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August 26, 2010

Infrastructure Investment Initiative

One-time funds are available from OVPR for high-end research infrastructure needs. There should be a call for proposals soon.

This sounds like an opportunity that may not come around again for awhile.

CMRR 3T update

As CLA neuroimagers are aware, a lot is happening at the 3T in 2010. The scanner is moving to the new part of the CMRR next month. Free pilot hours were discontinued July 1. Andrea Schweikert has resigned as our MR tech to attend medical school, and we are currently searching for a replacement. Because so many things are in a state of flux, I will be posting more frequently to try to keep everyone apprised. I will start with a summary of where things currently stand.

Scanner move
The scanner move has been delayed until approximately September 20th. On or around that date, the scanner will be shut down to begin the process of moving to its new space in the CMRR expansion. The move should take a minimum of four weeks, but it could take longer if there are unforeseen difficulties. Labs that have equipment stored at the 3T will need to remove it prior to September 20th. Each lab is responsible for storing its own equipment until the new space becomes available.

Pilot scans
The University's recent interpretation of NIH policy (Circular A-21, "Cost Principles for Educational Institutions") has led to (among other changes) the discontinuation of the CMRR's policy of allotting up to 30 pilot hours at no cost for newly approved studies. As of June 2010, all scans conducted at the CMRR must be paid for at the current rate of $250 per hour. Pilot data is vital for obtaining external funding, and finding an alternative source of funds that will allow new neuroimaging studies to continue to conduct pilot scans prior to grant applications is a high priority for all of us.

MR tech
The Department of Radiology, with input from the 3T Executive Committee, is searching for a clinically certified MRI technologist to replace Andrea as the MR tech for the 3T at the CMRR. The plan is to have a replacement hired by the time the 3T is up and running at its new location. The need for a clinically certified tech implies that there will be clinically oriented scans conducted at the 3T after the move. We have been assured that research scans will have scheduling priority and that a second 3T will be acquired before the influx of clinical researchers becomes an inconvenience for current 3T users. I should have an update on this developing situation after the September 7th 3T Executive Committee meeting.

I will post information here as I receive it.