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 over 30 Principal Investigators which translates to over 300 researchers overall. Over 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 2011, a total of 723 publications have made use of the core facility. The total is divided among 472 for NIMH, 195 from NINDS, and 56 from the other institutes). These papers have been cited 38,461 times for a combined h-index of 102. Accomplishments: This year, the FMRIF has been extremely busy with scanner purchases. We have purchased a Siemens 7T and a Siemens Skyra 3T scanner and are hoping to complete our purchase of the GE CRADA scanner and upgrade it to a GE750. The 7T will replace our 3T-C. The Skyra 3T will replace our 1.5T in January of 2011, and the GE upgrade will be on the purchased CRADA scanner which will be owned by us. Credit goes to Sean Marrett and Vinai Roopchansingh for overseeing the ongoing construction projects for these scanners. In the past year, a new staff scientist, Souheil Inati, has joined our team. He brings with him considerable expertise in MR physics and pulse programming as well as experience with Siemens platforms. In this past year, we have created a transparent """"""""technical scan"""""""" list, allowing appropriately qualified individuals to streamline their scanning setup and testing process by being able to perform """"""""technical scans."""""""" This privilege required extensive edits and feedback before it was ready. With regard to IT related accomplishments for the core facility: Centralized authentication for technologist The IT infrastructure for the FMRIF's eight MRI technologists has been completely overhauled to make it easier for technologists to support different scanners on different days. Their stand alone Windows workstations have been replaced with iMacs connected to a central Xserver. Each technologist can login to any of the iMacs in any scanner room and access their desktop. Virtualization We have begun a major initiative to virtualize many of the core computing hardware of the FMRIF. Virtualization has many benefits including reduced space and power consumption and increase up time and reliability. The FMRIF webserver has already been converted to a virtual machine and we expect the authentication, backup, and dicom catcher to be be converted in the coming year. Utilization Statistics We have contined to expand the accounting features of our scan scheduling database. This now enables us to produce fine-grained reports on how and when each investigator is using the scanner. For example, this year we have added the ability to compute how much notice investigators provide when giving up unneeded scantime to the community. These reports help both us and the scientific director allocate scantime to maximize the efficient utilization of FMRIF resources. Lastly over the past year, the functional MRI facility has continued the summer fMRI/MRI summer seminar series. This informal fMRI/MRI summer course is presented mostly by researchers at the NIH. While the lectures were not filmed, the digital versions of the presentations are placed on a site that allows downloading. This course has been well-received by the summer student and post bac IRTA community at the NIH. The attendance this year is about double that of last year.
|Thomas, Adam G; Marrett, Sean; Saad, Ziad S et al. (2009) Functional but not structural changes associated with learning: an exploration of longitudinal voxel-based morphometry (VBM). Neuroimage 48:117-25|