Human Imaging Core


Owen Carmichael PhD

Owen Carmichael, PhD


The core provides state-of-the-art imaging instrumentation which allows turnkey solutions for clinical investigators who need high-quality measures of organ composition and function. 

About This Core

Instruments.  This core places in the hands of researchers a variety of instrumentation for human imaging including the following:

  • Two 3T MRI scanners: GE Discovery 750w and GE Signa Excite, with full multinuclear spectroscopy capabilities (31P, 13C, and 1H), a spectrum of specialized coils and instrumentation, and pulse sequences for MRI, MRS and fMRI.  Bore size and weight limit for the GE Discovery 750w and GE Signa Excite are 60cm/ 350 lbs and 70cm/ 500 lb, respectively. 
  • Dual energy X-ray absorptiometers (DXA) for the measurement of whole-body composition and site-specific bone mineral density 
  • Whole-body nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) body composition 
  • An ultrasound system for cardiac and general purpose imaging, transcranial Doppler, carotid ultrasonography, and studies of post-ischemic reactive hyperemia (brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation) 
  • An EndoPAT for measurement of peripheral arterial tone
  • BodPod and PeaPod systems for body composition measurements
  • Access to CT scanning through outside partners 
  • Ambulatory blood pressure monitors to measure blood pressure on a continuous basis
  • Diagnostic x-ray system 
  • FibroScan for non-invasive determination of liver stiffness and fat
  •  Thornhill Scientific RespirAct® RA-MRgas control system to non-invasively stimulate vascular reactivity
  • Access to PET scanners through a collaborative agreement with Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.
  • MRI-safe peripheral devices including a gustometer, foot tapper, finger tappers, joystick, and a BIOPAC system with electrical stimulation capabilities.

Techniques.  The core complements these devices with software, expertise, and infrastructure that enables scientists to extract meaningful information about organ structure and function from imagery:

  • Image analysis software including Analyze (Analyze Direct), SPM, and FSL for analyzing structural and functional MRI, CT, and PET data. 
  • Spectroscopy analysis software (jMRUi and Matlab toolboxes)
  • 1H (proton) spectroscopy for the measurement of hepatic lipid
  • 1H (proton) spectroscopy for the measurement of intramyocellular lipid
  • LAVA and IDEAL-IQ imaging for measurement of adipose tissue, muscle, and bone composition throughout the body
  • 31P spectroscopy for measuring maximal mitochondrial capacity (PCr resynthesis rate) with exercise and ischemic stimuli
  • Brain tissue structure and connectivity using T1-weighted, FLAIR, and diffusion MRI
  • Cerebral blood flow and brain activation by arterial spin labeling (ASL)
  • EPI-BOLD for brain activation during cognitive, sensory and motor tasks, including food photography viewing, gustometry, risk-taking, stress, aggression, executive control, and motor skill learning paradigms
  • 13C spectroscopy for measuring glial acetate metabolism
  • Long-TE 1H spectroscopy for measuring muscle acetyl carnitine concentration
  • Magnetic resonance elastography for measuring liver fibrosis
  • Software-based coordination of multicenter DXA studies