Iowa Institute for Biomedical Imaging

The Iowa Institute for Biomedical Imaging (IIBI) was formed in 2007 as an acknowledgment of a long history of interdisciplinary collaboration at the University of Iowa. The formation of the multidisciplinary institute reflects a strong institutional support to biomedical imaging and image analysis as well as to translational medical research. The IIBI brings together more than 60 faculty members (out of which over 45 hold faculty positions in the Carver College of Medicine, 15 hold faculty positions in the College of Engineering with a primary expertise in biomedical image analysis) and over 60 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The mission of IIBI is to foster efficient and cooperative multidisciplinary and cross-college research and discovery in biomedical imaging, and to improve training and education within the broader community at the University of Iowa. The Institute is finding its new home in two stories of a 100,000 sq.ft. University of Iowa Pappajohn Bioengineering Discovery Building that will be completed in June of 2014 – the floor plan and photographs are provided below. The IIBI space in this new building (30,897 sq.ft.) are devoted to human, large, and small animal imaging, image analysis, computational support, visualization, and biostatistical support. The IIBI space in the new building will become a new integrated home for a large number of image analysis projects that are currently ongoing at the University of Iowa and will therefore further enhance close interaction within the University of Iowa biomedical imaging community.

The opening of the new facility, which is 100% devoted to research while located in an immediate proximity to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, represents a new chapter in IIBI’s existence and adds 30,897 sq.ft. of new imaging research space to IIBI, for a total of over 37,000 sq.ft. dedicated to small and large animal, and human imaging. The new facility brings together small animal housing; 1 floor of small animal imaging with 10 scanner rooms, behavioral rooms, as well as research staff office space; and another floor devoted to human and large animal imaging and translational medicine research with 4 large scanner bays, cardiovascular imaging suite, LINAC radiation delivery bay, virtual/augmented reality visualization suite, subject preparation rooms, meeting rooms and student/postdoc office cubicles. Research faculty/staff offices (2,627 sq.ft.) are adjacent.

In the imaging space, a complete separation of human and animal access has been an important part of the programmatic design, animal and human research can be conducted simultaneously at different imaging bays with complete separation of access routes. Additionally, three of the four ground-level imaging scanner bays have been designed in a modular way with a removable wall to allow relatively easy way to install and/or replace whole-body imaging scanners as well as to allow installation of canners from different manufacturers. The fourth large scanner bay has been specifically designed for a 7T MR scanner which will be installed and operational in June 2014 – when the facility opens. Existing IIBI space in two adjacent buildings house a dedicated research 3T MR scanning facility (1,500 sq.ft.) and a dedicated dual-source CT scanning facility (1,800 sq.ft.). Additional 3,000 sq.ft. of computer-lab student cubicle space is available in a short walking distance. The IIBI facility is connected with a state-of-the-art Data Processing facility that houses file servers, compute-servers, data analysis clusters, and is connected to the IIBI space with ultrafast network connection (10 Gb/sec network speed).

The remaining 6 floors of the Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building house translational research wet labs and will be occupied by research programs that require animal and translational imaging support. Among other research groups yet to be determined, the following research groups will find their new home in the wet-lab space of the Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building: Diabetes Research Center, Pulmonary Airway Biology Center, Neuroscience Institute.

Computational and Informatics Resources

The University of Iowa has two centrally managed enterprise data centers containing dedicated space, power and cooling for University of Iowa Research and a third server room entirely dedicated to research computing. Altogether, these data center spaces are ultimately designed to deliver 1.2 megawatts of power and associated cooling with approximately 4,800 square feet of securely managed and maintained raised floor capacity for research computing. The newest of these data centers, the Information Technology Facility (ITF), is located on the University of Iowa Research Park campus and utilizes multiple-10 Gigabit Ethernet circuits along diverse physical paths to connect to both the main campus network cores and the local-to-campus alternative data center. Distribution networks within data centers are a combination of multiple-10 Gigabit Ethernet circuits to data center-class network gear, providing 1 Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet service, and via direct fiber (e.g., for fiber-channel storage). Research computing within each campus data center is segregated from university line-of-business networks to provide isolation and performance-tuning optimizations.

ITS Research Services manage High Performance Computing (HPC) resources available to UI researchers. The HPC system dubbed, Helium consists of 200, 8-core nodes with high speed Infiniband network connections and a combination of 24 GB and 144 GB memory nodes. Helium has a theoretical TFLOPS rating of 40. The University's newest HPC cluster, Neon, due to be operational in late 2013 will feature 157 nodes with a combination of 16 and 24-core processors and everything from 64 GB to 512 GB of memory. Neon's theoretical TFLOPS rating with processors and accelerators is estimated at 93. Both Helium and Neon are the result of researchers' pooling of funding in centrally managed and maintained HPC environments.