From Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd November 2020, a broad audience of PhD students, postdocs, associate professors, a radiographer and a clinician attended the University of Queensland (UQ) Centre for Advanced Imaging (CAI) functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) short course.

Class in session with NIF Facility Fellow, Dr Saskia Bollmann

Participants were provided guidance by experts such as NIF Facility Fellow Dr Saskia Bollmann and Dr Steffen Bollmann of the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, and the course participants gained a comprehensive understanding of the basic principles of fMRI, its applications, interpretation and advanced acquisition and analysis strategies. Practical sessions included an fMRI experiment setup at the 3T scanner of the CAI and were provided by the experienced radiographer Nicole Atcheson sharing her extensive knowledge in running large scale fMRI studies and tips and tricks on how to get high-quality data.

Utilising the ARDC co-funded Characterisation Virtual Laboratory (CVL) and the neuroimaging application containers developed in the open-source NeuroDesk project, the course covered the whole processing pipeline from converting DICOM data to the open BIDS format, preprocessing the fMRI data using fMRIprep and modelling the fMRI signal using SPM. The 15 UQ-based attendees are planning to acquire their functional data at the NCRIS-enabled NIF 3T and 7T scanners at CAI and HIRF and process their data on the CVL platform.

Course participants were fascinated by the infrastructure capabilities at The University of Queensland.

The UQ and CAI have such fantastic campus and facilities. I enjoyed this course, and I learned a lot

Ibrahim Khormi, PhD Candidate at the University of Newcastle
CAI staff and course participants, enjoying the Brisbane weather

Courses like this are helping NIF users to get the best possible results when using high-end imaging and data processing facilities. This course would not have been possible without the tremendous support behind the scenes by Nathacha Subero Castillo and Maria Moran.

Learn more about upcoming CAI short courses here.