Scotland’s first 7T scanner arrives at the QEUH

Issued: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 13:49:00 GMT


The University of Glasgow, in partnership with NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, has taken delivery of Scotland’s first ultra-powerful 7 Tesla (7T) MRI scanner at the new Imaging Centre of Excellence (ICE) on the site of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH).

The £10m 7T MRI scanner will be used to advance critical clinical and fundamental research and will allow clinicians and scientists to study the human body in greater resolution than ever before, ultimately benefitting patients.

The 7T will offer researchers the opportunity to learn more about a host of health conditions, initially focusing on brain imaging to look at conditions such as small blood vessel disease of the brain, stroke, vascular dementia, brain tumours, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s Disease, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.

The scanner will be housed in the University’s state-of-the-art £32m ICE, which was made possible by £16m of funding by the UK Government and the Medical Research Council (MRC) via the Glasgow City Region City Deal, with further funding from other sources including the European Regional Development Funding, The Sackler Trust and the Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation.

Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak, Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow said: “The new 7 Tesla scanner is very important for the University of Glasgow, the city of Glasgow, Scotland and the UK.

“The scanner is an important ‘first’ for Scotland, which wouldn’t have been possible without £2.3m of European Union funding. The ability to form collaborations across Europe, and also bring skilled staff over from the EU to work on such advanced technology, will be a key part of the long-term success of the project.

“By locating the scanner at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, we are bringing advanced precision medicine technology closer to patients, making it arguably the most advanced imaging capability of its kind in the world for patient benefit."

Professor Keith Muir, SINAPSE Chair of Clinical Imaging (Stroke and Brain Imaging), who will be leading a clinical research programme using the 7T scanner, said: “The high magnetic field of the 7T scanner will allow extremely high resolution scanning of the body. This technology opens up the possibilities for new clinical and basic neuroscience research.

“In some conditions, looking at very small parts of the brain with the 7T scanner might make a big difference. In areas such as Alzheimer’s and some types of stroke, the areas of interest are very small – even microscopic – parts of the brain that we can’t see with the scanner technology that is currently available.‌

Within the INP, Professors Keith Muir, Lars Muckli and Dr Jozien Goense are Co-Chairs of the 7T Scientific Strategy Delivery Workstream. The 7T scanner will be the first of its kind fully integrated within a clinical site in the UK underpinned by world-leading clinical expertise in stroke, cardiovascular disease and brain imaging. 

The strategic vision of this workstream aims to have the Glasgow 7T facility amongst the leading ultra-high-field imaging centres for clinical and cognitive neuroscience within five years.  This will involve high impact publications, generation of grant income, the support of a vibrant and diverse range of clinical and non-clinical research, and industrial collaborations.  The Co-Chairs are also part of the group responsible for the 7T Seminar Series which runs on the final Wednesday of every month. 

Look out for further details of the official opening which is scheduled for the end of March.