The Richard M. Lucas Center for Imaging


The Richard M. Lucas Center for Imaging is one of the few centers in the world with major centralized resources devoted to research in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), spectroscopy (MRS) and X-Ray/CT imaging. The Center has pioneered MRI/MRS/X-Ray/CT technology while developing new techniques that benefit patients with stroke, cancer, heart disease, and brain disorders. The Center is a National Center for Research Resources funded by the NIH. It provides office and laboratory facilities for faculty members and their complement of research staff, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and support staff. The Center supports collaborative and original research using human subjects and intact animal models.

The facilities at the Lucas Center underwent a major expansion that doubled the size of the facility as well as increasing the number of research MR systems. The new space houses a 7.0T whole-body MR system and offices for additional faculty, staff, and students. The expansion is also a focal point for molecular imaging activity, housing a cyclotron and radiochemistry facilities for radiopharmaceutical production as well as a number of the people involved in the effort. Besides research space, the expansion gave us the opportunity to construct a state-of-the-art educational center. Plans are currently underway to add a second 3.0T MR system within the existing building.

The Center builds on a long-standing and very close working relationship between faculty and students of the Radiological Sciences Laboratory (RSL), members of the Magnetic Resonance Systems Research Laboratory (MRSRL) in the Department of Electrical Engineering, and faculty, postdoctoral fellows and residents from the Department of Radiology at Stanford University Medical Center and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. The RSL is responsible for the scientific management of the Center and its goals are:

  • to apply MR technology to fundamental anatomic, physiologic, and pathophysiologic studies involving animals and humans;
  • to advance MR technology to improve health and patient care;
  • to provide educational opportunities in MR to researchers, clinicians and students; and
  • to serve the academic and industrial community through access to Lucas Center facilities and resources.

Annual Report

The Lucas Center annually publishes a compendium detailing its current research, staff, and facilities. Copies of this report are available for download here: The Lucas Report.


1.5 T G.E. Healthcare whole-body MR system dedicated full time to technique development and research scans on volunteers, patients, and animals. This whole body research MR system is equipped with high performance gradients, a wide bandwidth receiver, and an assortment of RF coils. A G.E. Advantage Windows workstation is located in the scan suite.

3 T G.E. Healthcare whole-body MR system includes high performance gradients, multi-nuclear capability, and a wide variety of RF coils. The scan and control rooms support many applications with multiple workstations and stimulus equipment. A G.E. Advantage Windows workstation is located in the scan suite.

7 T G.E. Healthcare whole-body MR system includes a 16-channel RF head coil (Nova Medical) and a wide variety of multinuclear coils.

A Siemens Angiostar digital x-ray fluoroscopic/angiographic system is also housed in the facility which may be used for animal preparations as well as interventional research.

Wet laboratory space has complete facilities for preparation of animal models, data analysis laboratories, and an electronics/RF coil workshop.

The 3D Medical Imaging Laboratory houses state-of-the-art technology for image processing, handling, storage, and display:

  • 3-D rendering workstations with several different platforms. All are linked to a 10/100 Mbs switched network.
  • Our SGI client/server system1G of RAM. An SGI octane runs with dual 360 MHz processors and 1G of RAM. All are linked to our server, which houses dual 180MHz processors, 512 Mb RAM, and contains 360G of disk space.
  • Two GE Advantage Windows run 4.1 software and reside on HP X4000 workstations. Two newer Advantage Windows run version 4.2 software on HP xw8000s. Complete 3-D analysis software includes Volume Viewer, Navigator, Vessel Analysis, CV Flow, Mass Analysis, CT Perfusion, Smart Score, Cardiac IQ (including function), Colography, Advanced Lung Analysis, CT Perfusion, and Data Export.
  • Our Vital Images software, Vitrea 3.5, presently runs on several Dell Windows XP Professional workstations with dual Xeon 278gHz processors and 4G RAM. Concurrent licensing allows for more efficient use of this 3-D software.
  • Our Accuimage cardiac scoring software resides on a Windows 2000 workstation with twin Xeon Pentium III 500 processors and 1G of RAM.
  • A TeraRecon Aquarius workstation runs on a Windows 2000 workstation with twin Xeon 2.2gHz processors.
  • Our TeraRecon AquariusNET Server allow realtime post processing on several standard PCs throughout the medical center.
  • All of our Windows workstations are connected to a server with dual 866 P3 processors, 2 G of RAM and 680G of disk space.
  • A 50-inch wall-mounted plasma display television monitor, with 1280 x 768 XGA resolution, aids in teaching and display of our work.
  • High quality, color glossy prints are produced on a Codonics NP 1600 and 1660 dye sublimation printers.
  • Consulting relationships are available for software development and testing, as well as device evaluation.

The Medical School Lab Surge (MSLS) building is contiguous with the Lucas Center. It holds additional laboratories and offices for basic research under direction of investigators from four other Departments within the Medical School. Shared conference rooms are a resource of this facility and available to Lucas Center faculty, their students, and fellows.


The Lucas Center operates as a University Service Center. Its facilities are available to Stanford and non-Stanford researchers by arrangement with the Center Administrator, Donna Cronister (650-723-8205, Use is billed on a per-hour basis. For research studies that require the use of one of the whole body magnets at the Lucas Center, please contact the magnet manager, Anne Marie Sawyer (650-302-2846,, Individual researchers are trained in magnet safety and scanner operations by the magnet manager or MR research technologist, Romi Samra. Unsponsored research projects must be pre-approved by the Research Committee of the Department of Radiology. Collaborations with Lucas Center researchers are invited and encouraged.


The Lucas Center opened in July 1992 as one of the few centers in the world with major centralized resources devoted to research in magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and imaging (MRI). Establishment of the Lucas Center was made possible through the generous support of the Richard M. Lucas Foundation for Cancer Research, and other donors such as the Baxter Foundation, the Levinthal Foundation, and the Phil N. Allen Trust.

Richard M. Lucas (Apr 17, 1926 - Oct 6, 1981) was an entrepreneur, outdoorsman and philanthropist. The foundation, created in his memory by his family, Mary, John and Don Lucas, dedicated the Richard M. Lucas Center with the vision that the Center would become the site for unprecedented interdisciplinary research illuminating an understanding of human physiology and lighting the way to revolutionary advances in the diagnosis and treatment of human disease.