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 January 1998, the SHEFC Brain Imaging Research Centre for Scotland (SBIRC) opened, hosting a 2T MR scanner.
- It was a University of Edinburgh research facility, located on the Western General Hospital campus in Edinburgh
- It is connected intimately with the Department of Clinical Neurosciences (DCN)
- It realised the two year goal of establishing a centre to provide collaborative research by universities & clinicians in Scotland & the North of England
- Funding derived from the:
- Further support came from Lothian University Hospitals NHS Trust & substantial donations from the public.
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.
- 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 Council & Chief Scientist Office (7.5 million pounds) plus 35 million pounds investment by the six collaborating Universities.
In 2008, Neuroimaging Sciences was instrumental in attracting major funding for new infrastructure initiatives such as the MRC funded Centre for Cognitive Ageing & Cognitive Epidemiology (CCACE) & has grown significantly with the BRIC facility now having resources to create a substantial increase in:
- Neuroimaging Sciences continued to grow & support many staff & students within the BRIC facility, plus students, post docs & senior research programmers in many other divisions across Edinburgh, including:
- Stroke medicine
- In 2010, we created an online education platform - launching our online Neuroimaging for Research MSc, plus various training tools
- By 2010 we had scanned well over 25,000 subjects for research projects, & was instrumental in attracting major new infrastructure initiatives such as The Clinical Research Imaging Centre (CRIC) which was officially opened on the 29th of October 2010 by HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh & Chancellor of the University.
- In 2013 we expanded our online education courses, by creating the online Imaging MSc plus various short courses delivered by the Edinburgh Imaging Academy.
- In 2016, the Brain Research Imaging Centre (BRIC) & the Clinical Research Imaging Centre (CRIC) joined together to create Edinburgh Imaging.
- To signify this change, the facilities were called Edinburgh Imaging Facility WGH & Edinburgh Imaging Facility QMRI respectively.
- In 2017, further funding was gained & the third imaging facility was opened, which was embedded within the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh & named Edinburgh Imaging Facility RIE.
- In 2018, our fourth facility joined Edinburgh Imaging, which was the Edinburgh Imaging Facility Preclinical.
- 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."