Center for Functional MRI In the Department of Radiology

Facilities & Scanners

CFMRI - W.M. Keck Building

The CFMRI occupies the W.M. Keck Building, an approximately 7,000 sq. ft. building on the main UCSD campus in the School of Medicine adjacent to the Basic Science Building. In addition to four magnet bays (three of which are occupied), the facility contains:

  • A Mock Scanner Room
  • Two research subject Examination Rooms and waiting areas
  • A machine shop for RF and gradient coil construction and an electronics shop
  • Faculty office space for the CFMRI Director and five Associate Directors
  • Offices for the MRI Physics Lab Manager and two Associate Development Engineers who provide support in fMRI/neuroscience applications and pulse sequence development
  • Offices for the Administrative and IT teams
  • Research offices for post-doctoral fellows and students
  • A conference room for meetings and course lectures.




3.0T Scanner (3T West)– GE MR 750

The CFMRI currently houses a state-of-the-art research dedicated General Electric (GE) Discovery MR750 3.0T whole-body imaging system for studies in humans and larger animals. The Discovery MR750 platform is equipped with:

  • 32 independent receiver channels
  • an optically coupled radiofrequency system for improved signal-to-noise ratio
  • a high performance gradient system (50 mT/m amplitude and 200 T/m/s slew rate) with an advanced thermal management system
  • a powerful reconstruction engine capable of supporting 32-channel studies with high image throughput. 

RF Coils: Available RF coils for the 3T MR750 system include the integrated body coil, a Nova Medical 32-channel head coil, Invivo 8-channel head coil, GE flexible surface coils, an 8-channel cardiac coil and a CTL phased-array spine coil.  Additionally, a number of custom RF coils have been constructed for special purposes. The MR750 has capabilities for multinuclear spectroscopy (e.g., 1H, 13C, 31P, etc.).

Technical expertise for the operations of the imaging systems at the CFMRI is provided by the core CFMRI Faculty and the members of the CFMRI Technical Staff.  




3.0T Scanner (3T East)– Siemens MAGNETOM Prisma (2021)

As of 2021, the CFMRI houses a state-of-the-art research dedicated Siemens MAGNETOM Prisma 3.0T whole-body imaging system for studies in humans and larger animals. The Prisma platform is equipped with:

  • 128 independent RF channels
  • XR gradients (80 mT/m amplitude and 200 T/m/s slew rate)
  • Higher Order shim, 5A/channel, Parallel transmit with TimTX TrueShape technology
  • High-performance measurement and reconstruction system 

RF Coils: Available RF coils for the Siemens Prisma 3T MRI scanner include Head/Neck 20ch, Head 32ch, Head/Neck 64ch, Body Coil (Standard and Long) 18ch, Spine 32ch Shoulder Coil Kit (Small and Large) 16ch, Hand/Wrist 16ch, Knee TX/RX 15ch, Foot/Ankle 16ch, Flex Coil Large & Small 4ch Prisma-Available Coils

Technical expertise for the operations of the imaging systems at the CFMRI is provided by the core CFMRI Faculty and the members of the CFMRI Technical Staff.  




7.0T Scanner – Bruker - Avance II Console

The 7T (20 cm bore) small animal imaging system provides high field strength and gradient performance for high resolution studies of small animals and tissue samples. The main system components are a Bruker 7T magnet with Avance II hardware.

We support many imaging applications including:

  • High resolution anatomical imaging
  • Diffusion imaging, including tractography
  • Functional MRI
  • Proton and Phosphorous spectroscopy (MRS)
  • Cardiac imaging
  • Cell tracking

Radiofrequency coils for multiple applications are available including rat and mouse brain surface coils and three quadrature volume transmit/receive coils of various diameters. We are equipped for both proton and phosporous spectroscopy applications including a phosphorous surface coil and volume resonator and programmable decoupling.

Two gradient sets are available for different applications, a 12 cm gradient with 660 mT/m strength and 4570 T/m/s slew rate and a higher performance 6 cm gradient with 1000 mT/m strength and 11250 T/m/s slew rate.

Cardiac and respiratory monitoring systems are available for gated acquisition. Temperature monitoring is available for feedback controlled heating. A support cradle with an isoflurane delivery and scavenging system is available.




Mock Scanner

The CFMRI also houses a Mock Scanner which simulates the look, sound and feel of a real MRI scanner. The mock scanner allows research subjects to experience a simulated MRI scan prior to undergoing the actual MRI scan session, thus increasing the successful rate of data acquisition and the quality of fMRI data. 

Investigators who have approved or pending research projects at CFMRI may request access to the Mock Scanner.




Examination Rooms/Waiting Area

The CFMRI has two Examination Rooms that can be reserved for research participant consultations in parallel with booked scan time on the Center scanners. 

There is also adequate seating accommodation for research participants in the central waiting area adjacent to the 3.0T scanners.





Reserved Parking

The CFMRI has three reserved parking spaces adjacent to the building to ensure parking availability for research participants.  These spaces can be booked online by investigators for use by their research participants.