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Radiologic Imaging Laboratory Records
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Preferred Citation
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Acquisition Information
  • Related Collections
  • Processing Information
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: University of California, San Francisco Archives & Special Collections
    Title: Radiologic Imaging Laboratory records
    creator: Crooks, Lawrence E.
    creator: University of California, San Francisco. Radiologic Imaging Laboratory
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS.2002.08
    Physical Description: 103 Linear Feet (73 cartons, 8 boxes, 6 oversize boxes, 4 flat file drawers)
    Date (inclusive): 1963-2010
    Abstract: Contains the records of the Radiologic Imaging Laboratory (RIL) of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) from its initial funding by Pfizer, Inc. through its operation as a unit of Diasonics, Inc. and Toshiba America MRI (TAMI). Material relates to the RIL's development and sale of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology, dated 1963-2010.
    Language of Material: Collection materials are predominantly in English. Some material in Japanese, German, and Dutch.

    Preferred Citation

    Radiologic Imaging Laboratory records, MSS 2002-08. Archives and Special Collections, University of California, San Francisco.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Collection is open for research. The UCSF Archives and Special Collections policy places access restrictions on material with privacy issues for a specific time period. Restrictions are noted at the series level. This collection will be reviewed for sensitive content upon request. Contact the UCSF Archivist for information on access to these files.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Library and Center for Knowledge Management. All requests for permission to publish or quote from material must be submitted in writing to the UCSF Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Library and Center for Knowledge Management as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

    Acquisition Information

    Records donated to the UCSF Archives and Special Collections by Lawrence E. Crooks from 2002-2015. Additional material from Nancy Rockafellar added in 2016.

    Related Collections

    UCSF Oral History Collection, OH 2012-17

    Processing Information

    Initial processing completed in 2011. Revisions completed by Kelsi Evans in 2016.

    Biographical / Historical

    Radiologic Imaging Laboratory History: In 1975, the UCSF Department of Radiology, under the direction of Alexander Margulis, founded a small research and development group to investigate new medical diagnostic imaging instruments and systems. The team included electrical engineers, radiofrequency coil experts, computer scientists, and medical researchers. They sought in part to create a clinically viable diagnostic tool using nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, later called magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). They focused on creating a machine capable of safely and effectively capturing scanned images of the living human body. In 1978 the lab, now called the Radiologic Imaging Laboratory (RIL), opened an off-campus facility at 400 Grandview Drive in the Cabot, Cabot and Forbes Industrial Park in South San Francisco. Leon Kaufman served as chief scientist and director and Lawrence Crooks served as assistant director and electrical engineer. RIL researchers regularly consulted with physicians to initiate patient and animal studies and better understand how pathologies impact the imaging of tissue. They experimented with magnet technology and designed new computer hardware and software to improve MRI machine availability, image quality, speed, and sensitivity. RIL originally received funding from the Pfizer Corporation under an agreement with the UCSF Radiology Department. In late 1981, Pfizer discontinued its imaging activities and Diasonics purchased the project. In 1989, Toshiba acquired RIL from Diasonics. In 1994, RIL separated from the University and became a unit of Toshiba America called TAMI RIL. RIL researchers secured numerous patents and received royalties for their technology. In the 1990s, following royalty and patent disputes with UCSF regarding imaging technology, UC Berkeley professor Jerome R. Singer (later joined by Lawrence Crooks) sued the Regents of the University of California. The RIL ceased operation in 2001.
    RIL Electrical Engineer Lawrence E. Crooks History: Lawrence E. Crooks, a founding member of the Radiologic Imaging Laboratory, was born in Berkeley, California in 1949. He received his BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1971, 1973, and 1978 respectively. From 1972 to 1976, Crooks was a National Institutes of Health trainee in bioengineering. In 1976, he joined the UCSF Department of Radiology Nuclear Medicine Section as an assistant professor of electrical engineering. He was appointed associate professor in 1981 and professor in 1985. From 1994-2001, Crooks served as a research fellow for Toshiba America MRI, Inc. He continues to serve as an independent consultant and research specialist affiliated with the UCSF Department of Anthropology, History, and Social Medicine. Crooks holds 22 patents on magnetic resonance imagers for medical applications. Crooks's publications include the 1981 textbook Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Medicine and more than 137 articles on MRI imaging and instrumentation. He has served on the editorial boards of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, American Journal of Roentgenology and Current Concepts in Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Crooks received the Bechtel Achievement Award in 1972, the IEEE Centennial Key in 1984 as an outstanding young investigator in the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Group, the 1986 Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine's Gold Medal, and the John P. Robarts Research Institute's International Taylor Prize in 1989. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi, and Sigma Xi and was elected a Fellow of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine in 1997.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection contains the records of the Radiologic Imaging Laboratory (RIL) of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) from its initial funding by Pfizer, Inc. through its operation as a unit of Diasonics, Inc. and Toshiba America MRI (TAMI). Material relates to the RIL's development and sale of medical imaging technology, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The collection includes administrative and marketing material and the professional papers of lab members. Notable material related to the lab's research includes corporate correspondence, MRI machine designs and engineering drawings, system operation binders, photographs of early scans, machine prototype artifacts, and laboratory research notebooks. Material related to the lab's administration and product marketing includes grant records, trade show slides and advertising brochures, marketing photographs and audiovisual recordings, large conference posters, and vendor and purchasing records. Restricted material in the collection includes court documents, patent records, and patient records.


    The collection's arrangement reflects the original order preserved by Lawrence Crooks and archival processing completed in 2011 and revised in 2016. The collection is arranged in 18 series: I. Administrative and financial records, 1973 - 1997; II. Lawrence Crooks files, 1970 - 2002; III. Leon Kaufman files, 1973 - 2000; IV. Joel Blank files, 1968 - 1990; V. Ray Schultz files, 1982 - 1989; VI. Jeffrey Watts files, 1976 - 2000; VII. John Hoenninger files, 1964 - 1997; VIII. James Hale files, 1978 - 2000; IX. William Lu files, 1984 - 1999; X. Mitsuaki Arakawa files, 1977 - 1993; XI. John van Heteren files, 1980 - 1999; XII. Other RIL member files and miscellaneous material, 1977 - 2002; XIII. Writings and printed material, 1971 - 2006; XIV. Informational audiovisual and graphic material, 1980 - 2010; XV. Patent records and correspondence, 1976 - 2001; XVI. Jerome R. Singer v. The Regents of the University of California court records 1963-1996; XVII. Patient records, 1978 - 1994; XVIII. Artifacts, circa 1985-1995.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Biomedical engineering
    Diasonics, Inc.
    Magnetic resonance imaging
    Nuclear magnetic resonance
    Toshiba Corporation
    University of California, San Francisco
    University of California, San Francisco. Department of Radiology