Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center

Center Resources

The Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center (MRRC) occupies the first two floors of the MRRC building. The first floor houses the facility laboratories and is comprised of approximately 5,300 square feet.  The second floor, of similar square footage, houses staff offices and meeting facilities, a conference room, and storage areas.

Reception Area (floor 1): A reception area, waiting area and restroom.

MRI laboratories (floor 1): A shielded room for the human scanner (installation of the Philips Ingenia Elition 3.0T), a magnetic/RF shielded room housing the 9.4 T, 21 cm Varian Direct Drive MRI/MRS system, an instrumentation and power supply area, and console operator rooms for each scanner.

MRRC laboratories (floor 1): Adjacent to the MRI laboratories are a machine shop, electronics and coil fabrication laboratory, a wet laboratory, a physiology instrumentation laboratory and an animal physiological laboratory including housing for barrier and non-barrier animals.  On this floor there is also a single patient guest/bed room for short duration housing of inpatients enrolled in research projects, a nurse’s office, a changing room, and restroom.

MRRC Office and Conference Area (floor 2): Eight private offices occupied by MRRC faculty, four semi-private offices for postdoctoral students, six student desk/cubicles and a psychological testing room.  There is also a conference facility (which can accommodate up to 20 people) and a kitchen area.  This floor also houses an 800 square foot computer and storage area and two bathrooms.



The Magnetic Resonance Research Center (MRRC), a 100% Research Dedicated Imaging Center, is operated and managed by members of the Department of Radiology under the direct management of Dr. Craig Branch, with assistance from the Associate Clinical Director Dr. Michael Lipton. The Division oversees the administrative functions of the center, including oversight of the scientific use of the center, oversight of the centers financial support and oversight of the resource needs and commitments of the center. The MRRC is staffed by highly trained professionals, with broad expertise relevant to the execution of MRI-oriented research. Each member of the Center contributes a significant allocation of their time ( 20-100%) to supporting the center on behalf of those investigators from other Departments who wish to conduct research on the MRRC MRI systems. The MRRC is operated as one of several Einstein Core Facilities that share in the benefits of this campus wide program of dissemination and support. 


Department of Radiology Research Staff

Tim Q Duong, PhD Dr. Duong is the Vice Chair for Research, Director of MRI Research, and Founding Director of the Preclinical MRI Center. Dr. Duong has over 20 years of experience in developing and applying magnetic resonance imaging technologies to study anatomy, physiology and function of the brain in normal and diseased states in animals and humans. My current research programs focus on developing and applying high-resolution MRI to study early retinal diseases, brain injuries, with the aims of identifying imaging methods for early and more sensitive detection, characterization pathophysiology, prediction of outcomes, and evaluation of novel treatment strategies. Duong lab website 

Nicole Wake, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Radiology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Director of the 3D Imaging Lab at Montefiore Medical Center. Dr. Wake’s research is focused on creating 3D models from radiological imaging data. Specifically, she has coupled MRI data with a range of 3D printing, augmented reality, and virtual reality technologies to create individualized anatomically precise anatomic models for pre-operative planning. She is using these models to guide patient management and is investigating the added value of 3D modeling in personalized medical care. Dr. Wake is an Associate Editor for Springer Nature’s 3D Printing in Medicine Journal, she is currently the Secretary of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) 3D Printing Special Interest Group, and she is actively involved in the ASME and SME medical 3D printing workgroups. With over 50 peer-reviewed publications with 1400+ citations she has established herself as one of a very small number of world leaders in 3D image post-processing and medical 3D printing.

Qi Peng, PhD Dr. Peng is an experienced clinical MRI physicist/scientist with strong expertise in developing novel MRI methods for clinical and research applications, particularly in quantitative MRI/MRS. He has considerable experience on MR pulse sequence programming to implement new imaging technologies on clinical MR scanners. One of Dr. Peng's research interests is to develop novel high spatiotemporal resolution imaging techniques to study human brain activation and blood flow quantitatively. His other research interest is to develop novel quantitative image processing methods for biomedical applications.

Wouter Hoogenboom, PhD Wouter is a post-doctoral Research Fellow who earned his PhD in Biomedical Sciences/Clinical Investigation at Einstein and also holds a Masters degree in Neuropsychology. Wouter is interested in using advanced neuroimaging techniques and cognitive tools to conduct clinical and translational research contributing to a better understanding, treatment, and prevention of brain-related diseases. He previously used neuroimaging to study traumatic brain injury, neuropsychiatric disorders and diabetes in both human and animal models.

 Montefiore Department of Radiology 


 MRRC Technical Staff

Craig A. Branch, Ph.D. (100% Research) Dr. Branch is the Director of the MRRC, providing oversight of the MRRC mission and facilities. Dr. Branch is a Biomedical Physicist with a long history in the field of MR instrumentation and research, and with expertise in the application of MR methodologies to both animal and human studies and supports the translational application of MRRC resources. Dr. Branch provides support in the development of applications using MRI and MRS, supports pulse programming efforts, supports the development of subject paradigms (particularly in functional studies), supports the development of novel data analyses and contributes to educational sessions on MRI methodologies provided to faculty and students. Dr. Branch is available for consultation on paradigm design, grant writing and data analysis.

Michael Lipton, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Lipton (80% Research) is a Neuroradiologist and a Neuroscientist with extensive experience in high field functional imaging, neuroanatomical imaging and clinical research. Dr. Lipton serves as the Associate Director of the MRRC for Clinical Research, and he is also Director of Research for the Department of Radiology at Montefiore Medical Center. Dr. Lipton thus plays a pivotal role in the Center, assuring that residents and fellows, particularly from Radiology, are encouraged to spend their research hours engaged in MRRC relevant studies. Dr. Lipton serves as the point person for the translation of human research from the MRRC to the clinical centers located both on and off campus (at the remote hospitals, such as Montefiore Medical Center and Bronx Psychiatric Center). Dr. Lipton provides support for paradigm development (especially neurological and functional studies), data analysis support, data acquisition oversight and clinical interpretation of acquired research data. Dr. Lipton is available for consultation on paradigm design, grant writing and data analysis.

Mark E. Wagshul, Ph.D. (100% research) Dr. Wagshul is an MRI physicist with extensive experience in clinical and pre-clinical imaging applications, with particular expertise in flow imaging, functional imaging and MR spectroscopy. Dr. Wagshul serves as senior project scientist for the MRRC, with an emphasis on protocol development and MRI sequence design. He provides interfacing between the MRRC and other departments with imaging interests and needs, consultation for implementing new applications, develops new projects with a cross-disciplinary approach and contributes to faculty and student courses in MRI physics and advanced sequence development. He serves as a mentor for graduate students in Neuroscience and Biophysics, for medical students, residents and fellows. Dr. Wagshul is available for consultation in experimental design, grant writing and data analysis.

Min-Hui Cui, Ph.D. (100% Research). Dr. Cui is a chemist with substantial expertise in the application of MRS to invivo organ disease, especially C13 MRS. Dr. Cui serves the center as a spectroscopist and supporting manager of the 9.4 T MRI/MRS facility. Dr. Cui has expertise in both data acquisition and analysis of non-neurological studies. Dr. Cui will support new applications, including investigator support and paradigm development.

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