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The University of Iowa MR Research Facility was established in August of 2004 with the acquisition of a Siemens Trio 3T scanner, shared between research and clinical usage. While the Center is within the Department of Radiology, it is run as a Core University facility. The facility is managed on a daily basis by Vincent Magnotta, PhD, Alan Stolpen, MD, PhD, and Dan Thedens, PhD. Oversight is provided by a Research Advisory committee that reviews new project proposals and equipment acquisitions. Since its inception, the equipment managed by the Research Center has expanded. In 2006, a research dedicated Siemens Avanto 1.5T scanner was loaned to the University by Siemens Medical Solutions to support research studies. Then, in 2007 an NIH/NCRR High End Instrumentation grant supported the acquisition of a research dedicated Siemens TIM Trio 3T scanner which was installed in the Medical Education and Research Facility (MERF).
In 2010 The University of Iowa was awarded a $7.97 million grant, received through the National Center for Research Resources, for a whole body 7T MRI research scanner. The scanner was sited on the College of Medicine campus in the new Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building (PBDB) and is supported by the Iowa Institute for Biomedical Imaging. Obtaining grant funding for the 7T was a multiple departmental effort lead by the Director of the MRI Research Facility, Vincent Magnotta.
Tours of the MRI Research Center are available by calling Marla Kleingartner or Autumn Craig at 335-8706. Tours are led by Dan Thedens, PhD (pictured below). Dr. Thedens is a Research Scientist at the MRI Research Facility and specializes in orthopedic and animal imaging. During a tour of the MRI Research Center, visitors will see the image processing lab, the equipment room which houses the "brains" of the MRI scanner, inside the scanner room and actual images taken from the MRI scanner.
Standard operating hours for the research-dedicated 3T TIM Trio scanner are from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. During this time, a technologist is provided to run the scanner. The shared research 3T Skyra scanner is available Tuesday afternoons from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. for research studies. The shared Avanto 1.5T scanner is available on Wednesdays from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The scanners are also available after-hours if technologist coverage is available, or if the user is certified to conduct MR studies on their own.
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