Research MRI Safety

Research MRI Safety at the Medical College of Wisconsin

Welcome to the Research Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) website. The MRI Safety Committee (MRISC) ardently offers this information for investigators and staff who propose to use MRI scanning as a research instrument. Technology continues to evolve providing exciting opportunities for research using MRI. Study staff and investigators will find material to assist with completing study submissions, applying for MRI Safety training and contact with committee members. Safe MRI research practices have persisted at the Medical College of Wisconsin for more than 30 years and the MRISC is dedicated to ensuring that trend continues.

Our Purpose

The purpose of the MRISC is to assure the safe use of MRI for research purposes at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). This assurance includes the following:

  • Minimize the safety risk to human research subjects, animal subjects, MCW staff, and others when working within the magnetic environment.
  • Minimize the risk of damage to the MRI scanner systems and ancillary equipment.

More information and the various forms needed to accommodate the processing of your research study, and working with MRI are available on the Center for Imaging Research (CIR) website. Contact the Center for Imaging Research (CIR) to obtain use of the Medical College Scanners.

MRI Safety training is required to obtain badge access to the hallways near the scanners. Only personnel who have completed MRI Safety Training and have been properly screened for safety risk and have received an orientation by the MCW faculty or staff are allowed to enter the magnetic environment of the scanner room. Subjects and others who need to enter the scanner room are thoroughly screened according to the MRI Safety Standard Operating Procedures prior to exposure to the strong magnetic environment. A standard written form (PDF) is used to screen for contraindicated risks and ensure the safety of those entering the magnetic environment.

To request the use of the Medical College of Wisconsin scanners in the Froedtert Hospital Pavilion and or the MFRC building contact the Center for Imaging Research.

To request use of Froedtert Hospital, Children's Wisconsin or other affiliated MRI scanners contact those institutions.

Important Information Regarding Use of MRI

Reviewing Studies Using MRI
The Medical College of Wisconsin manages MRI scanners for both human and animal subjects for research. MRI Scanners are also available for research, with permission at Froedtert Hospital, the Center for Diagnostic Imaging (CDI) and Children's Wisconsin. Download forms

MRI Safety Training
MRI Safety Training is required for Principal Investigators, study team personnel and other staff working with the Medical College of Wisconsin MRI scanners.

Access to MRI Scanners
Access to the MRI Scanner rooms is highly restricted due to the strong magnetic field continuously present which has been known to cause serious injury including death.

Equipment for use with MRI Studies
Monitoring, stimulus, or other equipment proposed by an investigator or study team must be approved prior to use by the MRI Safety Committee.

Resources for Working with MRI
The MRI Safety Committee strives to serve as a resource for the campus and the region to provide continuing safe practices using MRI for research. Introduction to MRI Safety.


Contact Us

MRI Safety Training: MRI Technologists

Chair, Research MRI Safety Committee: Andrew Nencka, PhD, Associate Professor

Research MRI Safety Committee Office:

Center for Imaging Research (CIR)