Cardiff University’s £44m brain image centre reaches important milestone
A new £44m brain research imaging centre which will help scientists understand the causes of brain conditions has reached a major milestone in its construction.
Health Minister Mark Drakeford has marked the completion of the structural frame of the Cardiff University brain research imaging centre (Cubric) building by construction firm BAM.
Research carried out at the centre, which is due to open in spring 2016, will help scientists understand the causes of brain conditions such as dementia, schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis.
Professor Derek Jones, director of Cubric, said: “Seeing the initial vision becoming a physical reality is an amazing privilege and I’m delighted that we’ve reached this major milestone in Cubric’s construction.
“This is the largest research-dedicated neuroimaging centre ever to have been built in the UK and will house a combination of neuroimaging equipment not currently found anywhere else in Europe.
“The talented staff in Cubric have been developing the theory of how to make new, more meaningful, measurements in the living brain but have been hamstrung by technology.
“The new Cubric assembles the cutting-edge technology that now allows us to put these theoretical developments into practice. This really is ushering in a new era for neuroimaging.
“The research that will be done here will potentially have a profound positive impact on the lives of people around the world.”
The new facility will be four times larger than the university’s existing brain research imaging facilities and will bring staff from different departments together under one roof, leading to increased collaboration and innovation.
The university is already home to some of the world’s leading experts in brain mapping, neuroscience, clinical research and genetics, and is widely recognised for its research excellence in this area.
Professor Dylan Jones, pro vice-chancellor of the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences, said: “Cubric is an excellent example of close collaboration between many individuals both within Cardiff University and the medical and imaging research communities as a whole.
“It will see scientists from a wide range of disciplines working collaboratively to increase our understanding of the brain – this can only bring good for patients.
“Cardiff University was recently ranked second in the UK for its research into mind, brain, and neuroscience. The new Cubric facility will further consolidate our place as one of Europe’s leading research institutions in this area of work.”
The Cubric team has already secured £15.6m in funding and grants to cover the costs of building and cutting edge equipment from organisations including the Wolfson Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Medical Research Council.
The Welsh Government also contributed £6m to the development of the university’s innovation campus in Maindy Road, which includes Cubric.