Center Research and Equipment

Technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) permit unprecedented ability for in vivo examination of the structural, functional, neurochemical, metabolic and molecular properties of the brain in humans and in animal models. Imaging methods can be combined with genomics and other advanced biomarker approaches to enhance understanding of brain mechanisms, disease processes and treatment response from a systems biology framework.


IU Health Neuroscience Center

The IU Health Neuroscience Center is a premier center that combines IU Health’s comprehensive neurological services into a single location for a more integrated approach to clinical care and research. The ambulatory care center includes outpatient clinics and office space for clinicians and researchers throughout IU School of Medicine. This innovative facility also houses cutting-edge imaging instruments for both clinical and research use.

Tracer and Contrast Agent Development Facility

The Biomedical Research and Training Center houses a tracer and contrast agent development program. This facility consists of a cyclotron laboratory for the production of short-lived radionuclides, a radiation chemistry laboratory for the synthesis of drugs labeled with the radionuclides produced by the cyclotron, an analytical chemistry laboratory for measuring the sterility and pyrogenicity of the labeled drugs and an automated pneumatic transport system for transporting PET radiopharmaceuticals to the imaging suite for measuring the 3D distribution of these drugs in the animal and human body following administration.

Innovative Labs

Four radiation chemistry laboratories consist of a series of shielded chemistry cells for the production of radiopharmaceuticals labeled with positron emitting radionuclides produced by the cyclotron. These cells are designed to hold several curies of radioactive material with minimal exposure to the personnel performing the syntheses. The laboratory also houses chromatography equipment for the isolation of radiopharmaceuticals from radiochemical contaminants produced in the synthetic process, as well as analytical equipment for the measurement of radionuclide quantities.

The analytical chemistry laboratory is used to assay small samples of the radiopharmaceuticals produced in the radiation chemistry laboratory. This laboratory contains assorted chromatography and sample assay equipment for these purposes. The laboratory is also used to analyze human blood radiopharmaceutical concentrations and metabolites. Equipment used for the blood sample analysis includes an automated well counter system, centrifuge and assorted separation columns for isolating radiopharmaceuticals from metabolites formed in the human body.

The six cold chemistry laboratories are used for the synthesis of non-radioactive precursor compounds required for the synthesis of research radiopharmaceuticals.


This scanner features zero helium boil-off technology, gradient strength up to 80 mT/m, slew rate up to 200 T/m/s, a magnet homogeneity at 40 cm DSV – 0.25 ppm, multiple radiofrequency (RF) coils including the newly FDA approved  64-channel head and neck coil and a Tim 4G +Dot and Tim TX true shape, syngo D13 software with in-line automated processing. IDEA and ICE development environment and analysis packages are also available.

Housed within the cyclotron facility is this eclipse RDS-111 cyclotron. This system consists of an 11 MeV proton cyclotron, irradiation target systems for the production of [11C], [13N], [15O], and [18F] radioactive material transport systems and a series of computer-controlled synthesis modules for the production of radiopharmaceuticals.

This positron emission tomography (PET) scanner features a TrueV technology for extended FOV up to 78 cm, TrueC model-based Compton scatter correction, patented high-density 4x4x20mm detectors with decay time of 40ns and coincidence timing of 4.5ns, HI-Res detectors, sinogram mode and dynamic listmode data acquisition capabilities.

A pneumatic transport system was established between our cyclotron/radiochemistry facilities and the PET imaging suites that are separated by a distance of ~2 km. Unique features of this system include a path which crosses a river, a 3-way networked computer control system, and novel carrier designs.

PET [11C] and [18F] tracers, novel and potent enzyme-based and/or receptor-based brain, tumor and heart imaging agents are produced for PET to study brain, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Numerous tracers are in various stages of development for support of research. The following list, although not exhaustive, illustrates the breadth of neuroscience, cancer, and cardiovascular-related radiopharmaceuticals at various stages of development, from initial evaluation in cell and animal models to evaluation in clinical trials.

Image Processing and Data Analysis Computing

Big Red is an IBM e1350 distributed shared memory cluster with 4096 processor cores, 6 TB total memory capacity and a peak theoretical processing capability of 40.96 TFLOPS. The compute nodes consist of 1024 IBM JS21 Blade servers, each with two dual-core PowerPC 970MP processors, 8GB of memory, a 73GB local SATA disk for scratch space and a PCI-X Myrinet 2000 adapter for high-bandwidth, low-latency MPI applications. In addition to local scratch disk, the Big Red compute nodes are connected to the Data Capacitor via four shared 10Gbps Ethernet links.

Big Red II consists of 1020 nodes total and one NVIDIA K20 accelerator with 32 GB of system memory and 5 GB of GPU memory. This system has more bandwidth to high performance file systems such as the Data Capacitor than ever before, as they connect via a low-latency InfiniBand network that provides an aggregate throughput to storage of 48 GB/s.

The newest high-throughput computing cluster, Karst is equipped with 256 compute nodes plus 16 dedicated data nodes for separate handling of data-intensive operations. All nodes are IBM NeXtScale nx360 M4 servers, each equipped with two Intel Xeon E5-2650 v2 8-core processors. Each compute node has 32 GB of RAM and 250 GB of local disk storage. Each data node has 64 GB of RAM and 24 TB of local storage. All nodes run Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6 and are connected via 10-gigabit Ethernet to the IU Science DMZ.

Mason is an HP distributed shared memory cluster with 512 processor cores, 8 TB total memory capacity and a peak theoretical capability of 3 TFLOPS. The compute nodes consist of 16 DL580 G7 servers, each with four eight-core Intel Xeon L7555 processors, 512 GB of memory and a PCIe 10Gb Ethernet adapter for high-bandwidth data transfer. The cluster includes 16 TB of local spinning disk.

A high speed/high bandwidth lustre storage system that serves the high performance computing systems at Indiana University in Bloomington, includes a 5 PB Lustre file system from data direct networks with an aggregate 48 GB/s of data I/O capability.

This system includes sixteen lustre object storage servers, two lustre metadata servers and eight lustre routers all connected via full data rate InfiniBand to two data direct network SFA12000 storage controllers. The new data capacitor hardware is expected to provide 48-56 GB/s of bandwidth to Indiana University research systems.

The Indiana University Research File System currently has a capacity of 80 TB and allows for group collaboration via file sharing. Users have a highly flexible system for granting access to files and the underlying OpenAFS technology used for the system can enable users at multiple institutions to share files. Researchers can request dedicated project space for each project requiring dedicated storage and collaboration.

SDA uses High Performance Storage System (HPSS) software to make available to Indiana University researchers a total storage capacity exceeding 15 PB. Data are written to a fast, front-end disk cache and migrated over time to IBM TS3500 tape libraries on the Indianapolis and Bloomington campuses. Data written to the HPSS system are copied simultaneously to both locations, providing highly reliable disaster protection.

Provides a framework for collection of imaging and laboratory data, coupled with electronic medical records. The neurorepository aims to advance the understanding of health conditions and treatments affecting the brain through the creation of a large research database.