Research Facility News Archive 2011

December 15, 2011

An updated MRI Screening Sheet is available for download:

MRI Screening Sheet

This form must be completed before any subject is allowed to enter the MRI scan room. Every subject (including research assistants, family members, and other staff) must remain outside the MRI scanning room until they have been screened by an MR technologist and completed and signed the MRI Screening Sheet.


December 12, 2011


November 30, 2011

Open Position for Postdoctoral Fellow in Dynamic and Spectroscopic MR Image Reconstruction

A post-doctoral fellowship is available at the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Magnetic Resonance Research Facility (MRRF) at the University of Iowa. The research involves the development of novel compressed sensing algorithms and pulse sequences to advance the state of the art in dynamic and spectroscopic MRI, with applications to oncology and cardiovascular imaging. The fellowship provides an opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary team at the Iowa Institute of Biomedical Imaging (IIBI) and clinical researchers at the Department of Radiation Oncology. Facilities at MRRF include a research dedicated Siemens 3T TIM Trio MRI scanner and shared 3T and 1.5T Siemens magnets. A 7T GE research scanner will also be available by 2013.

Applicants must have a PhD or equivalent in electrical/biomedical engineering, medical physics, or closely related field. The ideal candidate would have a strong signal processing background and expertise in developing image reconstruction algorithms and/or MRI pulse sequences. A record of peer reviewed journal publications and expertise in C/C++, and/or Matlab are essential. Experience with IDEA sequence programming is desirable, but not required. The position is initially for one year and is extendable up to three years, based on performance.

This position is immediately available, while the start date is negotiable. The position will come with the health and other benefits at the University of Iowa. Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.

The application must include the following:

  • Cover letter highlighting the candidate’s suitability for this position
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Up to three selected preprints/reprints most relevant to this position
  • Two letters of recommendation

The application should be sent to Dr. Mathews Jacob at the address below (e-mail applications only). The position is available immediately until filled.

Dr. Mathews Jacob
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
The University of Iowa
Departmental Website:


November 7, 2011

To access XNAT (our repository for all research images) from off campus, simply go to and log in with your HawkID and password. The Virtual Private Network (VPN) service provides secure access to University resources from off-campus. The VPN can also be used if you're experiencing trouble viewing the Research Scheduler from off-campus.


November 4, 2011

On Thursday, November 10 the MRI Research Facility will host the first in a six-part lecture series dedicated to all things 7T. The objective of the lectures is to inform imaging researchers about the applications, challenges and benefits available at 7T. We also hope it spurs excitement and interest in imaging research. To kick the series off, we brought in three top researchers from the GE 7T program.

Jacques Coumans, PhD is the General Manager of GE's Premium MR Business and will give an overview of GE's MR business and premium product portfolio.

Rob Peters, PhD is the Manager of MR Physics and MSK Applications for the ASL Team at GE and will discuss Musculoskeletal (MSK) MR, the GE ASL organization, and the GE research collaboration process.

Greg Hurst, PhD is GE's 7T and High Field MR Product Manager and will talk about UHF MR technology, applications and the GE 7T research program.

Please join us on Thursday, November 10 from 1:30 - 3:30 pm in the Urmila Sahai Auditorium, 2117 MERF.


August 11, 2011

The MRI Research Facility recently purchased left and right hand fiber optic response pads from Psychology Software Tools (creators of E-prime). The new response system is available at the the research 3T located at L169 MERF. The MRI Simulator is also outfitted with the response system.


May 16, 2011

Autumn Craig started Monday, April 18 as our part-time technologist at the MRI Research Facility. This addition to our research staff will allow us to expand our hours of operation and to accommodate a greater number of evening and weekend scanner requests. Autumn has worked as a technologist in the Department of Radiology for the previous 8 years, and has extensive experience conducting fMRI research scans as a backup technologist for our facility. Her experience and flexibility will play an important role in the success of our young imaging facility, and will be especially valuable as we begin to establish our ultra-high field 7T program.


February 25, 2011

The results speak for themselves. The University of Iowa Health Care Marketing and Communications tour program has been a success. Lead by expert guide Dan Thedens, students can see our facility’s image processing lab, the equipment room which houses the “brains” of our research scanner, and our state-of-the-art Siemens 3T TIM Trio MRI scanner.

Click on the thank you note to read some recent feedback.


February 24, 2011

Registration for the 2011 Siemens XIP training workshop is closed.


February 17, 2011

Register for the 2011 XIP training workshop by going to:


January 31, 2011

Associate Professor Vincent Magnotta and Biomedical Engineering PhD graduate student Wen Li are featured in Kitware's quarterly special edition of the Source for their work on new functionalities for spherical demons registration (page 8).


