The scanner in the BIRC is part of the Brain Imaging Research Core, a service offered in conjunction with the UAMS Translational Research Institute. This pay-per-use service allows external researchers the unique opportunity to utilize the facility and personnel resources within the BIRC for their own research projects. Interested investigators should have a research focus of adequate scientific merit and must have, or plan to obtain, approval from the UAMS Institutional Review Board for the applicable protocol.

The MRI scanner at the BIRC is a high-field system, operating at 3.0 Tesla (60,000 times the force of the Earth’s magnetic field). Because of it’s increased field strength, there is an increased risk for magnetic metallic objects to exhibit torque or deflection forces in the presence of the magnetic field. The Brain Imaging Research Center has a zero-tolerance policy for adverse events in the scanner environment. Because of this, we take extensive precautions to ensure every participant receiving a scan with the BIRC can do so safely, without worry of harm or injury. External investigators should familiarize themselves with the MRI Policies and Procedures.

Prior to commencing data collection through the Brain Imaging Research Core, a Protocol Review Process must occur. The BIRC also does not tolerate regulatory non-compliance. Thus, each interested investigator must submit the most recent version of the protocol and consent form for review by the faculty and relevant staff within the BIRC. Addition of BIRC-specific language must be included in the final approved version of both protocol and consent forms. Lastly, external investigators must meet with the BIRC Director and relevant staff to review the protocol prior to data collection. Non-compliance with these policies/procedures will not be tolerated and may result in termination of utilization of the Core resources. Implementing these processes allows for more streamlined data collection, better quality data, and ultimately, a better participant experience.

If interested, please contact Sonet Smitherman at 501-526-8386 or smsmitherman@uams.edu. For more information on other core facilities, see Translational Research Institute Core Facilities.