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The Queen to open £44M Brain Research Imaging Centre

News   •   May 18, 2016 16:39 BST

Her Majesty the Queen to open a £44M unique Brain Research Imaging Centre at Cardiff University

A new Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) will be opened on the 7 June 2016, by Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, which houses a combination of neuroimaging equipment unique in Europe.

The Royals will be given a tour of the Centre, which will include the opportunity to view Europe’s most powerful brain scanner, the Siemens 3 Tesla Connectom MRI system, a specially adapted MRI scanner of which there is only one other in the world at Harvard University in the USA.

The system will enable researchers to study tissue microstructure in incredibly fine detail, and has been described as the Hubble space telescope of neuroscience.

Scientists at the Centre will seek to provide unprecedented insights into the causes of neurological and psychiatric conditions such as dementia, schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis, as well as understanding the workings of the normal, healthy brain.

CUBRIC has been designed by global architecture and technology practice IBI Group and built by construction firm BAM.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan said: “We are honoured to welcome Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh to open the Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre.

“This will be a fitting occasion for a facility that is not only significant for the University, but for Wales, the UK and Europe.

Professor Derek Jones, Director of Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre, said: “This is the culmination of a huge amount of hard work by many people over several years and I would like to thank everyone who played their part in creating this remarkable facility.

“The combination of the very best staff in their field and some of the most powerful scanners in the world has the potential for breakthroughs that could make a real difference to people’s lives around the world.

“It will be a very special day for us all and a real honour to share it with Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.”

The new facility has been part-funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Wellcome Trust, the Welsh Government and the Wolfson Foundation.

The Centre will be four times larger than the University’s existing brain imaging facilities, and will largely support innovation in brain-imaging research, creating many highly skilled jobs in Wales.

More than £27M of the cost has been provided by funders.