Royal opening for £44m Brain Research Imaging Centre

3 June 2016

The Queen

The University is preparing for a special day as Her Majesty The Queen opens the new £44m Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) on 7 June 2016.

Her Majesty and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh will be given a tour of the Centre, which houses a combination of neuroimaging equipment unique in Europe, and meet key staff and funders.

The tour will include the opportunity to view Europe’s most powerful brain scanner, the Siemens 3 Tesla Connectom MRI system, a specially adapted MRI scanner of which there is only one other in the world at Harvard University in the USA.

Siemens MRI Scanner

The Queen will be greeted by children from Grangetown Primary School, Cardiff, who have been invited by the University as part of one of the University’s community engagement projects.

Three pupils from Llandaff City Church in Wales Primary School will be presented to The Queen after winning a science competition run by the University.

The children drew pictures of how the brain works as part of an annual competition run by staff at the University’s new state-of-the-art centre.

Her Majesty will also unveil a specially commissioned sculpture created by PhD student Dr Gemma Williams from the University’s School of Psychology.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan said: “I’m delighted to welcome Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh to open our new Brain Research Imaging Centre.

“It’s an honour for the University and highlights the significance of the outstanding facilities here, including a specially adapted MRI scanner found in only one other location in the world.

Exterior shot of CUBRIC

“Our work is of global importance as we seek to provide insights into brain disorders that will lead to the development of better treatments.”

Professor Derek Jones, Director of Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre, said: “What a wonderful honour it is for us to welcome Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh to our special centre.

“The royal opening is the culmination of a lot of hard work and I would like to thank all the people who have played a part, both within the University and outside it.

“I’m privileged to lead such a talented team of people at CUBRIC and I’m very excited that we now have access to the best equipment of its type in the world.

“There is a growing demand for this important research which gives us the opportunity to bring about potentially life-changing benefits for people around the globe.”

Exterior shot of CUBRIC 2

The new facility has been part-funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Wellcome Trust, the Welsh Government and the Wolfson Foundation.

Together, these investments are supporting innovation in world-class brain imaging research, including the creation of highly-skilled research jobs in Wales.

More than £27m of the cost has been provided by funders.

CUBRIC has been designed by global architecture and technology practice IBI Group and built by construction firm BAM.

The opening kick starts the University’s Summer of Innovation, a celebration of the University’s innovative work which will bring people together from academia and industry to build and strengthen connections and partnerships.