Directors Update

We are pleased to announce the installation of two new MRI machines, which are General Electric Discovery MR 750, 60cm bore. We are excited about the new opportunities these state-of-the-art, machines will provide to expand and enhance the research programs of our users.

Below are quarterly updates Co-Directors Noll and Jonides provided to our user community about our facility. These updates are sent by email to our users; to be added to the user email group, please contact the Administrator.

2013 Quarters 1-2 Update | 2013 Quarters 3-4 Update

2012 Quarter 4 Update | 2012 Quarter 3 Update | 2012 Quarter 2 Update | 2012 Quarter 1 Update

2013 Quarters 3-4 Update

This Directors' update includes information on scheduling scanning on the second new MRI machine, IRB information for those seeking to use the second new MRI machine, new "no-show" cancellation fees, cancellation information request, recharge rate increase notification, and some construction highlights.

Scheduling Scanning on Second New MRI Machine

Following delivery of our second new MRI machine on September 7th, set-up of the MRI machine has been completed by General Electric, acceptance testing was completed, and protocols have been transferred. We started our first billable scans the week of January 6th, with development scanning occurring already in December. This machine will be open for regular scheduling during the month of February.

IRB information for Existing Studies Considering Use of New MRI Machine

Attention users who would like to start a study from on our second new MRI machine, and whose only amendments would be a revision in the FDA numbers (same as the first new MRI machine) and the BEU numbers for this specific machine…

Dr. Judith Birk, Director of IRBMed, and the rest of her team, have given special permission to investigators (whose only amendments would be as referenced above) to delay updating their protocols with this information until they submit other amendments. This is in an effort to prevent a flood of IRB amendments for simply a change in BEU and FDA numbers. Questions regarding this policy should be directed to Judith Birk (jbirk@med.umich.edu, 763-4768). This information has been posted under the IRB Approval, for your future reference.

Charging for Research "No-Show" Cancellations

During an Executive Advisory Committee Meeting on December 19th it was agreed that the Functional MRI Laboratory should start charging cancellation fees for the instances where the researcher/research assistant does not attend scheduled timeslot, without prior notification. Although not frequent, we have had instances where the subject has arrived, with no researcher present, and where neither the researcher nor the subject has attended a scheduled slot. We will broadly communicate our new cancellation policy, including cost, in the next few months. More communications will follow as the date for implementation approaches.

Request for Additional Information with Cancellation Emails

Some of our users may not know, but we have a cancellation rate of approximately 30% to 40% in any given month. To help us understand the cause of these cancellations, we would like our users to start citing the reason for cancellation when sending a cancellation email to the user email group. A simple note such as "subject was ill" is sufficient.< br/> As always, our policy remains that if a subject is unable to attend a scheduled scan, users are expected to advertise their cancellation to the user email group (fmri.users@umich.edu) 24 hours in advance for weekday scans and 48 hours in advance for weekend scans. Cancelled timeslots will be marked as "open" on our scan calendar, and studies seeking to use a cancelled timeslot should contact the Scanning Technologists or the Technical Director to use this timeslot.

Recharge Rate Increase Notification

For those who may have missed our announcement at the end of August, our recharge rate for scan time has increased slightly to $585 per hour. This rate was approved by the Office of Financial Analysis and went into effect on September 15th, with the September/October billing cycle.

Photo Album of MRI Delivery & Installation

On Saturday, July 20th and Saturday, September 7th a team including KASCO Inc., General Electric, and U-M AEC precisely and professionally removed our old MRI machine and installed our new MRI machine in BIRB. Below is a photo album of the deliveries and installations.

Thank you to the following individuals who worked tirelessly to make this project a success… Special thanks to: John Hetrick, Joseph Zinke, Peg Peterson, and Dave Stockson, with U-M AEC; John Keedy and Lou Cruzen, with the College of Engineering; Scott Ackley, Mark Moczydlowsky, Steve Dunbar and the entire construction team at KASCO Inc.; Jason Bennett, Robert Ralko, Roger Sosnowski, and the rest of the team at General Electric; and all of the faculty and staff at the Functional MRI Laboratory, who continue to provide enthusiastic, diligent effort to this project.


BIRB MRI Removal and Delivery - slideshows

2013 Quarters 1-2 Update

This entire Directors' update is dedicated to the upcoming replacement for our old MRI scanner.

Final Round-up of Users of Old MRI – Last Notice

On May 9th we sent an email to our users requesting anyone who needed to finish scans on the old scanner to notify us by May 21st. If you missed this deadline, or forgot to get back to us, please contact the Technical Director soon as possible.

Timeline for Decommissioning Old MRI Machine

It is expected that General Electric will start decommissioning the old scanner on June 17th.

Old Server (welles) Access Interruptions

We plan to move the old server (welles) and have it accessible at some point, but there may be some downtime while we are moving it, so if you need data off of welles, now is the time to start organizing, before any interruption of service in later June.

