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Center for Translational Imaging

CTI Home Page


In 2002, the Department of Radiology created a 4,500 sq.ft. research imaging facility that housed a 3T whole body magnet, a 1.5T whole body magnet, and an angiographic C‐arm. Both magnets supported human and large animal research. CTI (formerly known as CAMRI) later expanded to 9,000 sq.ft. adding two additional 1.5T and 3T whole body magnets and a 7T small animal imaging magnet along with ancillary space to support imaging operations for all systems. Recently a small animal PET/CT system was added to facilitate pre‐clinical nuclear imaging studies. CTI run through the Radiology Department and is open to all Northwestern University and FSM researchers. The primary focus of CTI is the development, translation, and application of radiologic imaging methods for research programs at Northwestern University.

The mission of the Center for Translational Imaging (CTI) is three-fold:

  1. To provide access to world-class translational imaging capabilities that promote the pre-clinical and clinical research efforts of both NU investigators and our regional academic and industrial partners.
  2. To catalyze the development of innovative new imaging technologies for broad-scale interrogation of disease processes, guidance of therapeutic interventions, and the study human physiology and function.
  3. To provide unique educational opportunities thus fostering efficient, effective utilization of these valuable resources while training the next generation clinicians, biomedical scientists and engineers.

Equipment and Services

Cardiovascular Imaging

  1. State-of-the-art whole-body Siemens 1.5-Tesla Area MRI scanner (Siemens Medical Solutions, Erlangen, Germany), 70 cm open bore design with 64 channels; XQ gradients (45 mT/m @ 200 T/m/s) which offers advanced features such as multi-channel technology and DOT engines.
  2. State-of-the-art whole-body Siemens 1.5 Tesla Sola MRI scanner (Siemens Medical Solutions, Erlangen, Germany), 70 cm open bore design with 64 channels; XQ gradients (45 mT/m @ 200 T/m/s). The MAGNETOM Sola – the first 1.5T MRI system with BioMatrix Technology – automatically adjusts to patient biovariability to overcome unwarranted variations in MRI examinations, leading to fewer rescans, predictable scheduling and consistent, high-quality personalized exams with increased productivity.
  3. MR compatible pump (MRidium 3860+, Iradimed Corporation) for infusing adenosine.
  4. Two Spectris MR Power Injectors (Medrad, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) for administration of MR contrast agent and saline.
  5. MR-compatible Omni-Trak 3100 MRI Vital Signs Monitoring System (Invivo Research, Inc., Orlando, Florida).

Neuro Imaging

  1. Two state-of-the-art Siemens 3T Prisma whole-body scanners, capable of using 102 receiver channels, with maximum gradient strength of 80 mT/m and slew rate of 200 mT/m/s. Both scanners are on the same software platform, 100% dedicated for research use and fully equipped for neuro and body imaging. We have 4 dedicated head coils for both scanners (24, 32 and 64, Tx/Rx CP). Additional coils include: neck coil, full spine coil in 8 segments, a knee/extremity coil, a body array coil (12 and 32 channel), a small and large flex coil, and a breast coil. We also have an MR compatible TMS coil that can be used with the Tx/Rx head coil. One of the PRISMA scanners has multi-nuclear capabilities that allows the investigation of other species such as Phosphorus, Sodium, Fluorine, or Carbon. Both scanners are equipped with physiological monitoring equipment (BP, HR, SAO2, ETCO2), power injectors and Pearltec head fixation pillows to minimize patient motion and provide comfortable support during studies.
  2. Current designs FORP-932 system for fMRI experiments – interfaces with the scanner via the optical trigger signal, and has a range of different response devices (2 single btn btn-primarys, 2 paired btn btn-primarys, 5 btn btn-primarys, a trackball and a joystick for each magnet) for the subject to respond to the fMRI paradigm during scanning.
  3. fIRMM computer dedicated to real-time fMRI data monitoring, providing data quality metrics in real-time.
  4. Two 32” LCD panels from Nordic Neuro Labs to provide high definition visual stimuli to subjects during studies. These offer a wider field of view and higher quality video and are viewed via a mirror mounted on the top of the head coil. Both scanners are also equipped with plastic sports goggles and optical lens kit for vision correction.
  5. A 32 channel MR-compatible EEG system from Brain Products allows simultaneous fMRI-EEG studies.
  6. An infrared navigated Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) system from Magventure with an MRI compatible coil.
  7. The MRI simulator or “mock scanner” suite is available to investigators to acclimate research subjects, prepare experimental paradigms, and train research staff for actual MRI studies. The mock scanner simulates the real MRI scanner; offering physical, audio and visual duplication of our actual Siemens 3T scanner. 
Small Animal Imaging

The Small Animal Imaging Division of the Center for Translational imaging (CTI) is equipped with state of the art equipment for translational/preclinical imaging of different disease models and different laboratory animal species (mice, rat and rabbit).

The following instruments are available to Northwestern investigators in the downtown campus (LC Olson Pavilion) via direct tunnel access to the Lurie Vivarium:

  1. Bruker Siemens Clinscan 7T MRI
  2. Mediso NanoScan PET/CT

Design and development of custom imaging experiments can be integrated into any research project with the technical and scientific support of the facilities staff.

Single or Multimodality Imaging experiments in cardiology, oncology and neurology can be implemented to explore anatomy, function and metabolism.

Advanced animal handling and physiological monitoring of scanned subjects guarantees survival of test subjects and allows control over several parameters.

Advanced image processing software and services are also available upon request using commercial and non-commercial software.



Michael Markl, PhD
(312) 695-1799

Cardiovascular Imaging

Daniel Kim, PhD
Director of Cardiovascular Imaging

Donny Nieto
Research Manager

Neuro Imaging

Todd Parrish, PhD
Director of Neuro Imaging

Jennie Chen, PhD
Research Manager

Small Animal Imaging

Daniel Procissi, PhD
Director of Small Animal Imaging

Sol Misener
Research Technologist

Nicola Bertolio
Imaging Scientist

Cynthia Yang
Computational Imaging and Data Processing Technician


Olson Pavilion
710 N. Fairbanks
- Lower Concourse
Chicago, IL 60611


All manuscripts and grants presenting work supported by this core should include the following acknowledgement:

"This work was supported by the Center for Translational Imaging at Northwestern University."