Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center

Center Resources

The Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center (MRRC) occupies the first two floors of the MRRC building. The first floor houses the facility laboratories and is comprised of approximately 5,300 square feet.  The second floor, of similar square footage, houses staff offices and meeting facilities, a conference room, and storage areas.

Reception Area (floor 1): A reception area, waiting area and restroom.

MRI laboratories (floor 1): A shielded room for the human scanner (installation of the 3.0 T Philips TX Achieva), a magnetic/RF shielded room housing the 9.4 T, 21 cm Varian Direct Drive MRI/MRS system, an instrumentation and power supply area, and console operator rooms for each scanner.

MRRC laboratories (floor 1): Adjacent to the MRI laboratories are a machine shop, electronics and coil fabrication laboratory, a wet laboratory, a physiology instrumentation laboratory ,and an animal physiological laboratory including housing for barrier and non-barrier animals.  On this floor there is also a single patient guest/bed room for short duration housing of inpatients enrolled in research projects, a nurse’s office, a changing room, and restroom.

MRRC Office and Conference Area (floor 2): Eight private offices occupied by MRRC faculty, four semi-private offices for postdoctoral students, six student desk/cubicles and a psychological testing room.  There is also a conference facility (which can accommodate up to 20 people) and a kitchen area.  This floor also houses an 800 square foot computer and storage area and two bathrooms.

 
 

MRRC TECHNICAL EXPERTISE

The Magnetic Resonance Research Center (MRRC), a 100% Research Dedicated Imaging Center, is operated and managed by members of the Department of Radiology under the direct management of Dr. Craig Branch, with assistance from the Associate Clinical Director Dr. Michael Lipton. The Division oversees the administrative functions of the center, including oversight of the scientific use of the center, oversight of the centers financial support and oversight of the resource needs and commitments of the center. Ms. Luda Slobodskaya serves as financial administrator of the MRRC. The MRRC is staffed by highly trained professionals, with broad expertise relevant to the execution of MRI-oriented research. Each member of the Center contributes a significant allocation of their time ( 20-100%) to supporting the center on behalf of those investigators from other Departments who wish to conduct research on the MRRC MRI systems. The MRRC is operated as one of several Einstein Core Facilities that share in the benefits of this campus wide program of dissemination and support. 

 
 

MRRC Technical Staff

Craig A. Branch, Ph.D. (100% Research) Dr. Branch is the Director of the MRRC, providing oversight of the MRRC mission and facilities. Dr. Branch is a Biomedical Physicist with a long history in the field of MR instrumentation and research, and with expertise in the application of MR methodologies to both animal and human studies and supports the translational application of MRRC resources. Dr. Branch provides support in the development of applications using MRI and MRS, supports pulse programming efforts, supports the development of subject paradigms (particularly in functional studies), supports the development of novel data analyses and contributes to educational sessions on MRI methodologies provided to faculty and students. Dr. Branch is available for consultation on paradigm design, grant writing and data analysis.

Michael Lipton, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Lipton (80% Research) is a Neuroradiologist and a Neuroscientist with extensive experience in high field functional imaging, neuroanatomical imaging and clinical research. Dr. Lipton serves as the Associate Director of the MRRC for Clinical Research, and he is also Director of Research for the Department of Radiology at Montefiore Medical Center. Dr. Lipton thus plays a pivotal role in the Center, assuring that residents and fellows, particularly from Radiology, are encouraged to spend their research hours engaged in MRRC relevant studies. Dr. Lipton serves as the point person for the translation of human research from the MRRC to the clinical centers located both on and off campus (at the remote hospitals, such as Montefiore Medical Center and Bronx Psychiatric Center). Dr. Lipton provides support for paradigm development (especially neurological and functional studies), data analysis support, data acquisition oversight and clinical interpretation of acquired research data. Dr. Lipton is available for consultation on paradigm design, grant writing and data analysis.

Mark E. Wagshul, Ph.D. (100% research) Dr. Wagshul is an MRI physicist with extensive experience in clinical and pre-clinical imaging applications, with particular expertise in flow imaging, functional imaging and MR spectroscopy. Dr. Wagshul serves as senior project scientist for the MRRC, with an emphasis on protocol development and MRI sequence design. He provides interfacing between the MRRC and other departments with imaging interests and needs, consultation for implementing new applications, develops new projects with a cross-disciplinary approach and contributes to faculty and student courses in MRI physics and advanced sequence development. He serves as a mentor for graduate students in Neuroscience and Biophysics, for medical students, residents and fellows. Dr. Wagshul is available for consultation in experimental design, grant writing and data analysis.

Xiaobo Li, Ph.D.. (100% Research). Dr. Li is a biophysicist, with a strong background in the development of software for analyses of imaging data, and acquisition and analysis of functional data pertaining to adolescent and adult brain function. Dr. Li has developed novel methodologies for the analysis of morphometry data from both MRI and CT. She has also developed novel methods for the assessment of functional connectivity between brain regions in both adult and adolescent populations. An image analysis expert and C++ programmer, Dr. Li is Section Leader for Image Analysis. Dr. Li is responsible for outreach, education and overall dissemination of the software made available to investigators using the centers. Dr. Li is available for consultation on paradigm design, grant writing and data analysis.

Linda Jelicks, Ph.D.(100% Research). Dr. Jelicks is a biophysicist from the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, with broad and extensive expertise in the application and analysis of multinuclear MRI data and relaxography to basic and translational studies. Dr. Jelicks serves the center in support of novel paradigm support, including quantitative relaxography and multinuclear studies. Dr. Jelicks contributes to education and dissemination of the MRRC facilities, including pulse sequence development support and paradigm development. An expert in cross modality studies, Dr. Jelicks supports PET/MR applications in the MRRC.

Min-Hui Cui, Ph.D. (100% Research). Dr. Cui is a chemist with substantial expertise in the application of MRS to invivo organ disease, especially C13 MRS. Dr. Cui serves the center as a spectroscopist and supporting manager of the 9.4 T MRI/MRS facility. Dr. Cui has expertise in both data acquisition and analysis of non-neurological studies. Dr. Cui will support new applications, including investigator support and paradigm development.

Jeremy L. Smith, Ph.D. (100% Research). Dr. Smith is a Neuroscientist with extensive computational expertise, and serves as the MRRC computing expert and expert in Eprime and Presentation stimulus delivery software, as well as use of the MRRC data processing cluster. Dr. Smith's expertise in novel analyses of periodic or quasi stable periodic analyses extends to wavelet bases methods. Dr. Smith serves as the administrator of all MRRC computing resources. Dr. Smith also provides data analysis consulting and software development.

Mrs. Yrany Alvarado, M.S., Certified Technologist (100% Research) Mrs. Alvardo, RT(MR), was recruited in June 2009 to the MRRC. She is a certified MRI/Radiological technician, with certification for administration of contrast agents and servers as Chief MR Technician for the 3.0 T MRI.

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