Metabolic Imaging Core

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

Our ServicesOur Team

Core Services

Individual consultation and training services:

  • Imaging analysis, including quantitative interpretation of imaging data
  • H-MRS for lipid profiling (intramyocellular lipid, intrahepatic lipid, marrow fat)

  • Help with study design and methods to include available Core techniques in human research studies.

  • Tutorials and workshops in imaging techniques used in metabolic investigation

MRI and MRS Services:

  • Quantification of areal and volumetric visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue

  • Liver MRI for assessment of steatosis and fibrosis (using Perspectum Multiscan protocol)

  • MR elastography (in development) for assessment of liver fibrosis

  • Brain MRI

  • Functional MRI

  • Additional custom MRI protocols available for NORCH-related research

  • MRS of muscle, liver, marrow and adipose tissue with analyses for lipid profiling

CT, PET, and Other Services:

  • 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

  • CT analysis for body composition performed with deep learning algorithm (ideal for medium or large-scale studies or datasets requiring short-term execution)

  • Image-guided biopsies

  • PET, PET/CT, and PET/MRI

Other services may be available upon request


    Click for the full list of equipment

    • 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)
    • Siemens ECAT EXACT HR+
    • 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

    Upcoming Office Hours: Thurs, Feb 4 at 10am EST

     Dr. Torriani holds office hours on a quarterly basis for questions related to the services offered above. Zoom details can be requested via this inquiry form. 

    Interested in utilizing our services or equipment for a current or upcoming project? Fill out the inquiry form below.

    Core Leadership

    Martin Torriani, MD

    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

    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

    Bruce Rosen, MD, PhD

    Bruce Rosen, MD, PhD

    Co-Director of Metabolic Imaging Core
    Professor of Medicine
    Director of the Program in Nutritional Metabolism
    Executive Committee Member
    MGH Endowed Chair in Neuroendocrinology & Metabolism