Our Mission

As part of the Brigham and Women's MRI Research Center (BWMRC), the SAIL provides collaborative opportunities, access to advanced MRI instruments, and facilities infrastructure to researchers from around the world who are conducting pre-clinical, translational research in MRI. The expert staff at the SAIL strives for solutions that fit the needs of any researcher dedicated to serious scientific inquiry.


Magnetic Resonance imaging (MRI) is an essential research tool for the non-invasive study of the structure and function of the human body. The ability to use this technology in pre-clinical models allows translational studies that are crucial to elucidating a variety of disease mechanisms and to developing novel treatment approaches. From the study of brain function in neuropsychiatric disease, to the measurement of pulmonary (lung) function, to the introduction of new, minimally invasive image-guided treatment approaches, the use of novel MRI research methods is revolutionizing biomedical science.

The SAIL research facility is housed within the BWMRC. Its close proximity to the Longwood Medical Area and Harvard Medical School allows for a more naturally collaborative environment by providing investigators a comprehensive, translational research infrastructure.

Our Equipment and Facilities

Bruker-7T-MagnetOur new state-of-the-art facilities include a 7.0T Bruker BioSpec® USR (picture at right) magnet equipped with cryoprobe technology for high spatial resolution imaging of small models, a 3.0T Siemens Skyra wide-bore magnet available for imaging medium to large models. The suite includes a vivarium that enables longitudinal studies, a fully equipped preparatory room with anesthesia capabilities and an operating room for surgery and preparation. Investigators also have access to nearby housing facilities for their larger models. These housing facilities are connected to the BWMRC via an underground hallway, which avoids the need to hire transport for the larger models.

Our Location

The SAIL is conveniently located in the Longwood Medical Area, adjacent to both Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. The 1800 square foot facility is part of the larger Brigham and Women's MRI Research Center (BWMRC).

Starting a Project at SAIL

The SAIL staff collaborates with investigators who wish to use the imaging lab in planning the most appropriate and efficient use of the facility. For more information on the center and collaboration opportunities, contact Jinyin Ding, the SAIL Research Assistant, at


SAIL Funding

The SAIL facility was funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that was used to construct the BWMRC (of which SAIL is a part). The purchase of the Bruker 7T Magnet, which is the centerpieces of SAIL's array of imaging equipment, was partially funded by an S10 grant from the National Institutes of Health.



Q. What is the price of performing scans?
A. Information on pricing can be found on the BWH Research Imaging Core website.

Q. Can I tour the facility?
A. Yes, we would love to show investigators and staff our facility. Please contact Tehya Johnson, the SAIL Research Coordinator, at to set up an appointment.

Q. Is it possible to obtain pilot data for grants so that I may receive funding in the future?
A. Researchers without a source of funding may collect pilot data to include in a grant. To apply for pilot data time please contact the SAIL Research Coordinator at

Q. Is it possible to have MRI development time for a new research study or time for image study set-up on the MRI magnets at the SAIL?
A. It is possible to obtain MRI development time for a new research study or time for image study set-up on the SAIL MRI magnets. Please read the SAIL Policy on Development MRI Time.

New Equipment at Brigham Building for the Transformative Medicine (BTM)

Currently available for preclinical in-vitro and ex-vivo imaging:

MRI: Bruker Biospec 3T running Paravision 6 software, featuring a motorized transport system; includes multiple RF coils and image method extension packages.

Optical Imaging: Bruker In-Vivo Extreme II Optical/X-ray imaging system, with 4MP camera for Bioluminescence, Multispectral VIS-NIR Fluorescence, Direct Radioisotope Imaging, and Cherenkov radiation, including Molecular Imaging (MI) software, spectral unmixing, and the MARS system for 360° coverage.

Micro-CT: Bruker SkyScan 1176 features an 11 MP X-ray CCD camera for high performance in-vivo micro-CT scans with a maximum FOV of 68mm x 200mm and ultra-low radiation dose.

PET/CT: Bruker Albira III PET/CT features SiPM-based PET with <1mm FWHM spatial resolution, and a coplanar CT gantry; includes the PMOD multimodal kinetic modeling software platform. 


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