Bruce Hammer

Faculty, PhD Program in Medical Physics


My interests and career focus is hardware development and its implementation in support of biomedical applications. After obtaining my Ph.D., I worked for nine years at Intermagnetics General Corporation (acquired by Philips in 2006) as scientist developing radio frequency (RF) hardware and applications for MRI animal systems. In 1990 I joined the University of Minnesota as an Assistant Professor of Radiology to advance MRI applications. During my tenure at the U of MN I formed the Center for Interdisciplinary Applications in Magnetic Resonance (CIA-MR) that housed a 1.5 T/680mm MRI system, a 5.0 T/400mm MRI system and a 17 T/50 mm vertical bore levitation magnet. These systems were instrumental in laying the foundation for developing the concept of a hybrid MR-PET scanner, integrating a 6 MeV LINAC into a 1.5 MRI scanner and developing magnetic levitation as a ground-based research tool to simulate microgravity. The CIAMR supported MR activities for several investigators that studied 31P NMR of hemorrhagic shock, MR imaging and spectroscopy of pancreas and islet viability, bioreactor development and function and cryopreservation. On August 1, 2007, collapse of the I35W bridge in Minneapolis forced the CIAMR to cease operations because it was within 50 feet of the bridge. The lab was relocated in August 2008 to a 5,800 sq. ft facility in Minnetonka, MN, about 18 miles from campus.

Research Summary

My present research focus is to develop magnetic levitation as a ground-based tool to study the effects of gravitation on biological systems. In November 2010, the 17 T levitation magnet moved from the CIAMR Minnetonka lab to the newly expanded 60,000 sq. ft. CMRR facility for better access to university resources in support of levitation studies. Ancillary projects I am actively pursuing include development of an implantable NMR spectrometer on a chip (Prof. Harjani, UMN-Minneapolis), Real-time 3D three-dimension tracking of organ deformations in minimum invasive surgery (Prof. Tewfik, UT-Austin) and contract research to support companies developing MR-conditional devices.

Research Interests:
Medical electronics
Instrumentation development
Nuclear magnetic resonance imaging
Radiofrequency circuits
Magnet design
Biomedical engineering
Positron emission tomography


PhD, Northwestern University
Major: Biomedical Engineering



2021 6th Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455