Key areas of focus

  • Oncology Imaging
  • Cardiovascular Imaging
  • Neurological Imaging

Imaging is a cross cutting multidisciplinary research theme developing and evaluating imaging techniques in preclinical and clinical medicine. Imaging has an important role documenting disease extent and function. Imaging tools are being developed to diagnose disease, monitor and predict response to treatment as well as stratifying patients into groups which have different outcomes.

Cambridge is fortunate to have excellent clinical cross-sectional functional imaging facilities with research access to four 1.5T, three 3T MRI systems, four multi-detector CTs (16, 64 and 128 multi-detector), dual source and dual energy CT, more than eight colour flow Doppler US systems, several gamma cameras and PET-CT. The MRC clinical infrastructure funding has provided exciting new opportunities with the upgraded 3T and new 7T MRI, PET-MR and a second clinical hyperpolariser. In addition, an upgraded and extended GMP PET radiopharmaceutical unit with an on-site cyclotron and state-of-the-art radiochemistry systems with the capability of producing a large range of short-lived and longer-lived PET radiotracers. These installations will particularly facilitate and enhance experimental therapeutic trials in dementia, oncology, cardiovascular medicine and with other themes in the Cambridge BRC.

The NHS and Academic Imaging departments are closely integrated and have an experienced faculty who have both technique and body system expertise, many of whom are recognized nationally and internationally. The imaging theme also benefits from having specialist imaging physicists, who are both University and NHS employed, who support the development of new image acquisition technologies and develop and validate new analysis methods and also supports collaborations with basic scientists from university departments including Physics, Chemistry, Engineering and Mathematics to develop novel imaging methods.

This activity can be summarized as a matrix with imaging research translating from preclinical research, novel agents and technology development through experimental proof of concept studies to clinical impact trials in larger populations. Research studies in each of these development areas are integrated across the BRC themes to enable their scientific endeavours..

With an expanding inventory of state-of-the-art imaging facilities, a world-class team of researchers, an expanding PhD imaging programme and support from government, industry and the private sector, the BRC Imaging theme is leading the way to new advances and applications in its field.