The Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy (AMRIS) facility is a fee-for-service auxiliary of the McKnight Brain Institute (MBI) of the University of Florida. The AMRIS facility has state-of-the-art NMR instrumentation for solution state biomolecular NMR, solid-state biological NMR, microimaging, small animal imaging, large animal imaging, human brain imaging, and human whole-body imaging.

Additional AMRIS policies may be found on the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory policy page.


  • AMRIS Facility Access

Only authorized users who have completed the safety course are allowed in the AMRIS facility.

AMRIS is supported by user fees, the MBI, and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL). The facilities are available to all qualified researchers from UF, other universities, and industry. Commercial clients are welcome to use the facility but the rates charged are higher. Please contact the AMRIS Director for details. Academic users have scheduling priority over commercial users.

Instrument Operation by Experienced Users: Any experienced user who can demonstrate the ability to safely and properly operate the systems can independently operate most of the AMRIS instrumentation. This is the least expensive method to use the AMRIS facility. Details for approval vary with each system and are described under the particular instrument. Please contact the appropriate AMRIS application scientists for approval to use the facilities as an independent operator.

Data Collection by AMRIS Staff: With the exception of the 3T human systems, users will be charged for the total instrument fees plus an hourly consulting fee for this service. The staff scientist should be included as a co-author on publications resulting from the work, especially for extended studies involving considerable amount of AMRIS staff involvement (time and effort). Please contact the appropriate AMRIS application scientist or the AMRIS Director for details.

Data Collection and Analysis by AMRIS Staff: In a limited number of cases, data can be collected and analyzed by AMRIS staff for the full hourly consulting fee plus the hourly cost of NMR instruments. Due to a limited number of staff members, we discourage this choice and would prefer instead to help train a student to do the analysis. This is the most expensive method for using the AMRIS facility. In addition to full instrument time and consulting fees, AMRIS staff members involved at this level must be included as co-authors or primary authors of resulting publications.

NMR Imaging and Spectroscopy Classes: The Departments of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Neuroscience offer annual NMR and MRI lecture and laboratory graduate level classes; these classes provide the theory and practical application of NMR and MRI. Contact Dr. Long for further details.

Users Individually Trained by AMRIS Staff: The training can be tailored to meet individual needs. In addition to the instrument time, an hourly consulting fee will be charged for this service . Please contact the appropriate AMRIS application scientist for training.


  • AMRIS Safety Policy

Magnets in any NMR facility can be dangerous if not properly used, and AMRIS has some of the largest magnets in the world. All AMRIS users and regular guests and visitors are required to attend a safety training session before getting access to the facility.

A summary of the safety issues follows:

The magnets in the AMRIS facility are always turned on. This poses several SERIOUS DANGERS:

Metallic objects should never be brought around the magnets. They can become flying projectiles and can severely damage the magnet and injure or kill a person.

Heart pacemakers will stop functioning and surgically implanted metallic devices can be dislodged around the magnets.

Magnets occasionally quench. A magnet quench is the rapid loss of liquid nitrogen and liquid helium into the room. People can die of asphyxiation, by freezing, or both if proper precautions are not taken during a magnet quench. In the event of a quench in the AMRIS facility, it is important to leave immediately.

11T Room Safety Policy

· When the inner door to the Magnet is open, there must be two people in the room that have taken the safety course and are approved 11T users.

· When the inner door to the Magnet is closed, there needs only to be one person in the console room that has taken the safety course and is an approved 11T user. The outer door to the hallway may remain open if the yellow chains are in place in front of the inner and outer doors.

· All 11T users must be familiar with the Quench and Safety policies.

After hours use: The PIs and the 11T users will be entirely responsible for ensuring the safety of everyone in the 11T suite. It is the responsibility of users to learn and follow safety guidelines. Serious or repeated violations of AMRIS safety policies will result in loss of access to the facility.

AMRIS Visitors:

NMR facilities may be dangerous places for visitors. Untrained visitors and guests may be at great risk of personal injury and may provide significant dangers to other users. Unauthorized visitors who are not part of a guided tour by AMRIS staff are not allowed into the AMRIS facility. Users are not allowed to give tours of the facility. Most importantly, AMRIS users are not allowed to bring guests into the facility without first contacting any AMRIS staff member. A “guest” is any person who is not an authorized AMRIS user (even scientific collaborators or assistants). Guests will be granted facility access according to the following guidelines:

If the guest will need to enter the facility more than once, he or she will need to first take the AMRIS safety class.

For a single visit, a guest must be approved and registered with AMRIS staff, supervised at all times by the authorized user and not allowed to visit other magnets. Staff members will be able to provide tours, if desired.

It is the responsibility of the users to follow or guest policy. Violations of any of these rules may result in the loss of AMRIS privileges by the user.


