New MRI scanner offers new views of the brain

The Core for Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (CAMRI) at Baylor College of Medicine it is now home to the only Siemens Prisma MRI scanner in the region. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held March 1 to unveil the the new scanner.

Engineering representatives from Siemens demonstrated the features of the new scanner, which was originally developed for use in NIH’s Human Connectome Project, to scientists from the Texas Medical Center community, including CAMRI users from BCM, Rice University, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston McGovern Medical School, Texas Children’s Hospital and University of Houston.

The new scanner, as well as two older Siemens scanners, are used for imaging studies of the function, physiology and anatomy of animals and humans, especially functional, perfusion, and diffusion MRI in the brains of human subjects. The Prisma has a 64-channel head and neck radio frequency coil to allow for higher resolution studies of brain structure and function, as well as stronger magnetic field gradients allowing for faster and more accurate imaging of white matter tracts connecting different brain regions.

“The Prisma is the new standard for human neuroscience research and will help us understand the structure and function of the 80 billion neurons in the human brain,” said Dr. Michael S. Beauchamp, academic director of CAMRI and professor of neurosurgery and neuroscience at Baylor. “We have an outstanding team of physicists, technologists, and support staff that make CAMRI the ideal environment for MR research.”

Free pilot time is available for scientists interested in using the facility. For more information contact

CAMRI, formerly the Human Neuroimaging Laboratory (HNL), has been housed in the Smith building since 1999.


Members of Dr. Beauchamp’s lab, from left, Muge Ozker Sertel, Kristen Smith Bill Bosking, John Magnotti, Dr. Beauchamp, Johannes Rennig and Debshila Basu Mallick.