Preliminary Construction Schedule

Kasco, Inc., the same contractor who installed the Modular Unit and our first new MRI, was selected as the contractor to install our second new MRI. We met with the contractor and staff from Architecture, Engineering, and Construction this past week and a confirmed construction schedule will be available in the next week or so. We expect, at this time, that construction will start July 1, 2013 and be complete at the end of September, with GE MRI Commissioning occurring during the month of October; however, this may change.

2012 Quarter 4 Update

This quarter’s update includes information on repairs to and replacement of our old MRI scanner and a brief update on our long-term strategic planning.

Repairs of Old MRI Scanner

Thank you to all of our users for their patience over the past several months while we coped with stability and noise problems on our old MRI machine.  We are happy to report that the latest repairs from General Electric seem to have worked, and are able to scan again on this machine the week of February 3rd.  The February schedule is now posted on our website, though most scans are currently scheduled to occur on our new machine, Discovery.

Replacement of Old MRI Scanner:  Transitioning Data

We are working to develop recommendations for merging data across scanners.  We welcome user feedback and suggestions in this regard, and will send further information when we decide on the final set of recommendations

Replacement of Old MRI Scanner:  Machine Selection and Purchase Order

The purchase order for the replacement MRI machine has been placed – another General Electric Discovery MR750, which is a 3T, 60 cm bore.  This machine will be purchased with NIH grant funds awarded in July 2012.

Replacement of Old MRI Scanner:  Preliminary Construction Schedule

We met with staff from Architecture, Engineering, and Construction this past week and the schedule for construction has been tentatively set to start Monday, June 16th and complete at the end of September, with GE MRI Commissioning occurring during the month of October.  This means, as expected, that users should plan the old MRI scanner will be taken off-line at the beginning of June 2013.   As we indicated previously, we are willing accommodate users who need to finish studies on the old machine, including scans in the evening and on weekends.

Replacement of Old MRI Scanner:  Scope of the Construction Project

Aside from installation of the MRI machine, replacement of the floor tiles, and painting in room 1097 (MRI room), the construction scope will also include repairs to room 1089 (control room), including simple design changes, painting, and carpet replacement.  We expect that the waiting room, dressing room, testing room, and conference room will remain largely unaffected by the construction so business may continue as usual for scans occurring in the Modular Unit.

Long-term Strategic Planning

Our Laboratory continues its long-term strategic planning initiative for our facility.   To date, we have evaluated several options, including an expansion of BIRB and possible space at NCRC.  We expect the Strategic Planning Committee will discuss these options in late February or early March.  There are no additional developments to report at this time; however, we will inform you as recommendations and decisions unfold.

2012 Quarter 3 Update

This quarter's update includes information on replacing our old MRI scanner, scheduling scan time on the new MRI scanner, and long-term strategic planning.

Replacement of Old MRI Scanner

Thank you to all of our users for their patience over the past month while we coped with the quench of, and subsequent major repairs to, our old MRI scanner. We have begun formal planning with AEC for the replacement of our old MRI scanner. It is expected the scanner will be taken off-line in May 2013. Construction and installation of the new MRI scanner will take place between June and July. The current plan is to replace the old scanner with a new General Electric scanner, to be delivered in August and scanning beginning in September 2013.

Between now and May 2013, we should be able to accommodate more evening and weekend scans to allow those finishing a research project using the old MRI scanner.

Scheduling Scanning on New MRI Scanner

Development scans and testing have gone well on the new MRI scanner and in early November we will accept requests for regular scan time in December on our new MRI scanner. The new MRI scanner has some additional capabilities and new RF coils, so you may wish to consider if a transition to the new scanner is also a good time to update your scanning protocol. Please discuss these changes with one of our friendly MR physicists Scott, Luis, Robert, Jon or Doug.

If you have a new project that would like to scan, please be sure to submit a new user form, so you have a nickname to include in your schedule request. Our new user form is available at our User Request Form website.

Long-term Strategic Planning

The Functional MRI Laboratory is undergoing a long-term strategic planning initiative for our facility. Among other things, the Strategic Planning Committee will consider the expected advancements in the field of fMRI; the competitive landscape in the field of fMRI in making recommendations for a long-term expansion options; and the scientific and operational advantages to our users, our faculty, and the University at large, in relation to any long-term plan proposed. We will keep you appraised as recommendations and decisions unfold.

2012 Quarter 2 Update

This quarter's update includes information on the placement and start-up of the new MRI machine, the timeline for decommissioning and replacing our existing MRI machine, introduction of new regular employees at our Laboratory, and provides IRB guidance for those considering transitioning their studies to our new MRI machine.

Photo Album of our Modular Unit and MRI Delivery & Installation

On Tuesday, July 24th and Thursday, August 2nd, a team including KASCO Inc., PDC Facilities,
General Electric, and U-M AEC precisely and professionally placed our modular unit and MRI machine, respectively. Below is a photo album of the deliveries and installations.

