Collaborative Advanced Research Imaging (CARI)

For general inquiries about Collaborative Advanced Research Imaging (CARI) resources, please contact:

Our Collaborative Advanced Research Imaging (CARI) Center houses 6,000 square feet of research space including our research-dedicated Philips Ingenia 3.0 Tesla MRI Scanner, a mock scanner, interview rooms, drug screening rooms, a dispensary and more.


  • Uses Philips' Direct Digital processing, which substantially improves the signal-to-noise ratio
  • Includes both front and rear-facing mirrors for visual stimuli and movie projection
  • The radiofrequency signal is totally digital at the source in order to reduce noise
  • Patient-specific B0 and B1 shimming
  • Large bore to help participants feel less confined and less claustrophobic

In addition to the research-dedicated scanner, the CARI facility has more than 6,000 square feet of research-dedicated space, which houses the following:

  • Mock scanner
  • Includes both front and rear-facing mirrors for visual stimuli and movie projection
  • Urine drug screen collection toilet
  • Multiple interview rooms
  • Sound attenuated testing chambers for human behavioral laboratory testing
  • Physical exam room with electrocardiogram
  • Dispensary for medication storage and dispensing

Upgrades to the CARI research dedicated MRI Scanner include MR shear Elastography (MRE) to measure liver fibrosis by automatically generating quantitative images (elastograms) of the entire liver that depict shear stiffness in units of kilopascals (kPa).

We also have Cardiac Expert Specialist for acquisition of multi-slice, dynamic tissue studies with saturation prepulse (for T1 weighting), WET saturation pulses (B1 insensitive) for uniform tissue suppression on 3.0T, Look Locker methods for determination of optimal inversion delay time, myocardial tagging with REST grids for regional wall motion studies, and real-time interactive imaging. Another recent cardiac MRI upgrade is StarQuant which provides single breathhold, multi-echo, ECG-triggered acquisitions to provide T2*, R2*, T2 and R2 maps for assessment of myocardial tissue characteristics.

Most recent upgrades to the research-dedicated MRI Scanner include the T2-Dixon pulse sequence, which acquires 4 image types in one single TSE scan (water, in-phase, out-of-phase, and fat) and provides uniform and consistent fat-free imaging, over large field of views and in challenging anatomies such as head, neck, spine, and muscular-skeletal. Another upgrade is the Philips MR400 Expression Patient Monitor, which monitors Blood Pressure, ECG, Pulse-ox SpO2, End-tidal CO2, and Body Temperature, while patients are being scanned in real-time in the Philips MRI scanner, and the physiological signals are synchronized with the scans and are recorded electronically by the scanner.

Please note that CARI is a research dedicated MRI facility. Results may not be used for clinical or diagnostic purposes. As such, all costs incurred must be study billed and are not eligible for third-party payments/billing/reimbursement. Please note that CARI is not affiliated with the VCUHS Department of Radiology.

To request CARI services, please click the link below. Thank you for your interest in CARI (Collaborative Advanced Research Imaging), located at 203 E Cary Street.

Request CARI services