How to be a Research Subject

Subject Safety Hazards

Siemens Subject

Although the MRI environment is safe for most people certain individuals may be at increased risk for physical harm because of medical implants or other conditions.  Our goal is to make sure that your MRI experience is as safe and comfortable as possible.  To do this we exclude candidates that we consider to be at increased risk of injury in an MRI exam.


What To Expect

Although protocols may vary, there are several features that are common to all MR research studies conducted at the AIRC. For specific details and requirements of the study in which you are participating, contact the Principal Investigator of the study. If you feel uncomfortable at any point during the study, please consult the MR Instrument Operator immediately. You have the right to discontinue the research study at any time.

  • You will be asked to complete a brief medical screening form to determine if the MR environment is safe for you. Your personal identification will be converted to a subject number to maintain your confidentiality.
  • You will be asked to use the restroom prior to being placed inside the MR Instrument.
  • You will be asked to remove all metallic objects and all contents of your pockets. Some studies may require you wear a gown.
  • You will be asked to lie on a movable table that will be advanced into the MR Instrument. If you are uncomfortable with enclosed or narrow places, please consult the Principal Investigator.  There is a Mock Scanner at the AIRC designed to help research subjects acclimate to the MR Instrument environment.
  • You will be asked to lie as still as possible for the duration of the measurements (typically between 30-90 minutes).
  • The MR Instrument Operator will periodically communicate with you via the intercom.
  • You will hear "knocking" sounds produced by the MR Instrument as it is taking measurements. You will be given ear protection to defend against the loud sounds produced by the MR Instrument.
  • You may feel tingling sensations in your arms or legs due to rapid switching of the magnetic field. It is unlikely that this will occur.
  • You may feel dizziness or a metallic taste in your mouth. These sensations occur most commonly if you move your head quickly while in the MR Instrument.  Please try to keep your head as still as possible throughout the study.
  • Access to the images acquired during the research study will be determined by the Principal Investigator. If you are afforded access the images, they should not be used for medical or diagnostic purposes.
  • Please direct questions about potential medical or diagnostic information obtained by the research study to the Principal Investigator.



If you are interested in participating as a research subject, there are studies at the AIRC looking for qualified participants.  Interested subjects can also participate in other OHSU clinical trials if they qualify.


  • Breast Cancer study: please contact Principal Investigator Wei Huang 
  • Prostate Cancer study: on behalf of Principal Investigator Xin Li, contact William Woodward




For help with getting to the AIRC, see Contact Us