Thank you to the following individuals who worked tirelessly to make this project a success… Special thanks to: Bryan Valachek, Joseph Zinke, Peg Peterson, and Dave Stockson, with U-M AEC; John Keedy, Lou Cruzen,
Jeffrey Richardson, and Dan Maletta, with the College of Engineering; Jared Wilson, Steve Dunbar and the entire construction team at KASCO Inc.; Joe Iott, David Lammers, and the whole crew at U-M Electric and UPE;
Dana Farrell and Mike Hiller with U-M ITS;  Dave Knuth, Joel Fredricksen, and Bill Maslowski, with PDC Facilities; Jason Bennett, Thomas Hulsher, Roger Sosnowski, and the rest of the team at General Electric; Tom Smith and his team at FTC&H; and Ruth Halsey, Chuck Nicholas, and Scott Peltier, with the Functional MRI Laboratory, who continue to provide enthusiastic, diligent effort to this project.


Modular Unit & MRI Slideshow - free slideshow

Timeline for Start-up of Second MRI Machine

The MRI machine is scheduled to ramp up on Monday, August 13th. Assuming General Electric technicians run into no unexpected issues as the machine is optimized for scanning, we expect to start regular operation in October 2012. Additional information regarding new protocols and protocol transfers should be coming in the next month.

Grant Funding and Timeline to Decommission and Replace Old MRI Machine

We are pleased to announce that National Institutes of Health has funded a $2,000,000 Instrumentation Grant to replace our existing MRI machine. We are excited about the opportunities this grant will provide to our Laboratory. In terms of timeline, we expect our old MRI machine will go off line in April 2013. Construction and installation of the new MRI machine will take place between April and June. General Electric will bring the new machine online in July and we expect to start scanning on the second new machine in August 2013.

New Regular Employees at the FMRI Laboratory

Our Laboratory is pleased to announce the hire of two new regular employees at our Laboratory. They include:
Krisanne Litinas, our new Research Computer Specialist, and Ryan Smith, our new MRI Technologist.
Krisanne will be working to create, implement, and improve upon the pre-processing stream for our MRI data, along with a host of other responsibilities. Ryan with train with Keith Newnham, our Senior MRI Technologist, to take over primary operation of our existing MRI machine as our first new MRI machine comes online.

IRB information for Existing Studies Considering Use of New MRI Machine

Attention users who would like to transition a study from our old MRI machine (GE Signa) to the new MRI machine (GE Discovery MR750), and whose only amendments would be a revision in the FDA numbers and the BEU numbers

Dr. Judith Birk, Director of IRBMed, and the rest of her team, have given special permission to investigators (whose only amendments would be as referenced above) to delay updating their protocols with this information until they submit other amendments. This is in an effort to prevent a flood of IRB amendments for simply a change in BEU and FDA numbers. Questions regarding this policy should be directed to Judith Birk (jbirk@med.umich.edu, 763-4768). This information has been posted under the IRB Approval, for your future reference.

2012 Quarter 1 Update

This quarter's update includes information on the location of the new MRI machine, timeline for installation and start-up, plans for protocol transfer, timeline for decommissioning and replacement of our existing MRI machine (GE Signa, 55cm bore), new positions at our laboratory, and other information for those submitting proposals during the June/July NIH proposal cycle.

Location & Layout

The MRI machine will be housed in a modular unit, located to the south of the BIRB building. Here is the site plan showing the confirmed location of the MRI machine and modular unit, as well as our parking spaces. Here is the confirmed layout of the modular unit.

Timeline for Installation and Start-up of Second MRI Machine

Assuming AEC runs into no unexpected challenges, the current construction schedule has the modular unit and MRI machine in place by August 2012, with regular operation starting in October 2012.

Protocol Transfer

We have already started work to define protocols for the new MRI machine that closely match existing protocols, and expect to define new protocols that will take advantage of new capabilities. We are also developing information that will direct users on merging data from two different MRI machines, though this will not be available until later this summer. Additional updates about this should be expected in the coming months.

Timeline to Decommission and Replace Old MRI Machine

We do not have a confirmed timetable for replacement of our old GE Signa scanner, but we expect it will run through the first quarter of 2013, if not later (assuming no unexpected repair issues). We expect to send additional updates about this in the coming months.

New Positions at the FMRI Laboratory

We are in the process of interviewing candidates for two new positions at our Laboratory including a new MRI Technologist-Research position and a Research Computer Specialist position. We will provide updates about this in the coming months.

Information for Proposal Submissions

We have updated the proposal submission section of our website to include a description of our new machine in the "Facilities/Resources and Equipment" document posted on this site. Feel free to include this document in your future proposal submissions.

We will post BEU number for our new machine on our resources website, as soon as this information is provided, following inspection (currently expected for September). We will notify you when this information is posted. Visit our Equipment website to access the BEU numbers for our current MRI machine.