New LCNI director outlines goals

Fred Sabb recently joined the University of Oregon’s Lewis Center for Neuroimaging (LCNI) as director. In his new role, he oversees the center, which supports interdisciplinary research in cognitive neuroscience and biological imaging and houses a Siemens Skyra 3T MRI unit. 

Fred SabbPreviously Sabb served as assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles where he was a founding executive committee member of the UCLA Staglin Center for Cognitive Neuroscience MRI facility and recently served as assistant director. Originally from New Jersey, he completed his undergraduate work at Carnegie Mellon University in Cognitive Psychology and received his Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA in 2005. His academic interests include functional imaging, cognitive neuroscience and informatics.

As LCNI director, Sabb will facilitate MRI-related research on-campus, working directly with interested faculty and trainees to support their research needs and developing multi-disciplinary projects that bring together the many strengths at the UO.

“The LCNI mission is to support a broad range of research related to MRI and I am very excited to meet everyone and see how our center can meet the needs of researchers on campus and the community,” Sabb said. “We will be reducing the hurdles to using our amazing center, which has benefited from tremendous support from the administration.”

Sabb’s goals for LCNI include dramatically increasing the center’s support for pilot projects — from the design phase all the way through grant preparation. The center, Sabb says, is poised for growth, and as a result, there will be expanded formal and informal training opportunities to faculty and students to meet the growing interest in MRI research.

“Dr. Sabb brings a broad skill set and a highly collaborative spirit to the table and we’re thrilled to have him serving LCNI as director,” said Kimberly Andrews Espy, vice president for research and innovation and dean of the UO Graduate School. “We look forward to seeing the impact his experience and enthusiasm will have on the Center as it continues to expand its reach to include new users and new research projects.”

LCNI relocated to its current location on the first floor of the Lewis Integrative Science Building in 2012. Its large bore (70 cm) MRI provides opportunities for an array of research projects. In keeping with this "integrative" nature of the building, the MRI is open to researchers from across the spectrum (psychology, physiology, economics, education, geography), including trainees at all levels. The Center offers a variety of stimulus presentation and data collection modalities, and is accessible to outside users, including local health providers, on a fee-for-use basis.