Center for Functional MRI In the Department of Radiology

About the Center


The Center for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (CFMRI) is a state-of-the-art resource for the San Diego research community that makes possible advanced imaging studies of the function, physiology, and anatomy of animals and humans.  The Center houses three cutting edge imaging systems:

  • Two 3T short bore scanners (GE MR750) for human studies
  • A 7T system (20 cm bore, Bruker Avance II console) for small animal imaging

All systems are equipped for advanced high resolution structural imaging, dynamic imaging (echo-planar imaging), and proton-decoupled carbon, phosphorus, and single and multi-voxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). To assist in research subject preparation for fMRI studies, a mock MRI scanner is also available. Since its opening in 2002, the CFMRI has supported the research activities of numerous funded (primarily NIH, NSF, and DOD) projects from UCSD and other research centers, including The Salk Institute, San Diego State University, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, and The Scripps Research Institute.  The total annual funding of projects supported by CFMRI is approximately $40M. Projects conducted span a broad range of areas, including ground breaking studies of aging, Alzheimer’s disease, AIDS, aerosol transport in the lungs, alcoholism, anorexia nervosa, anxiety disorders, aphasia, bulimia, cardiac remodeling, depression, drug abuse, fetal alcohol syndrome, hypoxia, glucose transport, ischemia, language, muscle structure, pain perception, pulmonary edema, schizophrenia, visual function, and sleep deprivation.

Our Mission

We believe that biomedical research has the power to improve the quality of human life and transform our understanding of the world.  The overall mission of the Center is to support biomedical research projects that use MRI to further our understanding of anatomy, function and physiology.  We achieve that mission by providing state-of-the-art MRI technologies to the San Diego research community, educating and training the community on the use of these technologies, and supporting  the efficient use of the Center’s resources.

Our focus is on supporting the research community by:

  • Making cutting-edge imaging and computer technology available to foster innovation and discovery
  • Providing researchers with technical support to help them accomplish their scientific goals and to maximize their data quality
  • Developing innovative methodologies and providing training and education in their usage
  • Providing a safe, comfortable and welcoming environment for researchers and their research participants.