Cardiff castle

Brain centre helps boost research and development in Wales

Brain centre helps boost research and development in Wales

There is a certain area, in which Wales emerges as a leader – brain imaging

Welcome to this small part of the United Kingdom, situated to the West of England and famous for its red dragon, the rugby and Camelot (yes, the castle of the mythical King Arthur).

Wales has a developed agricultural sector which is largely dependent on EU funding, a diverse manufacturing sector and a well-developed tourist industry. However, it lags a little bit behind in the main economic indicators compared to other parts of the UK and Western European countries.

Brain imaging – Research and Development Innovation

Yet, is Wales really underdeveloped? Not exactly. And there is a certain area, in which it emerges as a leader – brain imaging.

Cardiff University has taken advantage of EU funding in areas other than agriculture, diverging from the Welsh norm. Under the European Regional Development Fund, the university has developed a project for the creation and construction of a Brain Imaging Centre, a research facility that will help doctors and neuroscientists better understand how the brain works and how to deal with many of the diseases of the mind. It also has one of the three microstructural brain scanners in the world. Other funding comes from institutions such as the Medical Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Wolfson Foundation, the Welsh Government, etc.

The project is still under development but it has already expanded into several sub-projects that aim to better understand the functioning of the brain. Some of the brightest scientists take part in these experiments as well as students, PhDs and post-doc fellows.

For the duration of the project (2015-2021) the programme managed to construct the building, to set itself as one of the leaders in the field and equip state-of-the-art laboratories to research and develop strategies to tackle the most urgent problems of the brain – sleep research, cognitive neuroscience, mapping the electrical activity of the brain, etc.

Bringing together specialists, scientists and their knowledge and expertise in the field not only accounts for a world-class and renowned centre but also for a leader that you may not have expected to find in Wales. One day, the cure for dementia, schizophrenia or multiple sclerosis may be discovered by one of the many research fellows that work here. We only need to wait and see.



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