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New scanner to benefit patients across Manchester

Patients across Manchester will benefit from a new state-of-the-art MRI scanner, which was officially opened at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust yesterday.

The scanner is hosted by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) / Wellcome Trust Manchester Clinical Research Facility (CRF), which received funding from NIHR in March 2012 to carry out experimental medicine research into many of the major diseases and illnesses that affect the population of Greater Manchester and the wider North West. The ribbon to open the scanner was cut by Mike Deegan, Chief Executive of the Trust and Professor Ian Jacobs, Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of Medical & Human Sciences and Director of Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC).

Professor Ian Jacobs (L) and Mike Deegan (R) officially open the new 3T MRI scanner

NIHR CRFs provide dedicated space and staff to support experimental medicine studies to be conducted to the highest quality. The aim of CRFs is to bridge the translational gap between basic science and the translation into the patient populations.

Funding from the Department of Health / NHS Capital Investment to the NIHR Manchester Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) and investment from The University of Manchester has enabled the procurement of the Philips Achieva 3T MR System, which is being operated and managed by The University of Manchester's MR Imaging Facility (MRIF). The scanner will offer higher resolution and superior quality images in a wealth of different research areas, compared to the facility's previous scanner.

The new scanner will support the research of the BRU in addition to providing access to functional brain imagers at The University of Manchester, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and anyone within the NHS and University partnership. The scanner will be fully equipped for state-of-the-art cardiac MRI, musculoskeletal MRI and multi-nuclear MR spectroscopy, which will benefit a large number of researchers.

Professor Jacobs and Mike Deegan watch the scanner in action

The opening of the new scanner is twinned with a celebration of the NIHR / WT Manchester CRF, a member of MAHSC, and the pioneering research it has facilitated since opening 10 years ago, as a millennium Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility. Since opening its doors the facility has supported more than 500 clinical studies with over 120,000 participant visits recorded. In 2009 the Wellcome Trust Children's Clinical Research Facility was launched, solely dedicated to carrying out paediatric clinical research it was the first of its kind in the North West and one of only a small handful across the UK.

Professor Ian Bruce, Medical Director of the NIHR / WT CRF said prior to the opening "With renewed funding from the NIHR and the opening of the new 3T MRI scanner, we will continue to develop our vision of supporting innovation in an environment where new discoveries can be translated into human disease to improve the health and wealth of the nation."