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UK Biobank is an on-going prospective epidemiological study that has already collected genetics, blood, lifestyle information and other data from a cohort of 500,000 subjects, to be followed over coming decades. The "UK Biobank Imaging Extension", which aims to bring back 100,000 of the cohort for multimodal neuroimaging and cardiac MRI (amongst other measures), has just been given the go-ahead. This will be by far the largest neuro/cardiac imaging study carried out to date, and will add very rich phenotyping to the project.

7T Scanner in FMRIB
7T Scanner in FMRIB

Funded primarily by the MRC and Wellcome Trust, the initial phase will involve imaging several thousand subjects in a new, dedicated imaging centre, which, once shown to be successfully running, would expand into the full £36m project, with two additional dedicated imaging centres setup at other sites across the UK. Major input is coming from researchers at Oxford, Imperial, Southampton, Queen Mary College and Aberdeen, with Prof Sir Rory Collins (CTSU, Oxford) heading the project.  FMRIB is leading the neuroimaging, determining the imaging hardware setup, imaging protocols and post-processing pipeline in consultation with the wider imaging community.  Prof Stephen Smith is leading this, along with Prof Heidi Johansen-Berg and Dr Karla Miller, as well as Prof Paul Matthews (Imperial/GSK).

For more information on Biobank UK please visit their website.

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