial partners (clinical trials, pharmaceutical industry, manufacturers of MR equipment and medical devices).

It is one of the largest biomedical MR centers in Europe and a national research facility for preclinical (rodents) and clinical MR imaging. It currently occupies for basic and animal research 1000 sqm of laboratories in the research building of the Marseille Medical School and, for clinical research, 1300 sqm at the Timone University Hospital in a dedicated building delivered in 2008. This clinical MR research facility, known as CEMEREM (Centre d’Exploration Métabolique par Résonance Magnétique, Center for Metabolic Exploration by Magnetic Resonance), is part of the “Medical Imaging Pole” of AP-HM.

CRMBM conducts translational research with the development and applications of MR methods and instruments to the morphologic, metabolic and functional exploration of animal models (rodents) and humans in order to (i) better characterize neurological, cardiovascular and muscular pathologies and (ii) to define new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Murine models of human pathologies and investigations in humans concern (i) neuropathologies: multiple sclerosis, stroke, brain tumors, metabolic encephalopathies, epilepsy, infectious diseases, spinal cord impairment (ii) cardiovascular diseases : ischemia, transplantation, diabetes, obesity, and (iii) neuromuscular and osteo-articular physiopathology : fatigue, hyperthermias, metabolic myopathies, sports medicine, cartilage and aging).

CRMBM is equipped with 8 MR systems. At the Medical School, CRMBM has 2 high resolution multinuclear Bruker MR wide bore spectrometers at 200 MHz (4.7T) and 400 MHz (9.4T) used for the study of biological fluids, cell extracts and perfused organs (heart). For small animal in vivo MR studies, CRMBM has state-of-the-art equipment with a Bruker Biospec Avance 47/30 MRI/MRS system (horizontal magnet at 4.7T),a Bruker Avance 500 WB system at 11.75T dedicated to MRI/MRS of transgenic mice and a Bruker USR 70/16 (7T) equipped with a cryoprobe for rodent studies, MR equipment for humans is located on the same site but on the hospital part, in premises having all facilities to receive patients and control subjects in a secured medical environment. They include 3 magnetic resonance Siemens systems: an AVANTO 1.5 T system, a VERIO 3T system and a MAGNETOM 7T system (Equipex, Investissements d’Avenir). This equipment is totally dedicated to research protocols or clinical trials with academic and industrial partners in a hospital environment allowing easy access to the patients and medical assistance. The platform is also equipped with monitoring systems, perfusion devices for contrast agents, amagnetic ergometers for cardiac and muscle studies.

CRMBM possesses all the classical equipment required to conduct research in life sciences, including separation methods (HPLC, gas chromatography…), molecular biology assays, enzymology etc… and advanced units for monitoring physiological parameters in small animals and humans. It operates its own animal house for rodents.

MARSEILLE is the second largest city in France with a population of over 1 million. It has the second largest scientific research community in the country. It is located on the western edge of the French Riviera, with excellent connections by plane, highways and fast trains (TGV) with the rest of the world. Marseille is renowned for its cosmopolitan quality of life, active cultural life and numerous amenities.

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