Research imaging is a key component of Boston Children’s ongoing efforts to advance pediatric medicine. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an important tool used often to study the body’s structure and function, including that of the brain. The information that MRI scans provide can help add to our understanding of disease development and inform future therapies. That's why we have an MRI suite dedicated exclusively to research.
Supported by the Department of Radiology, our mission for this MRI suite is simple: to assist investigators with achieving the best imaging research outcomes possible. As a leading innovator in pediatric research imaging, we collaborate with many researchers to develop treatments and cures for diseases. Our dedicated research MRI suite is open to researchers and clinicians from within and external to the Boston Children’s community.
Why choose us
We designed our state-of-the-art facility to make kids feel more comfortable throughout the process.
Before the scan
It’s important to familiarize children with the MRI scanner environment and get them comfortable before the scan itself. Our life-sized mock MRI scanner is a great resource to help ease that anxiety, reducing time in the scanner room and even sometimes the costs associated with MRIs. We also offer a sound-proof infant prep room with an MRI-safe infant crib, plus amber and white lights that help create an easier transition to sleep.
During the scan
We are a hospital-based facility with a research scanner made especially for kids — and we know sometimes a friendly face can help ease their anxiety. That’s why we allow the participant's parent or guardian to accompany them inside the scan room. We also have an LCD with Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Spotify in the scan room, plus noise-canceling MRI-safe headphones to increase their comfort.
With on-site MRI physicists, data analysts, and MRI technologists, we offer an array of services, from imaging to data analysis.
- We can image people of all ages — from infants to adults.
- We are committed to safety and follow extensive MRI safety guidelines and procedures with highly trained and experienced MRI technologists.
- We offer consultation and protocol design.
- We provide researchers with equipment training.
- We offer phantom imaging — specially designed objects used as stand-ins for human tissue to image, evaluate, analyze, and fine-tune the performance of the proposed imaging protocol before any human is studied.
- We provide data analysis (diffusion tractography, volumetry, QA), plus data transfer and storage on FlyWheel, our cloud-based data storage and analysis platform.
- We offer convenient scheduling Monday through Friday, noon to 8 p.m., with highly trained research dedicated MRI technologists.
Note: Researchers must have IRB and imaging protocol approval by the Department of Radiology at Boston Children's Hospital. Our team can advise and assist with establishing, optimizing, and evaluating study imaging protocols, as well as training study staff in the safe and effective use of the facility.
- Siemens 3T Prisma MRI Scanner
- Nordic Neuro Lab fMRI equipment
- Mock MRI scanner
- Infant quiet room with MRI-safe crib
- Neuropsychology testing rooms
- BIOPAC MRI compatible physiological equipment
Meet our team
Read more about Simon K. Warfield, PhD
Director of Radiology Research
Thorne Griscom Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School
Read more about Onur Afacan, PhD
Scientific Director of Research Core
Assistant Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School
Read more about Kristina Pelkola, BS, RT(R)(MR)
Manager, Research Imaging
Norman Farrar, BS, RT(R)(MR)
Senior Research MRI Technologist
Radiology Research Representative
Boston Children’s Brookline
Two Brookline Place
Brookline, MA 02445
The dedicated research MRI suite is at Boston Children's Two Brookline Place location. This new facility combines interdisciplinary clinical care with cutting-edge clinical and translational research, all less than a mile from the hospital's Longwood campus.
Boston Children's Brookline is conveniently located near several MBTA subway and bus stops. Discounted parking for research participants is also available in our on-site garage.
To explore conducting your study with dedicated research MRI suite, contact Kristina Pelkola, Manager, Research Imaging, via ResearchImagingCoresStudies@childrens.harvard.edu.