Center for Molecular and Genomic Imaging

Using the Facility

Scientists at UC Davis and other research institutions are invited to use the CMGI for their research. We are able to provide assistance with study design, imaging procedures, imaging probe design, and image analysis. The CMGI staff can perform the imaging procedures for you, or you can perform the imaging unassisted after our staff has trained you. Use of the facility is by appointment only and PIs are recharged (see Rates) for their imaging time and for any laboratory and/or data analysis support. The following steps will guide you through the process of setting up and conducting a study.

  1. Study Design: PIs who wish to determine the feasibility of an imaging study can submit a short (max. one page) description, including aims and image requirements, to the CMGI Scientific Manager (  PIs at the Primate Center may wish to contact Jenny Short ( for assistance with the procedures for setting up an imaging study in non-human primates.

  2. Pilot Studies: UC Davis PIs may be allowed free scanning time, particularly if the scans are to obtain preliminary data for a grant proposal, and if the PI lacks sufficient funding to pay for imaging sessions. The CMGI review committee will consider the application and you will typically be notified of approval or denial within two weeks after submission. The application can be found here.

  3. Animal Care Protocol: All PIs will need an approved Animal Use and Care Protocol (AUC#); allow 4-6 weeks for approval of a new protocol by the IACUC. If you already have an approved protocol, but it does not cover imaging studies, an amendment can be submitted to the IACUC. Most imaging studies will use the procedures described in our approved “CMGI SOP for Small Animal Imaging”. If your study procedures are covered in that document, simply indicate in the Animal Use and Care Protocol (section 12 a.) or in your amendment that your studies will conform to that SOP. If you will need the assistance of CMGI staff to perform your imaging procedures, include in your protocol (section 12a.) or amendment a statement that the imaging studies will be performed by CMGI staff under the standard CMGI SOP. If your procedures do not comply with those in the SOP, or for assistance with AUC Protocol preparation, contact Doug Rowland ( Researchers from other institutions should contact Doug Rowland for assistance with obtaining an approved AUC Protocol.

  4. Radiation Use Authorization (RUA): PIs who will use PET, SPECT or autoradiographic imaging will require an approved Radiation Use Authorization (RUA#). However, if animals will not be transported out of the CMGI while they are radioactive, PIs may not require their own RUA if their procedures are covered by the Animal Studies Safety Protocol of the CMGI’s RUA. If PIs choose to perform PET, SPECT or autoradiography studies unassisted, their personnel working with radioactivity must meet the following requirements: Personnel must take the “Laboratory Radiation Safety” class offered by EH&S, be listed on the RUA that covers their imaging study, wear radiation dosimetry whenever working with radioactivity, and follow CMGI safety protocols for working with radioactive material.

  5. Animal Transfer and Housing: Mice and rats are housed in the vivarium immediately adjacent to the imaging suites. To obtain access to this vivarium contact Golo Castellanos (754-6722; 752-3176; When ordering animals for your study, specify housing at the GBSF vivarium. If your animals are housed at another UCD vivarium, or they are to be transferred from another institution, you must obtain permission from the Health Monitoring Coordinator ( before they can be brought into the GBSF vivarium or into the CMGI imaging suites. It is important to seek this permission well in advance of your imaging date in case your animals need to be treated for an infectious disease, or require quarantine, which can delay your imaging session for weeks. Please refer to the specific procedures for rodent transfers between facilities established by the Center for Laboratory Animal Science (CLAS). Transfer of caged animals to the vivarium or to the imaging suites must be performed in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Rodent Transport policy in order to minimize the risk of infection to other research animals.  Researchers performing unassisted studies with radioactive animals are responsible for: 1) returning the animals to the designated vivarium holding room for radioactive animals (Room 0658), placing them in a clean cage, and checking the animals daily; 2) labeling the cage with radioactive tape indicating the date, isotope, dose, and estimated time when the animal will no longer be radioactive; 3) changing the cage 7 days after the last cage change if the animal is still radioactive; and 4) contacting CLAS (Phone: 752-1390) to place a work order to transfer the animal to its home room once it is no longer radioactive.

  6. Instrument Training: Training is provided on the imaging instruments without charge for those investigators who wish to perform their studies without CMGI staff assistance. Once the trainee has demonstrated under our supervision their ability to operate the instrument according to CMGI policies and procedures, they will be allowed to use the instrument without supervision. To setup a training session, contact, SPECT, CT: Contact Doug Rowland to setup training sessions. As noted above, unassisted use of PET or SPECT also requires completion of an EH&S safety class; unassisted use of CT requires completion of the “Analytical X-ray Safety” class (EH&S), and personnel must then be added to a Machine Use Authorization (MUA).

  7. Schedule an Imaging Session:
    Use the Client Portal link on the Home page and complete the Scheduling Request form to request an appointment time for either assisted or unassisted imaging sessions. We will notify you by email of your scheduled imaging date and time. If you need a specific day and time, please submit the request at least two weeks in advance to improve the likelihood of an open time slot. Requests for scanning sessions that are more than two months away will only be scheduled on a tentative basis.  Nevertheless, every attempt will be made to arrange the schedule so that all requests can be accommodated.  If you need to postpone an appointment, contact Doug Rowland ( at least two days prior to the scheduled time so that we can use the time slot for another investigator.

    OPTICAL, MRI: For assisted scans on the Xenogen IVIS, Maestro, or Bruker 7T, use the Client Portal link on the Home page and complete the Scheduling Request form.  For unassisted scans, an online scheduling calendar can be accessed to reserve an appointment time.  Contact to request internet access to the scheduling calendar.

    An online scheduling calendar is available to reserve use of the cryotome, to perform autoradiography, or use the procedure room for approved procedures.  Contact to request internet access to the scheduling calendar or to discuss use of the procedure room.


CMGI Policies and Procedures:

  • • Anyone who plans to work in the CMGI is required to have a safety training session before they can be issued keys and use the facility. Contact to setup an appointment.

  • • It is CMGI policy that investigators or a representative from their lab be accessible by phone, if not present onsite, during the imaging session to make any procedural decisions that might affect their study results.

  • • Investigators who use any CMGI imaging instrument or the cryotome MUST disinfect the instrument after use and clean up after themselves. Consult with CMGI staff if you are unsure how to disinfect the instrument. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in loss of privileged use of the instrument.

  • • Investigators are required to provide the CMGI with a digital or a hard copy of their approved Animal Use and Care Protocol and any relevant amendments in a timely manner. This information will remain confidential.

  • • It is CMGI policy that the investigator acknowledges the CMGI, and credits any federal support the CMGI receives, in publications of studies conducted at the CMGI. Contact Doug Rowland ( for federal grant numbers or assistance with wording. We also require that investigators provide the CMGI with a copy of the published article, preferably digitally, so that we can include the citation in annual reports to funding agencies, and in the list of publications we maintain on the CMGI website.

  • • Laboratory personnel who have an accident or injure themselves while working in the CMGI must immediately notify Doug Rowland, Dave Kukis, Cyclotron/Radiochemistry Manager, or CMGI staff if the former are not available.