Vanderbilt University
Institute of Imaging Science

Center for Human Imaging


MR technologists & matching/development scheduling


DXA & Ultrasound:

Project application/renewal questions

Director: Seth Smith
Phone: (615) 322-6211

Bennett Landman
Phone: (615) 322-2338

Allen Newton
Phone: (615) 322-2019

Todd Peterson
Phone: (615) 322-2648

Baxter Rogers
Phone: (615) 343-4636

Saikat Sengupta
Phone: (615) 343-0471

3T A: (615) 322-5073
3T B: (615) 936-7253
7T: (615) 936-7257

What we can do for you

The Human Imaging Core (HIC) provides resources for structural and functional imaging and spectroscopy. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS) are available on our two 3 Tesla full body scanners or a 7 Tesla full body scanner. In addition to data acquisition, we support MRI and MRS protocol development, functional MRI (fMRI) experimental design, subject preparation, structural and functional image analysis, and training on image analysis techniques and tools. Additional resources available include near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and optical coherence tomography (OCT).


The Human Imaging Core is dedicated to the application of advanced and prototypical MRI methods to study specific organ systems of the human body such as: nervous (central and peripheral), muscular-skeletal, cardio-pulmonary, and integumentary systems. Additionally, many ongoing projects focus on development and validation of novel MRI biomarkers for the assessment of numerous diseases (e.g. cancer, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, epilepsy, concussion), conditions (cognitive impairment, learning disability), and normal function (activation of the human brain, sensitivity to pain). Specifically, our researchers are working on MRI methods sensitive to 1) tissue anisotropy, 2) tissue composition, 3) tissue metabolism, and 4) tissue function.



Two 3 Tesla MRI Scanners

94 cm bore Philips Intera Achieva MR whole-body imager/spectrometers. Both represent state-of-the-art systems with excellent gradient performance (80 mT/m gradient strength, 200T/m/s slew-rate), 32 independent digital receiver channels, dual-channel excitation (one of the two systems). The 3 T scanners are operated as full-time research instruments, and not as clinical facilities. Both 3 T systems have Philips peripheral pulse, respiratory and cardiac gating capabilities as well as audio/visual presentation equipment available.

7 Tesla MRI Scanner

90 cm bore Philips Achieva whole-body MR imager/spectrometer. The scanner has a moving bed and an intercom system for communication between investigators and subjects. The system has the same software, pulse-programming environment, and pulse sequences as current 3 T Philips scanners. The 7 T system has Philips peripheral pulse, respiratory and cardiac gating capabilities as well as audio/visual presentation equipment available.

Mock Scanner

This laboratory consists of an inactive scanner identical to that of our research systems, and includes an audio system for playing reproductions of scanner noises. This laboratory is designed to introduce patients, particularly children, to the environment in the actual scanner, and to screen for claustrophobia.

Exercise Physiology

This laboratory aims to develop new MRI methods to study the structure and function of the skeletal muscle in vivo and to implement these methods in applied physiology and clinical studies.

Near Infrared Optical Tomography

Oxyhemoglobin, deoxyhemoglobin and total hemoglobin concentration changes can be recorded using the portable 24-channel Hitachi ETG-4000 Near Infra-Red Optical Tomography system.

Optical Coherence Tomography

SPECTRALIS OCT is a non-invasive ophthalmic multimodality imaging instrument which uses near-infrared light to visualize and measure the thickness of retinal layers. Real time tracking of the retinal structures can be used to detect early signs of eye conditions, diabetes, and coronary events. Click here for a video!

Positron Emission Tomography and Computerized Tomography

The Philips Vereos PET/CT is a state-of-the art PET/CT scanner utilizing digital photon counting technology to provide 310 ps time-of-flight resolution and providing diagnostic quality CT with 64-slices.