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) 421-8527

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 MRI, PET/CT, DXA and Ultrasound scanning. The Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) program provides functional, structural, multi-nuclear and spectroscopy (MRS) scanning on our two 3 Tesla full body scanners and 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. The PET/CT program provides whole body imaging for PET and CT individually, and in conjunction with one another. The technologists work closely with the Radiochemistry Core in the production of the radiotracers used for PET scanning. Our PET/CT suite provides an area for injection and tracer uptake time. The DXA program provides forearm, hip, femur, lumbar spine, and whole-body composition scanning. There are a multitude of analytic reports available for generation from any given scan. Results are printed and provided at the time of the study.


The Human Imaging Core is dedicated to the application of advanced and prototypical imaging 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 imaging techniques for the assessment of numerous diseases (e.g., cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, concussion, thyroid), conditions (cognitive impairment, learning disability, physical disability), normal function (activation of the human brain, sensitivity to pain, cardiac function) and efficacy of treatment and therapies of the aforementioned. Specifically, our researchers are working on methods sensitive to 1) tissue anisotropy, 2) tissue composition, 3) tissue metabolism, and 4) tissue function.



Two 3 Tesla MRI Scanners

VUIIS houses two state-of-the art 3T MR scanners: a Philips 3T Ingenia CX and a Philips 3T Elition X. Both scanners run on the Philips digital broadband platform and have two transmit channels, 32 receive channels, physiological monitoring capabilities, and a broad array of coils. Compressed SENSE and multi-band are standard features. The Ingenia CX is a 60 cm bore system with high-performance gradients (80 mT/m and 200 T/m/s maximum amplitude and slew rate, respectively) and full multi-nuclei imaging capabilities for sodium and phosphorous. The Elition X is a wide-bore system (70 cm) with high-performance gradients (45 mT/m and 220 T/m/s amplitude and slew rate, respectively). The number and types of available RF coils are constantly being expanded. Those currently available for neuroimaging include: Quadrature Body Coil; 32-channel SENSE head coil; 2-channel SENSE Flex Arrays (Medium); and Head and Spine Coil Array (52-channels total), and sodium head and knee coils. Coils available for body imaging include a 16-channel SENSE knee coil; 8-channel wrist coils; 16-ch SENSE breast coil; 32-channel SENSE torso array. In addition to standard imaging techniques, a full array of proton spectroscopy methods are available, including: STEAM, PRESS, 2D and 3D CSI, including SENSE acceleration. Multinuclear spectroscopy/imaging (e.g., 1H, 13C, 23Na, and 31P) also is available. Purpose written software (patches) are also available for expanded capabilities.

7 Tesla MRI Scanner

Our 7T scanner is a 55 cm bore Philips Achieva whole-body MR imager/spectrometer with 8 channel transmit and 32 receiver channels as well as full multi-nuclei capabilities. Our 7T will be upgraded to a fully digital system end of 2022. The scanner has a pneumatic 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. Current coils are: 32 channel proton head coil (receive), 16 channel cervical spine array (transmit and receive), as well as non-proton coils and in-house built coils.

PET/CT Scanner

The Philips Vereos digital PET/CT system is a digital photon-counting PET scanner combined with a 64 slice CT system. This is the world's first fully digital PET/CT scanner. The CT component is a helical system with 40 mm axial coverage, with software that reduces noise and artifacts. The Vereos PET/CT scanner has the functionality to perform CT-only scans. With the use of iDose technology, the radiation exposure is minimized, while providing quality images.

Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA)

The Hologic Horizon series W scanner incorporates 128 multi-channel detectors (2mm) consisting of CdWO4 scintillators coupled to silicon diodes, an indexing table, and motorized C-arm. The x-ray tube operates with a fan beam and a single pass acquisition with switching pulsating dual-energy x-rays. It operates at 100kV and 140kV, 2.5mA average at 25% duty cycle, 5.0mA average at 50% duty cycle (30s maximum) with a tungsten target to obtain high quality and high precision analyses for bone density and total body DXA scans.

Mock Scanner

This laboratory consists of an inactive scanner similar to that of our research systems. An audio system for playing reproductions of scanner noises is provided. This laboratory is designed to introduce participants, particularly children, to scanning environment and helps to screen for claustrophobia.


The Philips Epiq 7G mobile ultrasound device features an xMatrix transducer that provides 2D, 3D/4D, real-time xPlane, real-time MPR, MPR, Doppler, Color Doppler and CPA imaging. The PureWave and nSIGHT transducer technology allows for precise resolution for every pixel. The MaxVue high-definition display offers 1,179,648 additional image pixels, which provides 38% more viewing area to optimize the display of dual, side/side, biplane, and scrolling imaging modes. This unit offers a multimodal analysis package including: Vascular, Adult Cardiology, Pediatric Cardiology, OB, Fetal Echo, TCD, Abdominal, Breast, Musculoskeletal, Urology, MicroFlow Imaging, Doppler, Panoramic 2D, 3D Color, Real Time 3D, 4D imaging, and stress protocols.