Standing in the Centre for Functional and Metabolic Mapping (CFMM) surrounded by high-field MRI scanners is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. Home to Canada’s only large-bore 9.4T MRI for animal models, Canada’s only 7T human MRI, and Canada’s first 64-channel 3T MRI, the facility is on the leading-edge of global imaging research.
Thirteen graduate trainees from across Canada recently took part in this experience at the CFMM’s 2017 MRI Winter School.
“Working in this environment really brings out the trainees’ excitement,” explained Sue Bedford, research coordinator at CFMM. “They begin to think about the research possibilities and that really energizes them.”
The MRI Winter School aims to expose trainees to new imaging methods. “Our goal was to introduce the trainees to working with high-field MRI,” said Joe Gati, associate director at CFMM. “The highlight of the weekend was definitely the hands-on work, with sessions and demonstrations on our three scanners.”
In addition to the hands-on activities, participants took part in lectures covering research topics in medical imaging, physics, engineering and advanced high-field applications.
They also engaged with presenters from industry and academia about potential career opportunities, and each participant was required to give a research presentation explaining their own work.
The three-day event was designed to showcase CFMM’s strengths in ultra high-field MRI, serving as an outreach program, as well as a potential recruitment tool to attract top Canadian graduate trainees.
“When you're in the space, you can see our facilities provide an excellent training ground,” said Gati.
CFMM hosts and sponsors the MRI Winter School, meaning there is no cost to participants. And more than 15 faculty, staff and current Robarts trainees supported the event this year.
This was the second time CFMM organized the event and the plan is to continue on an annual basis moving forward, with the potential to expand participation to international graduate students.