The unveiling of a new state-of-the-art MRI scanner facility at Glenfield Hospital will help expand vital research into heart and circulatory diseases and allow for improved patient clinical care across Leicestershire.
The addition of the new facility will allow researchers in Leicester to scan 1,500 cardiovascular research participants per year. Currently, researchers are only able to annually scan 500 participants. The facility will also allow for new research into metabolism at rest and exercise which are capabilities only presently available in a handful of centres across the UK.
The new scanner facility was funded by a £1 million grant from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and will be jointly owned by Leicester’s Hospitals and the University of Leicester.
Rebecca Brown, acting chief executive at Leicester’s Hospitals states: “We’re so proud to work with the British Heart Foundation and the University of Leicester to bring this new facility into the hospital.
“These scanners will be part of our hospital in daily use, which will increase the availability of scans and speed up the process for our patients who need them, both by increased number of MRI scanner available, and by the improvement in technology that the new facility provides.
“We will also be able to offer more opportunities for people to take part in research locally, which will lead to improved care for our community in the future.”
The addition of the facility will only serve to enhance the existing successes of cardiovascular research in Leicester. The imaging team have already published over 100 papers in the last five years, been the largest recruiter for a study intro multi-organ imaging for COVID-19 and have influenced guideline changes for coronary artery disease. They’ve also managed to secure over £9M in external grants.
Professor Nishan Canagarajah, President and Vice-Chancellor University of Leicester spoke at the launch. He said: “This fantastic new facility is an example of the dynamic and fruitful partnership between the University, Hospital Trust, and the British Heart Foundation.
“Partnership is key to our success as we emerge from this pandemic in the assured knowledge that, together, we are stronger, and this places us in an eminent position to make a transformative change in terms of research and patient-centred health benefits.”
If you’re interested in health research at Leicester’s Hospitals and want to learn more about opportunities to take part, please visit: www.leicestershospitals.nhs.uk/researchregistry
By Gita Sarasia