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Installation of the 7T MRI scanner
Installation of the 7T MRI scanner

FMRIB is based within the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences and sited at the John Radcliffe Hospital on the Headington Campus of the Medical Sciences Division.

FMRIB is a multi-disciplinary neuroimaging research facility, which focuses on the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for neuroscience research, along with related technologies such as EEG and non-invasive brain stimulation.

We host around 100 individuals, including graduate students, researchers and support staff. Our research portfolio covers basic and translational research as well as MR physics and analysis.

FMRIB officially opened in 1998 after successful efforts to secure its first MRC core grant by our Founding Professors: Alan Cowey, George Radda and John Newsom-Davis. Paul Matthews was appointed its first Director along with core staff members: Irene Tracey, Steve Smith and Peter Jezzard. In 2003 we physically extended the FMRIB Centre to its current size of near 900m2. This enabled our continuing growth and a broadening of our expertise. The expanded space also enabled us to build laboratories for additional neuroimaging and stimulation methods including EEG, TMS, tDCS and NIRS.

Following Paul Matthew’s departure, Irene Tracey was appointed Director from 2005 to 2015.  During this time we were awarded £8 million by the MRC, EPSRC, Wolfson Foundation and University of Oxford to purchase and install new 7T and 3T leading-edge MRI systems to enable us to image brain structure and function at even higher resolution than currently possible.

In 2015 Heidi Johansen-Berg was appointed Director. The current FMRIB Directorate comprises: Irene Tracey, Steve Smith, Peter Jezzard, Heidi Johansen-Berg, Karla Miller, Tim Behrens, Mark Jenkinson, Stuart Clare, Kia Nobre (OHBA), Matthew Rushworth (Dept. Experimental Psychology) and Andrew Parker (Dept. Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics).  The Directorate meets every two months to discuss wider strategic issues related to FMRIB. We have an open and flexible attitude as to how we should run things ensuring that the environment is optimally conducive for the highest quality biomedical research. Several Principal Investigators drive independent programmes of research at FMRIB but our strength lies in us being a truly interdisciplinary and collaborative laboratory.


FMRIB's original core grant support came from the MRC, with additional contributions from the Wolfson Foundation, Oxford Magnet Technology, Oxford University, Glaxo Wellcome and EPA Cephalosporin Fund. We successfully renewed our core MRC grant in 2003, and also funded the physical expansion of FMRIB with financial support from: SRIF, HEFCE, Royal Society, Wolfson Foundation, EPA Cephalosphorin Fund, JREI and the Department of Clinical Neurology. In 2010 we secured funding from MRC, EPSRC, Wolfson Foundation and University of Oxford to purchase and install new 7T and 3T MRI systems.

Individuals within FMRIB are supported from a wide variety of sources with a large number funded through competitive fellowships from the Wellcome Trust, Royal Society, MRC, EPSRC and others.