Preclinical Imaging: How We Work

Supporting Your Science

We operate a diverse array of imaging modalities as a shared resource at Fred Hutch. As part of the Translational Bioimaging Core, or TBIC, a Fred Hutch/University of Washington Cancer Consortium agreement with UW, we collaborate closely with other research centers in the Seattle area to support investigators performing basic and preclinical research. Our imaging modalities capture physiological and/or anatomical data with a wide range of spatial and temporal resolutions and imaging depths, ensuring we can support any basic or preclinical study.

We offer training for researchers to operate most equipment independently. We also image for researchers and offer consultation services in data analysis, research design and troubleshooting.

Photo of a lab worker an an instrument
An imaging specialist operates the ultrasound imaging platform. Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I start using an imaging instrument for my research?



  1. Facility access. First you will need authorization to enter the Comparative Medicine core, where the imaging equipment is housed. Reach out to to organize access.
  2. IACUC approval, if necessary. Most preclinical studies will require approval from the Fred Hutch Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. Comparative Medicine has many procedure templates in the Hutch IACUC Standard Library that you can use to create your protocol or amendment. Please reach out to for more details on where to find these.
  3. Instrument training. Before operating any of the instruments independently, you must be trained by a member of the Preclinical Imaging team. Email to schedule a training session. Please note that the MRI and the micro-CT are not eligible for training at this time, but our team is more than happy to perform imaging for your studies with these modalities. 


What is the difference between assisted and unassisted imaging?


Assisted means that a member of the Preclinical Imaging team can image for you. All instruments are available for assisted imaging. Scheduling is made based on availability. 

Unassisted means you can perform the imaging yourself after completing necessary training.  All instruments except the MRI and micro-CT are available for unassisted imaging. Our iLab system is used for all scheduling. 

How do I make an instrument reservation?


We use iLab for all our instrument scheduling. Reservations can be made up a month in advance. Learn more about iLab:

I’ve never done imaging or image analysis before, how can I learn more?


We know many people don’t have imaging experience! We have developed many resources and offer various trainings for instrument operation and data analysis consulting to help make imaging more accessible for everyone. Reach out to us at to learn more.

How do I know which instrument will work best for my study?


Consult the chart below and reach out to us with any questions. We are happy to consult with you to help you optimize your research.

Infographic showing Preclinical Imaging modalities Infographic showing Preclinical Imaging modalities

I am a Fred Hutch researcher and want to use imaging such as the micro-CT for my study, but it is not in my building. Is it still open to me?


Yes. We are able to transport research cohorts between campuses for you as needed for any imaging modality. Reach out to for the transfer request forms.

I am interested in performing PET/CT, SPECT, etc. but I do not see that as an option at Fred Hutch. Is there an available resource for this?


Our involvement in the TBIC allows for shared use of instrumentation such as PET/CT across the different facilities. Learn more about the imaging instruments available across the TBIC consortium.

Preclinical Imaging core staff will work with you to coordinate the necessary IACUC protocols and transportation to complete these types of studies.  

I got some weird results on one of the instruments, what can I do?


Reach out to us and we can consult with you to see if there are analysis methods to solve the problem, or we can reschedule imaging time so you can get the data you need.