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UTSW Small Animal Imaging Resource

Overview of Services

UT Southwestern Small Animal Imaging Resource (UT-SAIR) seeks to promote and facilitate small animal imaging related to models of human disease.
UT-SAIR has three primary functions:

  • Provide state of the art small animal imaging equipment and infrastructure to support research, including consultation services as needed for the planning, performance, and analysis of studies
  • Focus on enabling multimodality imaging methods
  • Develop and implement new methods pushing the frontiers of small animal imaging in terms of spatial and temporal resolution and sensitivity.


The Resource offers small animal imaging using multiple modalities that currently include optical (depth resolved or planar fluorescence (FLI), bioluminescence (BLI) and chemiluminescence (CLI)), ultrasound and most recently multispectral optoacoustic tomography (MSOT). The Resource can also facilitate MRI, radionuclide imaging (PET/CT, SPECT/CT, and planar scintigraphy) and image–guided irradiation. There is infrastructure for animal handling (e.g., anesthesia, infusion, monitoring vital signs). UT-SAIR can facilitate and undertake developmental studies for implementation of new imaging protocols and evaluation of methods. Radiochemistry, molecular synthesis and molecular biology laboratories can develop new reporter molecules, radiolabeled probes, and perform cell transfection. UT-SAIR also has computer capabilities for data analysis and image archiving.

UT-SAIR provides consultation services for the individual modalities listed above as well as multimodality studies. Core leaders can advise investigators on:

  • Experimental planning (optimal experimental approaches, image manipulation, and statistical analysis, coordinating with the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and Safety and Business Continuity)
  • Implementing investigations (access to instruments and scheduling experiments)
  • Data analysis and validation and data archiving

The staff can assist with proof in principle investigations, choice of reporter molecules and/or genes, radiolabeling procedures, and synthesis of ligands. Once experimental protocols have been established, routine investigations can be performed on a cost recovery basis by dedicated, skilled technicians.


Ralph P. Mason, Ph.D., CSci., CChem., FRSC | Director



Please note that the UT-SAIR is subsidized by the Cancer Center and it is important that any publications and presentations arising from imaging investigations credit the Resource. The following acknowledgement is suggested:

The authors would like to acknowledge the assistance of the Southwestern Small Animal Imaging Shared Resource, which is supported in part by the Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center through an NCI Cancer Center Support Grant, P30 CA142543.

 For specific instruments please also acknowledge the relevant instrumentation grants, e.g.,

Caliper Spectrum:  The Caliper IVIS Spectrum was purchased under NIH 1S10RR024757.

CRi Maestro: the CRi Maestro was provided by the Joint Program in BME through a DOE grant #DE-FG02-05CH11280.

VisualSonics Vevo 770 was purchased with NIH ARRA stimulus funds 1S10RR02564801.

iThera MSOT was purchased under NIH 1 S10 OD018094-01A1.

SAI system. The physiological monitoring system was purchased under ARRA stimulus supplement to 1U24 CA126608 and CPRIT MIRA RP120670‐P3

Location and hours of operation

Hours  Location

Open: 24/7
Staffed: Monday to Friday: 9am-5pm 

 Rooms: NG2.302 & J2.200

Links and Resources

  1. Small Animal Imaging Resource Website
  2. Small Animal Imaging Resource - Equipment Information
  3. Small Animal Imaging Resource - Harold C Simmons Cancer Center


Name Role Phone Email Location
Ralph Mason
Jeni Gerberich
Lab Manager
Priya Periyanan
Instrument Technologist