Construction of the shared instrument facility and installation of the MRI magnet and hardware was completed in Sept. 2004. It is shared by researchers at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) primarily as well as other researchers in Oklahoma. Our biomedical research interests include, but are not limited to, cancer biology, neurological disorders and cardiovascular pathologies. These themes are addressed with techniques such as basic morphological MRI (e.g. T1, T2 imaging), dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE) to establish location and extent of pathological lesions, MR angiography (MRA) to visualize vascularization, functional MRI (fMRI) to monitor tissue/organ response given a challenge function, and MR spectroscopy (MRS) to follow metabolic changes during a disease processes.

A particular strength of the facility is recent developments in the use of molecular targeting agents, which couple a MRI contrast agent (such as gadolinium complexes or ferromagnetic particles) with antibodies specific for cellular receptors or other antigens. This form of contrast enhanced imaging, allows in vivo visualization of molecular events. Many of the studies utilize transgenic murine models. The use of transgenic mice has dramatically advanced our ability to analyze and understand the molecular basis of various diseases. However, we are not limited to mice. Subjects up to approximately 20 cm in axial diameter may be imaged.

The Oklahoma INBRE, OMRF COBRE, and OCAST (Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology) funding provides the facility with infrastructure funds for investigators to obtain in vivo non-invasive functional, morphological and molecular information on various disease models focusing on neurological diseases and cancer detection and therapeutic agent assessments, and cardiovascular disease.

11.7 Tesla – available now

In 2008, OMRF added a second, more powerful MRI to the facility. This 11.7 Tesla magnet uses super-cooled liquid helium that circulates continuously through its coils to generate a magnetic field that is 200,000 times stronger than the Earth’s.

Although the MRI is commonplace in human medicine, there are no more than a handful of small-animal MRI facilities in the country with magnets as strong as OMRF’s.

Projects in OMRF’s MRI facility have included:

  • Studying models of glioma a brain cancer that primarily strikes adults
  • Examining hypertension and its involvement in type I and type II diabetes
  • Developing new ways to diagnose and clinically intervene against liver and brain cancers

Contact Information:
For more information on how we may help plan your study utilizing the small animal MRI system, contact our staff via email phone fax or regular mail.

OMRF, Mail Stop 60
825 NE 13th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73104

Phone: (405) 271-7232
Fax: (405) 271-7254