Edinburgh Imaging

01 Oct 19. Researchers foster ideas for large animal studies

Scientific and medical experts are considering possible projects for the forthcoming Large Animal Research and Imaging Facility.

Edinburgh Imaging group at the LARIF workshop










 The Large Animal Research and Imaging Facility (LARIF) held a successful one-day workshop on 1st October 2019, at The Roslin Institute.

Researchers from a wealth of backgrounds met to generate ideas for studies at the pioneering LARIF facility.

A one-day workshop at the Roslin Institute enabled scientists to explore possibilities for work to be undertaken at the Large Animal Research and Imaging Facility (LARIF), which is scheduled to open at the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush campus early in 2020.

The event gave scientists the chance to hear about current projects that will have their imaging carried out in LARIF, and what imaging tools, techniques and analysis are available to help scientists complete their research. 

Not only did we hear fantastic speakers talking about upcoming interesting projects, but the lunch gave clinicians and scientists from different academic disciplines and departments, the chance to network with each other to discuss how they could potentially work together, using large animal models for biomedical research, with a particular focus on application of medical imaging technologies.


Broad scope

The £25 million establishment will support research ranging from the laboratory study of infectious diseases and gene editing through to advanced medical imaging, surgery and critical care. This research will inform improvements both in the health and well-being of livestock, including sheep, pigs, cattle and poultry, and in the treatment and prevention of human diseases.

The Roslin event brought together scientists, veterinary surgeons and medical clinicians from various academic disciplines and departments across the University of Edinburgh and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

This included experts in medical and veterinary clinical sciences, imaging, genetics and genome editing, and in animal behaviour and welfare.


Solid foundation

Research undertaken at the LARIF will seek to build on existing studies of large animals at the Roslin Institute. These include a sheep model for the human genetic disorder Batten disease, and studies into the biology of beneficial welfare in pigs.

The facility offers scope for research using medical imaging technologies such as CT and MRI scanning in large animals including pigs, sheep, cattle and horses. As the imaging facility is part of the Edinburgh Imaging network, scientists have access to the expertise and support from radiologists, medical physicists and image analysts.

Researchers hope that the LARIF will enable unprecedented insights into animal and human health and reflect the links between animal, human and environmental health.

LARIF is co-funded by the University of Edinburgh and Innovate UK through the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL).

The workshop was supported by the Wellcome Trust Institute Strategic Support Fund.


** The Roslin Institute receives strategic investment funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and it is part of the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.  **