  • Payment for Services

Payment for AMRIS services must be arranged before using the facility by contacting the AMRIS Office Administrator. There are 3 ways to pay AMRIS fees:

Directly from a federal, state, local, or private research grant. This is the preferred and primary method for most users. It is the responsibility of users to include all necessary instrument and consulting fees in the budgets of grants which will utilize the AMRIS facility. The AMRIS Director or application scientists are available to help estimate instrument time and cost requirements.

Qualified researchers who are not at the University of Florida, Florida State University or Los Alamos National Laboratory are invited to submit short proposals for AMRIS instrument time and, in some cases, staff consulting time. This external user program is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL). Outside users who collaborate on projects with faculty at UF, FSU, or LANL also qualify for these funds.  All researchers who use NHMFL funds are expected to secure external independent funding for the project no more than 2 years following the start of the NHMFL support. For further details, please contact the AMRIS Director.


  • Time Requests

Advanced reservation requests are made monthly and are due on the 15th of the month for the following month using the reservations request form.

Requests made more than month in advance will only be considered in special circumstances such as a long-term time-course study or to accomodate a visiting collaborators travel plans.


  • Lab Courtesy

Users are responsible for cleaning up trash, samples, and personal items before leaving the facility. All users are expected to follow proper chemical and biological hygiene protocols. Cleanup time must be included in the requested instrument time, and the instrument must be clean and ready to use by the end of a user’s scheduled time.

Users must start and stop their experiments on time. If an experiment exceeds the scheduled time, we may be forced to stop the experiment.


  • Billing Policy

Users will be billed for the time scheduled or the time actually used, whichever is larger.

Users will be billed for unused time if it is not cancelled 48 hours in advance or if the user does not find another authorized user who will use the time.

Studies underwritten by for-profit companies for their benefit are charged at commercial rather than academic rates.  At present, our policy is to charge three times the academic rate to cover the infrastructure and other overhead costs which are not included in our academic rate.


  • 3T Protocol Development

For a NEW project, if protocol development involving access to and dedication of the 3T Facility (including the magnet room and/or the operator room) is determined to be necessary by the researcher(s) and Director of the 3T Facility (i.e., Dr. Song Lai), the Director of the 3T Facility may approve up to 2 hours of protocol development without charge. Such approved protocol development will be scheduled and typically will require the Director of the 3T Facility’s and/or Tammy Nicholson (our 3T technologist)’s participation. For an ongoing project, if a new device is added and some testing is needed as planned when the project was launched, additional protocol development up to 1 hour without charge may be approved by the Director of the 3T Facility (i.e., Dr. Song Lai).

 Scanner Time Booking and Recording: scanner time is counted as when the 3T Facility (including the magnet room and/or the operator room) is dedicated to a project. It is the researcher’s responsibility to book and record the scanner time in compliance with this policy.


  • Data Storage, Processing, and Analysis

NMR and MRI data sets can be very large. The computers running the AMRIS spectrometers are only for data collection and not data storage.

Users are responsible for their own data, and all data must be removed from the NMR computers within 4 weeks of collection.

Data older than 4 weeks can be deleted at the discretion of AMRIS staff without notification to the owner of the data.

All human research on AMRIS instrumentation must comply with HIPAA regulations. Data handling protocols on the 3T instruments have been implemented according to these regulations (University of Florida Privacy Office).


  • Policy on animal MRI/S services provided by AMRIS

Investigators not affiliated with the University of Florida (UF) may have research
services performed on animals within our facilities. The investigator must be from an assured institution and provide a copy of the approved Animal Care and Use Protocol (ACUP) from that institution to the UF IACUC. This protocol must describe the details and procedures of the study.
The Chair of the UF IACUC (or his/her designee) will review the protocol to ensure that the UF procedure is specified in the approved protocol will determine whether services may be rendered, and will notify the UF IACUC Office of the approval/disapproval.
The UF Attending Veterinarian (or his/her designee) must also approve the
health status of the animals before services are provided.
No ACUP needs to be submitted and approved through the UF IACUC for these
services if the animals are not owned by the UF and the investigator is not
affiliated with the UF. If animals are housed at UF for more than 12 hours, all
housing, in isolators and quarantine facilities, and care will be provided according
to ACS Policy and SOPs. This policy applies to all live vertebrate animals.

Users are required to bring a printed copy of their IUCAC protocol which includes MRI procedures they will be doing with them into the facility in case of any questions.


  • AMRIS Facility Acknowledgements

All publications that include data from the AMRIS facility should state:

A portion of this work was performed in the McKnight Brain Institute at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory’s AMRIS Facility, which is supported by National Science Foundation Cooperative Agreement No. DMR-1157490 and the State of Florida.

Publications using data collected on the 11T instrument should include:

This work was supported in part by an NIH award, S10RR025671, for MRI/S instrumentation

Publications using data collected on the 600 MHz Avance III should include:

This work was supported in part by an NIH award, S10RR031637, for magnetic resonance instrumentation.

Please send the AMRIS Director references of all publications using the facility. We would also appreciate a report of awards, grants, and other honors related to the facility that you receive.