Aston University: Aston Institute of Health and Neurodevelopment officially launches new £2.8m MRI scanner

A new £2.8 million MRI scanner has been unveiled at Aston University. The showcase took place in Aston Institute of Health and Neurodevelopment on Monday 25 April.

The event was attended by Aston University Interim Vice-Chancellor Saskia Loer Hansen and other members of the University executive team, together with academic researchers in the University’s College of Health and Life Sciences.

After an official ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by the Institute co-directors Professor Jackie Blissett and Professor Gavin Woodhall, guests were invited to take a tour of the new MRI scanner facilities where imaging researchers were on hand to showcase and discuss their research for which the new MRI scanner is a vital facility.

Interim Vice-Chancellor Saskia Loer Hansen said: “I am delighted that Aston Institute of Health and Neurodevelopment is home to this state-of-the-art facility. Having a new MRI scanner on our campus will not only enable our scientists to undertake their neuroimaging research, but will also benefit so many patients in the region who urgently need this facility as part of their medical treatment.

“Our new MRI scanner further highlights the world-class research that our scientists are undertaking at Aston University.”

The new Siemens MAGNETOM Prisma 3T MRI scanner was installed over a period of four months starting in November 2021, including the work undertaken to remove the old machine from the building. The scanner has been made ‘child friendly’ with suitable images and the room which hosts the scanner has a wall mural of cherry blossom trees.

The new MRI scanner will enhance the world-class neuroimaging research facilities within the Institute of Health and Neurodevelopment and support the development of the next generation of researchers.

Professor Jackie Blissett, co-director of Aston Institute of Health and Neurodevelopment, said: “The new MRI scanner will enhance the world-class neuroimaging research facilities within the Institute of Health and Neurodevelopment. It will allow us to answer the questions that matter to children and young people, their families and the services that support them.”

Aston University researchers use advanced neuroimaging techniques to examine brain health in children with neurological diseases and developmental disorders and are developing a research programme focused on children and young people to deliver a new understanding of development, disorder and disease and the interventions that will make a difference.

The new scanner will also enable the Institute to provide the most recent innovations in MRI for patients visiting through the clinical service Aston University Imaging. Patients visiting for MRI scans come through private referrals, as well as from local institutions such as the Birmingham Royal Ballet and Aston Villa Football Club.

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