Welcome to the Preclinical Imaging and Testing Facility at MIT!

Our mission is to assist the biomedical research community at MIT and elsewhere in evaluating disease and its cure within a complete biological system. To do so, we focus on the use of minimally invasive and humane tools, with a strong focus in visualization and computation.

We build tools and techniques that can be deployed at the preclinical (or non-clinical) stages of the multidirectional and iterative translation process from basic biomedical discovery at the laboratory bench to the use of novel therapies and diagnostic technologies in patients. The complexity of this process is illustrated beautifully by the NCATS 4D (Drug Discovery Development and Deployment) Maps (https://ncats.nih.gov/translation/maps), an example of which is shown below for the case of therapies based on small molecules. Preclinical work is typically involved in stages A (Basic Research), B (Biomarker Development) and D (Lead Optimization & Candidate Selection) of the map.

Figure is displayed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share - Alike International 4.0 license (CC BY-SA 4.0) and is attributed to: Wagner JA, Dahlem AM, Hudson LD, Terry SF, Altman RB, Gilliland CT, DeFeo C, and Austin CP. Drug Discovery, Development and Deployment Map (4DM): Small Molecules. 

We combine the expertise and instrumentation to assist investigations on the mechanisms of disease development, to enable the evaluations of drug efficacy and resistance, and to provide the means for testing novel strategies and devices for disease detection and drug delivery.

We work very closely with the Preclinical Modeling Facility to accelerate translation of laboratory discoveries toward clinical implementation for patients. We generate preclinical imaging endpoints informed by testing data; integrate advanced imaging computation with predictive features; conduct pilot and preclinical studies in cells and small vertebrates to gain pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and toxicity information about new drugs, delivery systems or devices.