Citigroup Biomedical Imaging


The WCM CLC Citigroup Biomedical Imaging Center (CBIC) provides state-of-the-art imaging instruments and expertise in their applications to the Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM) community and to outside investigators.  Resources and services include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), X-ray computed tomography (CT), high resolution ultrasound, and optical imaging and endoscopy.  The CBIC provides consultation on project design and image visualization and analysis, and offers seminars, training and educational workshops.



History:  The Citigroup Biomedical Imaging Center (CBIC) was established in 2001 with the support of Citigroup and Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM), the WCM Departments of Radiology, Psychiatry and Neurology, and NIH high-end instrumentation grant awards. In addition, major instrumentation was acquired and continues to be operated with multi-institutional support, including a medical cyclotron with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and a MRI instrument with The Rockefeller University.  The CBIC became part of the WCM Core Laboratories Center (CLC) in 2015. 

Location:  The main CBIC facility occupies 3 floors of the “S” building annex at 516 East 72nd Street, New York, NY.  A satellite CBIC facility is located in the basement of the Belfer Research Building at 413 East 69th Street.  This satellite facility is fully Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) compliant and is operated in close collaboration with the Research Animal Resource Center (RARC). 

WCM Core Laboratories Center (CLC):  The WCM CLC was established in 2015.  The CLC includes core facilities that offer resources and services in genomics and epigenomics, proteomics and metabolomics, flow cytometry, imaging (e.g., optical and electron microscopy, high content screening, MRI, PET/CT, and ultrasound), synthetic and analytical chemistry, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). 

Open to all: The resources and services of the core facility are open to all investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University and Cornell-affiliated institutions.  The facility also provides services to external investigators at both academic institutions and commercial enterprises.


Magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy (MRI/MRS)

 MRI is used to study a wide range of diseases in patients, from neurological and psychiatric disorders to cancer and vascular disease. Additionally, MRI imaging is performed on both large and small live animals to investigate disease-related functional and structural changes.  Applications include angiography, diffusion tensor, functional, perfusion and spectroscopic imaging.  MRI supports high resolution imaging virtually anywhere in the body.  Instruments in the CBIC include: Siemens 3.0 Tesla PRISMA MRI with 64 high bandwidth receivers providing fast parallel image acquisition with a 80 mT/m gradient amplitude; GE Discovery 750 MRI with 32 high bandwidth receivers and a 50 mT/m gradient amplitude (oth scanners have a 200 T/m/s slew rate and a 60 cm inner bore diameter); Bruker BioSpec 70/30 USR 7.0 Tesla Small Animal MRI with a 200 mT/m gradient amplitude, a 640 mT/m/s slew rate and a 20 cm inner bore diameter (in-house built RF coils provide additional signal and localization compared with standard imaging coils).  

Computed Tomography/Positron emission tomography (PET)

Instruments in the CBIC combine sophisticated computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET) to produce images that simultaneously provide anatomic and metabolic information.  MicroPET is available for small animal imaging studies.  PET can be used to scan the entire body or selected organs.  PET precisely measures physiologic function, detects metabolic changes in tissue, displays blood flow, and tracks alterations in biochemical processes.  PET can help physicians evaluate patients for coronary artery bypass or angioplasty procedures, diagnose psychiatric and neurological diseases, assess head trauma and movement disorders, and help diagnose and stage tumor malignancies.

High resolution Ultrasound

The VisualSonics Vevo 3100 is located in a vivarium and provides noninvasive in vivo measurement of anatomical structures, cardiac motion and blood flow.  Features include transducers with 40 µm, 50 µm, and 75 µm resolution, 20 mm field of view, and image-guided needle injection.

Radiochemistry (medical cyclotron radiotracer production)

A medical cyclotron (Ebco 19 MeV Dual Beam Cyclotron) is available for production of radiotracers and radiochemistry equipment is available for ligand synthesis.  The cyclotron and related equipment are supported as a joint venture between WCM and MSKCC.  The cyclotron produces various positron-emitting radiolabeled pharmaceutical drugs that are designed and engineered to complement clinical molecular targets.  The preparation of these unique drugs requires a source of radionuclide (such as 11C or 18F) and the tools for subsequent synthesis of the drug incorporating the radionuclide. The cyclotron produces 19.2 MeV protons and 9.5 MeV deuterons in two separate beam lines. 


Optical Imaging

The Bruker In-Vivo XTREME is a powerful and versatile small animal imaging system for preclinical research that includes multispectral fluorescence, luminescence, radioisotopic and high resolution X-ray imaging in one system.  The IVIS SpectrumCT enables simultaneous molecular and anatomical longitudinal studies, providing researchers with essential insights into complex biological systems in small animal models. 

Barrier vivarium services:

High resolution ultrasound; Bioluminescent, fluorescent, and microCT; microPET; Video endoscopy imaging

Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)

Image visualization and analysis

 Available image analysis software includes ImageJ (NIH).  Functional MRI (fMRI) analysis may be performed using AFNI or SPM.  Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) may be processed using the Siemens Syngo workstation, DTI Studio or TrackVis.  PET pharmacokinetic analysis is performed using PMOD software with multiple toolboxes.  Advanced applications programming is performed in MATLAB, IDL and ImageJ routines.  Data processing is performed on PC, Mac, Silicon Graphics and Linux based systems.  Dedicated analysis machines include a Linux workstation with an NVIDIA Tesla K20C, 5GB, Graphics Processing Unit containing 2,496 processor cores for parallel analysis.  Online data storage is maintained on a secure 8.5 Tb partition on a WCM ITS research storage system.


Seminars, workshops and training


The CBIC is composed of four complementary facilities: Human MRI, Pre-Clinical MRI, Pet-Radiochemisty, and the BRB imaging facility. Each facility provides its own unique set of services and resources that are made available to all investigators. Information regarding the resources of each facility can be found below. 

Human MRI – Two state-of-the-art 3.0 Tesla MRI systems are available for imaging human subjects, including General Electric MR750 and Siemens PRISMA platforms.  A large portfolio of structural, functional, and spectroscopic imaging techniques is supported on these systems for imaging any part of the body. 

Pre-Clinical MRI – A 7.0 Tesla Bruker MR system is available for imaging and spectroscopy of small animals.  This system is equipped with powerful magnetic field gradients that facilitate imaging data acquisition at high spatial resolution, and can also be used for magnetic resonance microscopy of specimens.  

PET-Radiochemistry – The CBIC offers comprehensive PET-Radiochemistry services.  Radioisotope production and radiotracer synthesis for research is performed on-site using our 19 MeV cyclotron and radiochemistry laboratories.  An extensive list of radiotracers is available.

BRB Imaging – The CBIC BRB imaging facility is located in a BSL compliant environment, and supports optical imaging, CT, ultrasound, and PET imaging of small animals.  This facility is fully integrated into the Research Animal Resource Center to provide seamless support to investigators.

Contact Information

Douglas Ballon, Ph.D.
Director, CLC Citigroup Biomedical Imaging Center
(212) 746-5679

Front Desk
CLC Citigroup Biomedical Imaging Center
(212) 746-5889

More Information

For more information about services and pricing, to register as a user of the core, to submit samples, to schedule time on the instruments, and/or to arrange for training, please go to the WCM iLab portal at

For additional information about the CBICs, please go to

Contact Information

Core Contact: Douglas Ballon, Ph.D.


Phone: (212) 746-5679