Clinical Center News
Fall 2018

Hitting the mark with a new magnet

Two men up close to the MRI magnet, outside

The crane lifts the magnet in the air as two men look up

7 Tesla MRI installed in the NIH Clinical Center

On Saturday Aug. 25, a 38,000 lb. magnet was delivered to the NIH Bethesda campus and hoisted into a newly renovated room at the NIH Clinical Center Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Center. The 7 Tesla (7T) magnet will be used in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to produce detailed images of tissues and organs within the human body for research and diagnostics.

The 600-ton capacity crane required for the "rig-in" required an 80-ton capacity crane to assemble it on site. The larger crane boom towered approximately 140 feet over the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Center and reached 175 feet across it from South Drive near Multi-Level Parking Garage 9 to the open hatch in the roof. It was no small feat maneuvering the magnet and rigging block, which together weighed 41,200 lbs – roughly the same weight as two NIH ambulances. They had to fit through an opening with barely an inch to spare on all sides.

Daniel Lid, with the NIH Office of Research Facilities, was the project officer for this endeavor.

"This was all made possible by extensive coordination amongst a team of professionals from dozens of NIH organizations and contractor firms, all working together to safely and successfully deliver NIH's newest magnet," said Lid. "I thank them all for their teamwork and contributions that will ultimately improve NIH facilities and equipment to better support advances in discovery and healthcare."

Requiring a five-day partial closure of Parking Lot 41 to stage, 19 trucks/trailers transported the cranes and counterweights in pieces on the NIH campus for assembly and disassembly. The oversized loads were only allowed to travel on weekdays.

The 7T MRI replaces an older 3T magnet. The system, MAGNETOM Terra, was cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for clinical imaging in October 2017. The system provides higher resolution and can reveal "functional and anatomical details not visible at lower magnet field strengths," according to manufacturer Siemens Healthineers. Installation and testing of the 7T MRI equipment continues. The official handover of the MRI suite to NIH researchers is expected by the end of 2018.

Thank you to those below and all who were involved:

ORF Site Coordination Team
Facilities Managers from Buildings 10, 10A, and 49
Safety Officers
Fire Department
Project Officers from nearby renovations
Clinical staff and researchers (Dr. Lalith Talagala, Dr. Joelle Sarlls, and others)
Inspectors (Aaron Burroughs and Mesfin Medhin)
Officer Phil Mendez in the Police Department and Sean Cullinane in Division of Amenities and Transportation were crucial in organizing police escort and staging areas for operations.
Some of the contractors included Siemens, UTSS, Healthcare Design Builders, Medical Equipment Contractors, and W.O. Grubb.

One man on top of the magnet secures a crane attachment to the magnet
A view from the top of a parking garage to show the crane moving the magnet above the roof of the hospital
Karen Baker, Dr. Colleen Hadigan and Victoria Anderson stand in a hallway.
Dr. Daniel Kastner examining a patient at the NIH Clinical Center
A nurse provides Dr. Anthony Fauci a flu shot
Food allergy
NIH staff gather at a relay race at the NIH Clinical Center
Dr. Gilman speaks at a podium
Four people listen to a dietician speak about the Nutrition Department while a employee preps food
Prediction and probability maps from prostate cancer researchers
Dr. Francis Collins, Shawn Thomas and Dr. Jim Gilman stand on stage as Thomas holds a plaque
National Symphony Orchestra performance
Two men up close to the MRI magnet, outside
Dr. Christopher Pleyer, Dr. Kelly Stone and Dr. Robert Lembo stand in front of a screen that says Distinguished Clinical Teacher Award Winner. Stone holds a plaque
Artwork decorates stairwells
Dr. William Ward speaks at a podium and a screen behind him is a poster that says Immunohematology & Blood Transfusion, 27th Annual Symposium
Four students and a teacher hold an oversized check to benefits patients at the NIH Clinical Center
Senior leaders at NIH cut a ribbon opening two hospice suites at the Clinical Center
Laptop with stethoscope nearby
Patient Photography Studio
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the NIH sties in a chair to the left. Barbra Streisand holds a microphone and sits in a chair to the right – speaks to the audience
Dr. James Gilman stands with Alba C. Murphy as they smile and hold a certificate
A paper cutout of a hand shape with a stick on the end. Text on the paper says I [heart] clean hands
Patient with Degos disease addresses symposium attendees
CDC and NIH representatives stand in a special isolation patient room at the NIH Clinical Center
Eight young men and women line up holding graduation certificates in Lipsett Auditorium
A four panel exhibit with photos, text and artifacts on NIH medical pioneers Christian Anfinsen and Michael Potter
NIH Clinical Center volunteer Chaoyang Wang
Woman with scientific cap on her head plays a touch game
Doctors at NIH speak in a lecture hall during Nurses Week
NIH Clinical Center doctor receives award
Children participate in Take Your Child to Work Day Hematology Lab
Leslie Wehrlen holds a plaque.
Sixteen women, graduates of the program and departmental leaders, gather for a photo
Pius Aiyelawo swearing into the Senior Executive Service with Dr. Lawrence Tabak
Jackson Taylor (right) and his donor Sean McLaughlin (left)
Dr. Thomas Burklow
Two care providers look at a computer
Child reading a book
NIH employee, Ricky Day, trys the prototype device
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams tours Clinical Center with CC CEO Dr. James K. Gilman
First Lady Melania Trump gets together with five children to pose for a picture
Patient and doctor
Harold Varmus, Robert Frasca, Mark Hatfield and John Gallin at the groundbreaking of the hospital's new addition
Black and White photo of the first meeting of the National Advisory Eye Council (13 men) gathering on steps
Jim Gilman at Town Hall in Masur Auditorium
Martha Rinker, speaker from the non-profit National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), addresses the audience on Rare Disease Day Feb. 29, 2016, at the NIH Clinical Center.
Betsy Furlong inspects the UV Illuminator cassette.
In January 2016, Dr. Robert Watcher visited the NIH and presented at a Contemporary Clinical Medicine: Great Teachers Lecture.
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have identified a genetic mutation responsible for a rare form of inherited hives induced by vibration.
The atrium gift shop recently re-opened under management of the Foundation for the Advancement of Education in the Sciences
Avish Parashar brought audience members on stage to showcase that planning is important, but the ability to improvise is essential during a seminar on Dec. 3.