Cutting-edge and potentially life-saving MRI scanning technology, developed at the University of Aberdeen, is set to take a major step forward thanks to a £600,000 donation from the Mary Jamieson Hall and John F. Hall Trust, a Scottish charity founded in 1880.
The funds will be used to build an imaging facility at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where the new Fast Field-Cycling MRI (FFC-MRI) scanner will be housed – it will be known as the Hall Family Imaging Suite. It is expected the suite will be completed before the end of 2020.
Developed at the University of Aberdeen, where the first MRI was built in 1980, FFC-MRI has been hailed at the next-step in the evolution of MRI technology.
FFC-MRI is able to detect disease much earlier than current MRI scanners, and in more detail. Its development is also supported by by a 6.6 million Euro Horizon-2020 research grant.
A prototype of the next-generation scanner has already been built and successfully tested on patients and healthy volunteers.
Due to its location at the heart of the region’s main teaching hospital, the new imaging suite will allow the research teams to scan more patients using the FFC-MRI scanner.
Professor David Lurie, biomedical imaging expert and leader of the FFC-MRI project, said: “We’re really excited to be entering this next, crucial stage of the development of FFC-MRI and we are extremely grateful to the Mary Jamieson Hall and John F. Hall Trust for supporting the creation of this new imaging suite and funding a crucial Lectureship post.
“The new imaging suite will allow us to scan a much wider range of patients than before. Its location in the hospital will make it easy for patients to have an MRI scan immediately following their FFC-MRI appointment, which will help us to determine what extra diagnostic information is provided by our new imaging technology and how it can be used in the future to aid diagnosis.”
The Mary Jamieson Hall and John F. Hall Trust’s head Trustee, Jim Birnie, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support the next phase of the development of MRI technology and wish to thank all the staff at the University who have helped and guided us along the way.”
The donation will also be used to fund a medical physics lectureship post: The Hall Family Lectureship in Medical Physics.