During the week of August 18th, UW Radiology and GE Healthcare co-hosted a course, designed to give attendees an introduction to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) pulse sequence programming.
With over half of the participants being completely new to MRI programming, the training began with the principles of creating and modifying imaging sequences. Once the attendees were comfortable with the basics, the course moved on to controlling the different subsystems of the software, such as changing the type of radiofrequency energy or tweaking the magnetic field gradients. GE and UW scientists shared the teaching load. UW was represented by instructors Alan McMillan, Ph.D., and Karl Vigen, Ph.D. The GE instructors were Jim Holmes, Ph.D., and Kang Wang, Ph.D. UW’s Samantha Mergen and Professor Frank Korosec, Ph.D. also helped to organize the course.
With the class being held at the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR), attendees were presented with a unique opportunity. “They were able to collect data, actually use the scanners, and use GE’s new tool called Orchestra to reconstruct images from the data they collected,” said McMillan. “To image with their own sequence and get real data, that’s actually a big deal,” added Holmes.
Attendees had a chance to meet with UW faculty, tour the research facilities at WIMR, and experience the UW campus, in addition to receiving hands-on training during the course. UW and GE have a long-standing partnership in innovation, co-developing imaging sequences such as TRICKS (dynamic time-resolved angiographic imaging), CUBE (high-resolution 3D fast spin echo imaging), and IDEAL (a robust and quantitative fat-water separation technique).