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RESEARCH FACILITIES - DIVISION OF MR RESEARCH

Clinical MRI facilities

As of 2010, the Department of Radiology has six clinical MRI scanners: two Siemens scanners are located in the Houck basement and a 3rd Siemens 1.5T system is located on the 5th floor of the hospital. Three additional clinical MRI scanners–a Philips 3T, a Philips 1.5T and a GE 1.5 T Signa system–are all located in the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center which is directly connected to the main hospital.

Research MRI facilities -

The MRI Service Center, run by the Division of MR Research in the Department of Radiology and directed by Dr Paul Bottomley, operates four MRI scanners for research. It leases 1-2 scanners back to the hospital for clinical use, leaving 2 full-time scanners for 100% research use.  The available scanners are: {1} a GE 1.5T 8-channel Signa Horizon (research upon request), {2} a Philips 16-channel 3T Achieva equipped with an X-ray C-arm (100% research); plus 100% research split between {3} a Siemens 3T Trio and {4} a 1.5T Espree. The Espree is also equipped with a full angiographic floor-mounted X-ray fluoroscopic suite and miyabi table transfer system for the purpose of developing interventional MRI.  The scanners are supported by hourly machine rates, and have Radiology Technologist (RT) support by 3 RTs during normal working hours, supported by the MRI Service Center.

The FM Kirby fMRI center in the Kennedy Krieger Institute located near the main hospital has two Philips 3T MRI systems, {5} and {6} available for 100% research for use in the neurosciences.  The Kirby Center is supported by an NIH resource grant and is directed by Dr Peter van Zijl in the Division of MR Research.  The Kirby center, with support from the Department of Radiology, the NIH and other sources, also has a new 7T Philips whole body MRI system as of 2009.

Small-bore NMR/MRI systems -The Division of MR Research manages 2 other smaller bore NMR/MRI Service Centers suitable for studies of animal models, cell systems, and in vitro studies.
  -The NMR Service Center - has 400 MHz and 500 MHz Bruker NMR spectrometers, and a Bruker 4.7T 40 cm-horizontal bore spectrometer/imager equipped with rapid-switching gradient coils.
  -The Molecular Imaging Center – is located in the Broadway Research Building and is primarily geared to animal genetic models in a closed environment. It has a Bruker horizontal bore 9.4T animal system, in addition to an eXplore Vista small animal PET scanner, a SPECT-CT system, an IVIS Xenogen 200 optical imaging system for mice and rats, a VisualSonics small animal ultrasound unit, and a Faxitron MX-20 specimen radiography system.

Data analysis and computer facilities -

The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions has facilities and resources for the development of MRI/MRS pulse sequences, image analysis software, and data analysis, all currently located in the main Johns Hopkins Hospital. These include computers from Silicon Graphics Inc (SGI) and Sun Microsystems, Inc (Sun), DELL and Apple computers which are all heavily used by researchers. The workstations include simulators for pulse sequence development for the Philips 3T Achieva, Siemens Trio 3Tand Espree 1.5T, and GE Horizon 1.5T research MRI scanners, operated and maintained by the MRI Service Center which is directed by
Dr Paul A Bottomley and managed by Mr Hugh Wall. In addition, certain MRI scanner source codes and pulse sequence development software for the Philips, Siemens and GE research systems can be made accessible to researchers via manufacturer’s research agreements with JHU, subject to certain restrictions.
     
All of the computers and the MRI scanners are attached to a common ethernet network. This facilitates transfer of pulse sequences and MRI data, minimizing cycle time for developing MRI pulse sequences, and intra- and inter-group communication. Software has been installed and developed to facilitate development and debugging, communication, image processing, and data analysis. There is at least 500 GB of disk storage distributed throughout these facilities.
       
The Division of MR Research has two people dedicated to the management of the computer facilities and data. Joe Gillen manages the computer resources, maintaining and improving operability of the workstations and network, developing software and algorithms, and assisting with technical problems that arise. Yohannes Afework manages image data produced by the Division's other research programs. Data are organized and archived on writeable magneto-optical cartridges, 4 mm DAT tape and/or CDs and/or DVDs.
       
In addition, the Department of Radiology has a "Center for Biomedical Visualization" (CBMV), an open access computer facility for the development of visualization software for medical applications. The Center is equipped with SGI computers to accommodate the development of extremely graphics-intensive applications and real time image processing. This resource is available at a charge to department researchers.

Animal Facilities

Animal studies are performed under the supervision of the Animal Care and Use Committee of the Johns Hopkins University. Animals are housed in the Ross Building in a facility administered by the Research Animal Resources of the Department of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology. This facility is accredited by the American Association for the Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care and meets Federal guidelines. All animals are assessed daily by our veterinary technician or the Research Animal Resources personnel. In addition, the animals are assessed daily by a veterinarian in the Department of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology.
       
A fully equipped animal lab is located within the MRI Research Facility in the Houck basement adjacent to the GE 1.5T and Bruker 4.7 T MRI instruments.  The laboratory has a mobile X-ray fluoroscope, surgical table, anesthesia machines and monitoring equipment, and is managed and operated by Dr Dara Kraitchman, a licensed veterinarian.

Electronics laboratories and shop facilities

Two electronics shops, one located behind the animal laboratory, the other on the 3rd floor of the Park Building have a variety of equipment and space for testing, building, and repairing MRI coils (350 MHz Tektronix oscilloscope, Wavetek Frequency Generator, an old frequency synthesizer, drills, soldering equipment etc, an HP network analyzer, an RF noise meter, etc). The facility is overseen by the MRI Service Center and includes a partially-supported Electronics Engineer, Dr Abdel-Monem el-Sharkawy.
     
A fully equipped machine shop, located on campus and run by the Department of Biomedical Engineering, is also available on a charge-for-service basis.

Service Center Policies -

Please review the Service Center policies found here.

Learn how to read your billing statement here.

Patient Safety Policies are listed here.