The Helen and Martin Kimmel Institute for Magnetic Resonance

Magnetic resonance (MR) has given science one of its most powerful tools for imaging and analysis. In its spectroscopy mode, MR is used as a tool for characterizing solids and liquids. In its imaging mode, it is used for the non-invasive characterization of organs and tissues in animals and humans. Materials research, chemistry, pharmaceutical development, biophysics, biochemistry, preclinical research, and the diagnosis of human function and disease, are just but a few of the scientific disciplines that normally rely on some form of MR analysis.

The key to all these forms of MR analyses is magnetism. A magnetic resonance scan uses a powerful magnet to create a strong field, which will influence some of the atoms in the subject of analysis to align these within its poles. Then, when exposed to very low levels of electromagnetic radiation, these polarized nuclei will “get excited” and emit their distinctive electromagnetic “sounds.” Nuclei in different chemical environments or located at different positions can emit “sounds” that are entirely unique. MR scientists work backward from the resulting “nuclear symphony,” in order to reconstruct from it a precise three-dimensional picture of the molecule or of the object that has emitted it.

MR at Weizmann

Researchers in the lab
Weizmann Institute researchers have made dramatic progress in the global quest for techniques that can optimize MR. Their contributions began in the early history of magnetic resonance research; both in theoretical work on the basic quantum principles underlying MR, and in developing the equipment for its implementation.

Over the decades this has led to the creation of a wide variety of new research techniques, and of biomedical applications related to MR. This legacy of excellence has been recognized as a main source of innovation by the MR community; the Weizmann Institute is now building on this exceptional track record of multidisciplinary cooperation and innovation, by establishing a new research resource: the Institute for Magnetic Resonance.


The goal of this new Institute is to identify, tackle, and solve the highest-impact challenges to arise in this field throughout the coming decades. We trust that this will lead to dramatic improvements of MR technologies. And we are grateful to the Kimmel Family and the Weizmann Institute for the trust they have placed with us, with the endowment of this new and exciting project.

Prof. Lucio Frydman
Director, The Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Institute for Magnetic Resonance