Courses-The Pittsburgh NMR Center for Biomedical Research - Carnegie Mellon University


The Departments of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering at CMU offers formal courses in imaging science. These courses are directed and taught by Center personnel, or alternatively the Center’s facilities are used for specific hands-on training modules in the practical aspects of MRI.

Biological Sciences 03-315/03-815
Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Neuroscience

This course, taught annually by Dr. Ahrens, is designed to introduce students to the fundamental principles of MRI and its application in neuroscience.  MRI is emerging as the preeminent method to obtain structural and functional information about the living human brain.  This methodology has helped to revolutionize neuroscience and the study of human cognition.  The specific topics covered in this course will include introduction to spin gymnastics, survey of imaging methods, structural brain mapping, functional MRI (fMRI), cellular-molecular MRI and MRS. Guest lectures will be incorporated into the course from neuroscientists and psychologists who use MRI in their own research. This course is typically attended by (~25) undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and research staff.

Biological Sciences 03-534
Biological Imaging and Fluorescence Spectroscopy

This course is co-taught by Dr. Waggoner. This course covers principles and applications of optical methods in the study of structure and function in biological systems. Topics to be covered include: absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy; interaction of light with biological molecules, cells, and systems; design of fluorescent probes and optical biosensor molecules; genetically expressible optical probes; photochemistry; optics and image formation; transmitted-light and fluorescence microscope systems; laser-based systems; scanning microscopes; electronic detectors and cameras: image processing; multi-mode imaging systems; microscopy of living cells; and the optical detection of membrane potential, molecular assembly, transcription, enzyme activity, and the action of molecular motors. This course is particularly aimed at students in science and engineering interested in gaining in-depth knowledge of modern light microscopy. This course typically teaches ~15 students annually.

Biomedical Engineering 42-431/18-496
Introduction to Biomedical Imaging and Image Analysis

This course gives an overview of tools and tasks in various biological and biomedical imaging modalities, such as microscopy, magnetic resonance imaging, x-ray computed tomography, ultrasound and others. Students will be exposed to the major underlying principles in modern imaging systems as well as state of the art methods for processing biomedical images such as deconvolution, registration, segmentation, pattern recognition, etc. The discussion of these topics will draw on approaches from many fields, including physics, statistics, signal processing, and machine learning. As part of the course, students will be expected to complete an independent project. Students will visit the NMR Center to see real biomedical imaging devices in action. This course typically teaches ~15 students annually.

**While the course descriptions on this page are updated, the most up-to-date listings can be found on the Schedule of Classes.**