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Human Magnetic Resonance Center

Human Magnetic Resonance Center

Located on the 2nd floor in the Life Science Laboratories the Human Magnetic Resonance Center (hMRC) provides state-of-the-art, non-invasive neuroimaging, whole body imaging, and spectroscopy technologies for academic and industry-based research in central and western Massachusetts. This is the only research-dedicated 3T MRI/MRS system in western Massachusetts. This system is ideal for investigating questions regarding normal and abnormal changes in human brain and whole body structure and function across the lifespan.

Siemens 3T Skyra Scanner

Siemens 3T Skyra is a 70-cm bore MRI/MRS scanner for acquisition of BOLD, Diffusion, and MR spectroscopy data. The scanner uses state-of-the-art technology for fast and efficient collection of:

  • structural neuroimaging (white and gray matter and CSF morphology and diffusion tractography),
  • functional neuroimaging (resting state and task-based fMRI),
  • spectroscopy (multi-nuclear and MR elastography),
  • structural imaging of bone and tissue,

The Skyra provides a wide bore and short length, making it ideal for scanning certain populations, e.g., children and obese persons, who may otherwise feel claustrophobic in a typical 60mm bore.

Additional Equipment

  • The hMRC is equipped with a 3 head coils (20, 32, and 64 channel), and a fully array of body, foot/ankle, knee, and breast coils, and a docking exam table.
  • A variety of MR compatible peripheral equipment is available, such as a 32” high resolution BOLD screen, a 128-channel EEG system, an eyetracking system, an active noise canceling microphone/headphone system, a system for MR elastography, an ergometer, and an array of button box, grip force, and joystick devices for acquiring experimental responses.
  • The hMRC has a complete mock scanner system, including participant interfaces, and is particularly well suited for training participants to stay still in the scanner.
  • Double tuned 1H-31P and 1H-13C surface coils.
  Campus Users External Users
Half Hour $275 $550
Rates are subject to change, contact facility to verify current fees.
Updated March 13, 2017

As a core facility, the HMR Center is a resource for basic and translational MRI and MRS research both from investigators on-campus and off.

UMass Amherst neuroscientists use state-of-the-art structural and functional brain imaging techniques. Functional MRI (fMRI) is used to determine areas of the brain that contribute to performance of specific tasks. High-resolution structural images can be useful for identifying changes in the brain such as those associated with development, aging, or disease.

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) is used to measure the molecular composition of a tissue or muscle.

Structural imaging
In addition to structural brain imaging, static imaging of bone and tissue is used to identify skeletal, muscular, or differences across populations or individuals.

Jacquie Kurland, PhD

Dr. Kurland studies functional reorganization in post-stroke aphasia. She uses structural and functional task-based and resting state MRI to examine treatment-induced neuroplasticity and language recovery in aphasic stroke survivors and the influence of practice on age-matched and younger neurotypical controls.

Rajakumar Nagarajan, PhD
Rajakumar Nagarajan is the MR Physicist working at Human Magnetic Resonance Center (HMRC), UMass, Amherst. He has strong MR Physics background and expertise in MR spectroscopy, including multinuclear spectroscopy, time series analysis, and spectroscopic or chemical shift imaging. He provides technical assistance with magnetic resonance (MR) protocol development and evaluation, data collection, advanced processing of data, and oversight of MR technician. Rajakumar trains and support faculty or trainees about MR safety, data acquisition and post-processing. He provides timely support to investigators for grant funding and also monitors new developments and improvements in technology to keep core competitive and state-of-the-art.

Kwan-Jin Jung, PhD
Dr. Jung is an engineer in Electronics and specializes in MR physics and signal processing for functional MRI, diffusion imaging and MR instrumentation.

Facility Staff

Control room: 413-577-0528
Center email:


Kwan-Jin Jung
MR Physicist (Neuroimaging)
(413) 577-0538

Rajakumar Nagarajan
MR Physicist (Spectroscopy)
(413) 577-4581


Jacquie Kurland
HMR Center Interim director

S230 Life Science Laboratories
University of Massachusetts Amherst
240 Thatcher Road
Amherst, MA 01003

Facility Leadership


Katherine Boyer
Kinesiology, SPHHS

Matt Davidson
Psychological & Brain Sciences, CNS

Jane Kent
Kinesiology, SPHHS

Jacquie Kurland
Communication Disorders, SPHHS

Rebecca Spencer
Psychological & Brain Sciences, CNS

Frank Sup
Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, COE

  • The human Magnetic Resonance Center at UMass Amherst is a first-rate, state-of-the-art research dedicated MRI/MRS facility. The quality of images acquired on the Siemens 3T scanner is outstanding and the staff are exceptionally knowledgeable and helpful.”                                

    —Polly Stokes, BRoCA Lab