The mission of the Center for In Vivo Imaging and Therapeutics (CIVIT) is to facilitates the use of cutting-edge imaging and image-guided therapy technologies to advance the research of St. Jude investigators. The CIVIT is staffed by PhD-level scientists for consultation and experimental design and highly skilled Research Technologists to provide imaging, surgery, and preclinical therapeutic services. Imaging (MRI, PET/CT, BLI, US, intravital microscopy) and surgical procedures are conducted within a barrier housing facility, facilitating studies utilizing severely immunocompromised models.

Biorepository Overview
Biorepository Overview


CIVIT enables St. Jude investigators to conduct high-density, complex preclinical studies at reasonable cost with expert input. CIVIT supports the work of investigators across the institution and has been acknowledged as a contributor on almost 200 peer-reviewed publications.


The imaging capabilities of St. Jude have transformed my lab. We would not have been able to conduct our meaningful studies without the intensive work from CIVIT.

Joseph Opferman, Associate Member



  • Bioluminescence and fluorescence imaging
  • High resolution ultrasound and ultrasound-guided injections
  • Intravital multiphoton microscopy
  • Magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy
  • Micro-computed tomography
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Image guided radiation therapy
  • Microsurgery techniques including orthotopic PDX implants


  • (8) IVIS Spectrum Imaging Systems
  • (5) VEVO 3100 Visual Sonics
  • (2) High performance surgical microscopes
  • Bruker Biospec 9.4T MRI with cryocoil probe
  • Bruker ClinScan 7T with respiratory gating system and coils
  • Inveon uPET/CT
  • Small Animal Radiation Research Platform (XStrahl)
  • Olympus FVMPE-RS multiphoton laser scanning intravital microscope

CIVIT by the numbers: 


peer-reviewed publication contributions


field strength of the small animal MRI


spatial resolution of small animal ultrasound


collaborative investigator partnerships


Walter Akers

Walter Akers, DVM, PhD 

Director, Center for In Vivo Imaging and Therapeutics (CIVIT)