Imaging research receives £12 million boost

Research funding facilityMore research to help sick children and improve cancer care at King's Health Partners will be possible thanks to £12.1 million of funding for a medical imaging research centre based at St Thomas’ Hospital.

The Wellcome Trust has today announced that the Wellcome / Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Centre (EPSRC) / King’s College London Medical Engineering Centre of Research Excellence is one of 14 major research centres to receive investment over the next five years after an open competition to achieve prestigious Wellcome Centre status.

The Centre involves scientists from King’s College London working with clinicians from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in order to translate scientific innovation in medical imaging into clinical treatments and developments that will benefit patients.

Professor Reza Razavi, Director of Research at King's Health Partners and Leader of our Imaging Clinical Academic Group, said:

Hosting a Wellcome Centre puts us among the top international biomedical science research groups and this will help us to continue to attract the best scientists and clinicians working in imaging research.
We are thrilled that our application was successful and the investment will make a huge difference to the research we can carry out, ultimately helping patients who will benefit from pioneering developments for better diagnosis and treatment guidance across a number of conditions.

The investment will be used to fund state-of-the-art imaging equipment and employ new staff to support imaging research at St Thomas’, with a view to accelerating clinical advances that come from scientific research.

Research at the Centre focuses on many areas including improving long-term neurological outcomes of sick babies and children, improving outcomes of adult patients with chronic heart conditions, and improving the care of cancer patients by identifying which treatments are working at an early stage.

Professor Razavi, who is also Director of the Centre, Paediatric Cardiologist at Evelina London and Professor of Paediatric Cardiovascular Science at King’s College London said:

The fact that the Centre is based in St Thomas’ means that scientists can work with clinicians from many medical disciplines to solve the challenges that are most important to patients. Being in a hospital means research can be developed and tested quickly to ensure it is helping patients. With our research the aim is to improve patient pathways, so the needs of patients and clinicians at St Thomas’ are always the focus.
Previous work at the Centre has helped thousands of patients in numerous ways, including improving the diagnosis of heart problems and the treatment of newborn babies, and the new Wellcome Centre will mean we can continue to make advances in the area of medical imaging, benefitting patients for many years to come.

Wellcome’s Director Dr Jeremy Farrar said: 

We believe in long term support for discovery-driven science, and Wellcome Centres are an outstanding environment for researchers to further our understanding of fundamental biology, accelerate translation to clinical practice, and explore the social and cultural context of medicine.

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