As some of you may know, come August 1, I will be retiring from the Department of Radiology’s Imaging Research Center (IRC). I started working part-time 27 some years ago when there were fewer people working at Cincinnati Children’s than were in my high school graduating class (nearly 1200). There were three of us that made up the IRC in the first couple of years: WS Ball, MD, currently Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean, Christian R. Holmes Professor and Dean, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, whose brain child the IRC was; Aria Tzika, PhD, whose concept of having a MR technologist run sophisticated research sequences propelled the IRC into being recognized as a pediatric research facility; and me, the MR tech who had no idea of what the other two were speaking.
We worked out of the 1.5T GE mobile unit that was parked in the doctor’s parking lot off Albert Sabin Way. My hours were from 2:00 pm until we had the scanner running properly again for the clinical shift. We worked on, now routine, MR Spectroscopy (MRS) and Perfusion MR imaging (pMRI). I can recall the groan of disappointment from the clinical techs were I to show up to attempt these sequences on patients…MRS would set the schedule back by 1 hour per voxel location. Now, of course, this is routine and takes four minutes or less.
Being the finest, smartest, and most compassionate technologists to sit behind a console, they understood that my work would one day be their work. They were eager to learn and easy to teach. And, I always made it to my car at midnight, which was parked next to the Elephant Pavilion at the Cincinnati Zoo…a perfect place for an ambush.
The IRC now has six technologists, seven MR systems, over 50 staff and faculty, and over 100 on-going research projects. We are, if not the largest pediatric research center in the world, certainly one of them. The vision of a neuro-radiologist, persistence of several PhDs, along with the support of the Department of Radiology has allowed me to participate in the growth of MRI in pediatrics. I doubt I could have ever gotten more support, worked on more important problems, or have met so many devoted, brilliant, kind and funny people. It is far more than I could have ever imaged when I first fell into what became a dream career in what I can only call Magical Resonance Imaging.
Contributed by Scott Dunn, (Adv Imaging Res Tech) and edited by Glenn Miñano, BFA.