January 18, 2011

Research Scientist and expert tour guide Dan Thedens once again proves why he's the best in the business at giving tours of the MRI Research Facility. Click on the image at the left to read some recent accolades from a local 6th grade tour group.


Research Facility News Archive 2010

November 10, 2010

The University of Iowa MRI Research Center is looking for a part-time programmer to perform upgrades and modifications to an online scheduling system. To apply, send an email with your resume to

  • Department: Radiology / MRI Research Center
  • Contact: Joe Ekdahl
  • Telephone: 319-384-3026
  • Email:
  • Address: 375 Newton Road, L169 MERF, Iowa City, IA 52242
  • Rate of Pay: $12.00
  • Hours per Week: 20
  • Work Schedule: Flexible (preferably between 7am-5pm)
  • Job Beginning/Ending Dates: Immediate to ongoing
  • Duties: Work primarily with open-source PHP scheduling system utilized for scheduling MRI research scans. Merge and incorporate changes that have been made in-house to scheduling system to the new release of phpScheduleIt available online. Use Java, PHP & MySQL to develop queries & cron job(s) to pull information from our scheduling system into our Research Information System (RIS).
  • Qualifications: Must have experience with Java, PHP & MySQL. Guidance will be available both for general direction and technical questions; however this position is expected to primarily utilize online resources and available programming manuals.


October 27, 2010

The University of Iowa has been awarded a $7.97 million grant, received through the National Center for Research Resources, for a whole body 7T MRI research scanner. The scanner will be sited on the College of Medicine campus in the new Iowa Institute for Biomedical Discovery (IIBD) building and will be supported by the Iowa Institute for Biomedical Imaging. Obtaining grant funding for the 7T was a multiple departmental effort lead by Vincent Magnotta, PhD.


September 29, 2010

Dan O'Leary was recently awarded a $2.6 million grant to use MRI to study brain function in adolescents who have genetic risk factors for alcoholism. To read his interview with the Daily Iowan go to:


August 25, 2010

An updated MRI Research Scheduler manual is now available. In addition to getting a new look, many new features have been added to the scheduler. You now have the ability to include project members on reservation request emails, view your scanning protocol and IRB Informed Consent Document, add reservations to your Outlook calendar, reserve time on the MRI Simulator, and more.


July 9, 2010

The MR Research Facility now has an MRI Simulator available to all MRI researchers at no charge. The MRI Simulator gives subjects exposure to the MRI scanner by realistically reproducing the scanning environment.

The simulator is sited in room 155 MRF (behind the old Java House, near the Fountain Entrance) in the Hospital.

Features Include:

  • 60 cm bore with cooling fans and lighting
  • Motorized, speed-controlled table
  • Amplified speakers with subwoofer and realistic scanner sounds
  • 15" LCD display for fMRI presentation
  • Mock head coil with rear facing mirror system


June 23, 2010

The MR Research Facility is now using the XNAT (Extensible Neuroimaging Archive Toolkit) open source software platform to manage all MR research images.

XNAT allows researchers to access and manage their MR images from a secure repository immediately following a subject's research scan. Subject data is confidential and is now available for all current MR research projects.

To begin using XNAT, log into with your hawkid and password. Once you have logged into the system, you will be manually assigned to your research project.

Please contact Joe Ekdahl at with any questions.

May 25, 2010

Photos of the 2010 NA-MIC sponsored 3D Slicer training workshop held on April 10 are now posted.


April 8, 2010

Registration for the 2010 NA-MIC 3DSlicer training workshop is closed.


March 22, 2010

Register for the 2010 NA-MIC 3DSlicer training workshop by going to:


March 11, 2010

A detailed flyer for the upcoming NA-MIC sponsored 3D Slicer training event is available. Event registration will be posted in the following days.

Hotel accommodations are available. The Sheraton Iowa City & Hotel Vetro are within walking distance of the event.


January 13, 2010

The National Alliance for Medical Image Computing (NA-MIC) is sponsoring a 3D Slicer training workshop at the University of Iowa on April 9 and 10, 2010. The format for the workshop will consist of a large presentation on Friday afternoon, and two sessions on Saturday including a programming tutorial session and End User training.

Presentations on Friday, April 9 will be dedicated to several venues, including:

  • A joint seminar for all Departments and interest groups to introduce the NA-MIC Kit and highlight its use in clinical research applications.
  • Presentations in regularly scheduled seminar series for the departments of Neurosurgery and Radiation Oncology.
  • An electronic teaching classroom with Slicer 3. Pre-loaded data sets will be available.

2 parallel sessions will be offered on Saturday, April 10 and will include:

  • An introduction to Slicer 3, including a hands-on visualization and analysis.
  • End User training for Slicer 3.


Research Facility News Archive 2009

December 29, 2009


An updated version of the Research Protocol Form is available on our Forms page. Please unsure this is the version that is filled out for every subject who receives a research MRI scan.


