Metabolic Imaging Core

The NORC-H Metabolic Imaging Core (MIC) links a variety of imaging facilities providing services to NORC-H investigators who currently require or plan to conduct human studies using state-of-the-art imaging research instrumentation and expertise.

The goal of the Metabolic Imaging Core is to provide a central access point for investigators to conduct human studies that include imaging technology for in vivo phenotyping of human tissues for nutrition, obesity, and metabolism studies.

Primary contact: Martin Torriani (see info below)

Core Leadership

Martin Torriani, MD– PRIMARY CONTACT

Martin Torriani, MD– PRIMARY CONTACT

Director of Metabolic Imaging Core
Associate Professor of Radiology
Massachusetts General Hospital
Musculoskeletal Radiology, YAW6048
55 Fruit St.
Boston, MA 02114
Phone 617-724-1108; Fax 617-726-5282

Bruce Rosen, MD, PhD

Bruce Rosen, MD, PhD

Center Director
Professor of Medicine
Director of the Program in Nutritional Metabolism
Executive Committee Member
MGH Endowed Chair in Neuroendocrinology & Metabolism
Georges El Fakhri, PhD

Georges El Fakhri, PhD

Co-Director of Metabolic Imaging Core
Professor of Radiology
Massachusetts General Hospital
Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
White 42, 55 Fruit St.
Boston, MA  02114
Phone 617-726-9640; Fax 617-726-6165



  • Help with study design and methods to include available Core techniques in human research studies.
  • Consultative services in imaging analysis, including quantitative interpretation of imaging data
  • H-MRS for lipid profiling (intramyocellular lipid, intrahepatic lipid, marrow fat)

C-MRS of adipose tissue

P-MRS of muscle and liver for mitochondrial function

MRI, including quantification of areal and volumetric visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue

Quantitative CT (helical) using single- or dual-energy CT for volumetric acquisition of bone mineral density

Quantitative CT (single-slice) for quantification of visceral and subcutaneous fat, cross-sectional muscle area

Ultrasound and shear-wave sonoelastography for assessment of liver fibrosis and steatosis

Image-guided biopsies


Functional MRI

Brain MRI for morphometry

Tutorials and workshops in imaging techniques used in metabolic investigation

Other services may be available upon request


10 MRI clinical scanners (Siemens and GE) with multiple coils

14 clinical CT scanners (Siemens and GE)
20 clinical ultrasound machines (GE, Philips, Siemens, Supersonic, Toshiba) with multiple transducers
5 Siemens research MR scanners (1.5T, 3.0T, 7.0T)
Siemens mMR whole body simultaneous PET-MR system
Siemens Skyra platform 3 Tesla Connectome MRI
Siemens Biograph 64 slice PET/CT
Siemens Biograph TruePoint 64 slice PET/CT
Siemens BrainPET scanner (PET acquisition simultaneous with MR when inserted in 3T Magnetom Trio)
2 FDG Automated chemistry modules
2 GE FX-C C-11 Automated chemistry modules
2 GE FX-N F-18 Automated chemistry modules
2 Shielded fume hoods
3 Hot Cells, 14 Mini Cells
4 cell culture BSL2 hoods, 8 incubators
Analytical Chemistry equipment including: HPLC, GC, LC/MS, LC/MS/MS, NMR and TLC
Beowulf Linux cluster
cGMP Compliant manufacturing facility and clean room housed within the PET Nuclear Pharmacy
Developmental High-Radioactivity radiochemistry area with Hot Cells
Developmental Low-Radioactivity radiochemistry areas
Eckert and Ziegler Modular Lab Automated chemistry module
Flo-Gard 6100 Fluid Pump
Fluoroscopy Suite
Four preclinical fluorescence murine imaging systems
Fully equipped and staffed cyclotron support facilities
GE eXplore Vista microPET scanner
GE PETtrace 18/9 MeV Dual Particle Cyclotron
GE Stenoscope Imaging
Global shared memory Silicon Graphics Altix UV supercomputer cluster
High-Purity Germanium Radiation Detector
PerkinElmer Wizard2 2480 gamma counter and Swisstrace “twilite two” continuous blood counting system
PhotoDetectionSystems NeuroPET-CT scanner (dedicated brain PET/CT imaging system)
Prucka Cardio Lab 4.1 GE
Shielded Iodination hood
Shielded ISO Class 5 Isolator
dc-SQUID Neuromag Vectorview MEG system
Mock magnet for simulation