UCL News


Wellcome invests £24.1M in Research Centres at UCL

7 December 2016

Wellcome has today announced funding for two Wellcome Trust Centres at UCL.

Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging Wellcome Centres aim to advance our understanding of health and disease, and span fundamental and social sciences, clinical research and engineering.

The Wellcome Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL led by Professor Cathy Price was renewed for a further five years with a funding injection of £11 million. The Centre (incorporating the Leopold Muller Functional Imaging Laboratory and the Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience) is an interdisciplinary centre for neuroimaging excellence. It brings together clinicians and scientists who study higher cognitive function using neuroimaging techniques. Research groups study all aspects of higher cognitive function including vision, hearing, memory, language, reasoning, emotion, decision making and social interactions.

UCL will also establish the Wellcome / EPSRC Centre for Surgical and Interventional Sciences, joint funded with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which aims to optimise surgery through integration of new insights.

The new Centre, led by Professor Sebastien Ourselin will be based at Charles Bell House, a building currently being refurbished under the Transforming UCL campaign which will house researchers from the Institute of Healthcare Engineering, Division of Surgical and Interventional Sciences and the Centre for Medical Imaging.

The Centre will advance engineering sciences in intraoperative imaging and sensing, data fusion and extraction, human-technology interfaces, tissue modelling, surgical instrumentation and surgical navigation, and translate these to the clinic to make patient treatment safer and more effective. Greater surgical precision will result in reduced damage to tissue, co-morbidity and complications in addition to shortened procedures and hospital stays.

The fundamental research themes which will link the Centre's interdisciplinary and cross-faculty groups include Physiological Navigation, focusing on fusing anatomical, physiological and pathological information for real-time guidance and monitoring, Clinician Experience, focusing on optimising the cognitive and ergonomic workload of the clinical team and Precision Instrumentation, focusing on designing interventional devices that both sense physiological/pathological information and interact with tissue to deliver therapy. 

Wellcome's Director Dr Jeremy Farrar said:

"Wellcome Centres play a special role in the global research ecosystem. By creating places where researchers can flourish we can catalyse world-leading research and translation, and amplify its influence and impact.

"At Wellcome 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."