October 23, 2009

Construction has begun on the Iowa Institute of Biomedical Discovery (IIBD) facility. The new building will house 8 floors of dedicated research space, 198,000 gross ft2 of space, a 15,000 ft2 imaging facility and 15,000 - 30,000 ft2 dedicated to high-risk, high-gain product-orientated research.

The estimated completion date for the IIBD is late 2013. For more information visit The U of I Institute for Biomedical Discovery website.

June 2, 2009

Explore all the MRI Research Center's latest updates and research projects in our new brochure.

MRRF Brochure


February 17, 2009

Two additional pieces of equipment are now available for general research usage at the L169 research suite in MERF. MediGoggles, manufactured by Cambridge Research Systems, are customizable prescription glasses that allow subjects who wear glasses to safely participate in fMRI studies with visual stimuli. Learn more about MediGoggles at our equipment page.

We also recently purchased the FOMRI II Dual Channel MRI Microphone System from MAGMEDICS. The FOMRI II system uses fiber-optic technology and an advanced set of noise-canceling algorithms to reproduce high quality speech from recordings within the MRI magnet.


Research Facility News Archive 2008

November 13, 2008

Research Trio 3T

The MR Research Facility recently installed the FerroGurard®Freestanding metal detector system by Metrasens.

The addition of the Ferroguard system will improve the quality of our services by providing an additional measure of screening for patients and subjects entering the MR scan room. Our subjects, technologists and researchers can gain comfort from knowing an additional screening measure has been performed on every patient, ensuring only the highest quality of MR images are obtained. For more information on the FerroGuard, visit Metrasens online.

August 4, 2008

Several new links have been added to the Facility Information section on the left side of the page, including an "Images" page, an updated "Equipment" page, and an updated "Contact Us" page with maps and directions to the MRRF. Also of note is a "Research Projects" link, where researchers can learn more about the current research projects here at the MRRF.

How to Find the MR Research Center - Maps and Directions

April 2, 2008

Links to the Research Scheduler, facility equipment, university resources and more can be found at the left. In addition, a new "Contact Us" link has been added for convenient access to the Research Center’s personnel and imaging laboratories. We’re also currently adding additional pages to the site, including neuro, ortho and cardiac images, as well as a section dedicated to research news.

Research Facility News Archive 2007

September 5, 2007

Scheduling for the new Research Trio 3T at L169 MERF is now available. Users who currently schedule time on the Shared 3T in JCP also have access to schedule on the Research Trio. Scanner time is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. After-hours and weekend time is available as requested with advance notice, preferably two weeks.

To request more information about scheduling a study or for a free informational brochure, contact Joe Ekdahl at 384-3026 or send an e-mail to

July 3, 2007

On Tuesday, June 12, 2007 the MR Recharge Center’s research dedicated 3T scanner arrived at its new home at L169 MERF. Siemens technicians continue to make progress towards the ultimate goal of ramping up the machine for research usage. Included in the list of available amenities at the new facility is a patient waiting area with an flatscreen TV and private dressing room, an animal prep area, cutting edge software such as E-Prime (with serial response box) and Presentation, the MIND Input Device, over ten research work stations, and convenient access to parking and the Cambus.

Reservations for research time on the new machine will tentatively be available the third week in July. Check back soon for more information and completed construction pictures.

May 31, 2007

The MR Research Center now has the ability to perform Arterial Spin Labeling. We are currently evaluating the Pulsed ASL sequence from the University of Pennsylvania. This sequence was generously provided by Jiongjiong Wang.

May 31, 2007

HARDI diffusion tensor imaging sequence is now available on the Research Avanto and Research Trio scanners. This sequence will allow for the acquisition of up to 256 diffusion encoding directions.

May 30, 2007

The College of Medicine is preparing approximately 1,500 square feet of space to serve the MR Research Facility. Located in the Medical Educational Research Facility, this space will house the research dedicated 3T scanner, an image analysis laboratory, electronics shop, patient holding area, and an animal prep area.

Construction Pictures Now Available!

May 30, 2007

"Visible Human" CT Data Posted

Visible Human CT data generated by Bill Lorensen is now available for general use.

This data is resampled to 1.0mm isotropic resolution and saved in DICOM format. Both the Visible Male and Female are available either as regional tar files or as individual DICOM files.

Learn more about the Visible Human Project

Research Facility News Archive 2006

January 15, 2006

Alan Stolpen Awarded High End Instrumentation Grant

NIH awarded Alan Stolpen with a High End Instrumentation Grant to fund the purchase of a dedicated 3T scanner. This scanner will be located in the College of Medicine (L169 MERF). Site planning is progressing with an anticipated date of operation of July 2007.