Space Utilization: The Functional MRI Facility (FMRIF) currently occupies approximately 4800 sq. ft of space, divided between the scanner bays, control rooms and electronics/machine rooms for 3TA, 3TB, 3TC, and 1.5T MRI scanners located within the NMR center and office space on the second floor above the NMR center in the FMRIF/SFIM suite (approximately 1400 sq ft total, including shared conference space). Staff: The FMRIF staff (currently 15 full time employees) consist of: the facility director, four staff scientists to keep the scanners running, eight MRI technologists, an information technology (IT) specialist, and an administrative lab manager. Core users: The functional MRI facility supports the research of about 30 Principle Investigators which translates to about 300 researchers overall. Approximately 70 research protocols are active and making use of FMRIF scanners. Each scanner has scheduled operating hours of 105 hours per week. Since the year 2000 until Sep 2009 there were about 500 peer reviewed publications published with data acquired on FMRIF MRI scanners and with facility assistance (about 350 since 2006). High Impact Publications since about 2006 (based on citations): Meyer-Lindenberg A., Buckholtz J.W., Kolachana B., Hariri A.R., Pezawas L., Blasi G., Wabnitz A., Honea R., Verchinski B., Callicott J.H., Egan M., Mattay V., Weinberger D.R. Neural mechanisms of genetic risk for impulsivity and violence in humans (2006) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103 (16), pp. 6269-6274. Cited 129 times. ---------------------------------------- Birn R.M., Diamond J.B., Smith M.A., Bandettini P.A. Separating respiratory-variation-related fluctuations from neuronal-activity-related fluctuations in fMRI (2006) NeuroImage, 31 (4), pp. 1536-1548. Cited 101 times. ---------------------------------------- Lenroot R.K., Giedd J.N. Brain development in children and adolescents: Insights from anatomical magnetic resonance imaging (2006) Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 30 (6), pp. 718-729. Cited 89 times. ---------------------------------------- Meyer-Lindenberg A., Nichols T., Callicott J.H., Ding J., Kolachana B., Buckholtz J., Mattay V.S., Egan M., Weinberger D.R. Impact of complex genetic variation in COMT on human brain function (2006) Molecular Psychiatry, 11 (9), pp. 867-877. Cited 61 times. ---------------------------------------- Pessoa L., Japee S., Sturman D., Ungerleider L.G. Target visibility and visual awareness modulate amygdala responses to fearful faces (2006) Cerebral Cortex, 16 (3), pp. 366-375. Cited 55 times. ---------------------------------------- Nugent A.C., Milham M.P., Bain E.E., Mah L., Cannon D.M., Marrett S., Zarate C.A., Pine D.S., Price J.L., Drevets W.C. Cortical abnormalities in bipolar disorder investigated with MRI and voxel-based morphometry (2006) NeuroImage, 30 (2), pp. 485-497. Cited 44 times. ---------------------------------------- Dreher J.-C., Kohn P., Berman K.F. Neural coding of distinct statistical properties of reward information in humans (2006) Cerebral Cortex, 16 (4), pp. 561-573. Cited 42 times. Accomplishments: The FMRIF completed a major renovation and equipment upgrade in 2007/2008 and now operates three General Electric 3T MRI scanners as well as one General Electric 1.5T MRI scanner. With these new systems our 3T scanning capacity increased approximately 50% (two 3T scanners in 2007 to three 3T scanners in Jan 2008). The new scanners are short-bore General Electric 3 Tesla MRI systems: one is equipped with 16 MRI signal receivers (or channels) and is also equipped for spectroscopy experiments, while the other has 32 channels which can be used for high-resolution functional brain mappping experiments. Both scanners are equipped with an array of RF coils or receivers which provide a state of the art scanning environment. The scanners are equipped with a full system for interfacing with research subjects, including video delivered using high-speed digital projectors and electrostatic audio systems that are MR compatible. These devices are complemented with MR compatible methods for measuring subject/patient physiology in the magnets as well as fiber-optic systems for providing subject feedback and infrared video systems for monitoring eye movements in the magnet. All FMRIF MRI scanners are available for research 14 hours a day and 7 days a week. To ensure high quality imaging data and to reduce scanner down time, advance daily quality assurance procedures have been developed. An additional development includes real-time fMRI capability. This also allows for conducting fMRI experiments involving neurofeedback to the subject. All imaging data are extracted from the MRI scanner, converted, and saved on the fly onto dedicated computers together with complete electronic documentation of all performed scans. In the past year, the functional MRI facility has established a primate imaging platform for anatomical and functional MRI studies of nonhuman primates. This involved the integration of a custom mounting device and coil in addition to a protocol that seamlessly allows the transition of use of the scanner for imaging primates at 1.5T and 3T. This has become a useful tool for those researchers in the NIH that would like to complement their human fMRI studies with primate studies. A major accomplishment of the core facility last year was in association with the renovations revolving around installation of the new 3T scanner. These renovations required one of our 3T scanners be shut down. Handling this renovation required adjusting the user schedule and establishing temporary time on a scanner owned by GE but set up at the NIH in accordance with a research agreement. This required finesse on the part of the facility staff to manage this transfer. Most users were quite happy with how this was handled, as their research was not significantly interrupted. Lastly, the core facility is in the final stages of purchasing a 7T scanner (replacing one of the 3T scanners) and possibly up to two 3T scanners (one potentially replacing the 1.5T scanner and one additional scanner). These scanners all should be up and running within nine months.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Scientific Cores Intramural Research (ZIC)
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