Edinburgh Imaging

History of BRIC

The Brain Research Imaging Centre has grown from a small academic group working with one MR scanner in 1998, to having one of the largest groups of academic radiologists in Europe, who work alongside world leading researchers within our Edinburgh Imaging Facilities.

In 1996 it became clear that there was a desperate need for Scotland to establish an advanced brain imaging research centre, which would allow academics from Aberdeen, Dundee, St Andrews, Glasgow, Stirling & Edinburgh, to pursue & develop their research capabilities in the neurosciences. Through the hard work of all staff involved, the team successfully gained funding by a large MRC grant & several other funds listed below, to allow the Brain Research Imaging Centre to open at the end of January 1998.


In 2000, Professor Joanna Wardlaw gained further investment resulting in a new GE 1.5T MR scanner, with the imaging facility officially being opened by the first Scottish Health Minister. BRIC provided research imaging for the whole of northern UK, until the mid-2000s, when other institutions were able to install MR scanners at Aberdeen, Newcastle & Glasgow.

  • On 12th May 2000, Ms Susan Deacon MSP, the first Scottish Minister for Health & Community Care officially opened the Brain Research Imaging Centre (BRIC) facility.
From 2004
  • Neuroimaging Sciences' success in collaborative working, with the BRIC MR scanner at its core, stimulated formation of the research-focused University of Edinburgh Brain Imaging Interdisciplinary Research Group, this led to the formation of the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences (CCBS).
  • CCBS's mission is "to promote excellence in research & training of an internationally competitive standing in brain disorders".
  • Main areas of clinical research focus on:
  • Imaging research underpins a great deal of this work; one of the main constituent elements of the CCBS is housed within the Brain Research Imaging Centre.
  • In 2006 Neuroimaging Sciences project administration mechanisms merged with the Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility, Edinburgh, which helped reduce duplication in project administration, standardization & clinical research governance, across clinical research in Edinburgh & much more.
  • By 2006, we had 105 completed projects, which resulted in over 14,740 participants being scanned
  • In 2006, having gained additional funds through the Scottish Funding Council & the Multiple Sclerosis Society, in addition to our staff’s fundraising efforts, the building was expanded & a major scanner upgrade completed. But it also provided image analysis, the development of advanced imaging techniques, rigorous quality assurance & software tools.
  • In 2007, the Neuroimaging Sciences group lead the formation of SINAPSE (Scottish Imaging Network - A Platform for Scientific Excellence), a major innovative new collaboration of imaging centres throughout Scotland.
  • SINAPSE aims to build capacity in imaging research at Senior & Junior level, facilitate multi-centre imaging research & advance imaging science.
  • SINAPSE was originally funded by the Scottish Funding CouncilChief Scientist Office (7.5 million pounds) plus 35 million pounds investment by the six collaborating Universities.
From 2008


From 2016


From 2019
  • As of 2019, the original BRIC facility at the WGH ceased to operate. 


The ethos set in 1998, runs through our existing mission statement, which is, "establishing the technological & intellectual infrastructure of an advanced brain & body imaging research centre which, through strong academic & industrial collaboration, allows the partners to pursue & develop their research capabilities in neurology, cardiology & medical sciences. Thus enhancing the quality of life for patients & where possible creating solution to disease."