Facilitating high quality research that will inform the identification of effective new treatment
We have sites located across sites in Greater Manchester, offering capabilities in PET, MR and PET-MR imaging, to facilitate high quality research that will inform the identification of effective new treatments and the targeted use of treatment for greatest patient benefit.
Our flagship building, the Wolfson Molecular Imaging Centre, co-located by the Christie NHS Foundation Trust houses our radiochemistry facility. Equipped with a cyclotron, GMP cleanroom, laboratories and QC capabilities, we have an ambitious radiotracer development programme and manufacture radiotracers for a range of research studies and external organisations. We hold manufacturing licences (specials and IMP) from the Medicines Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
We also offer pre-clinical PET imaging opportunities at WMIC and our lab on the main University campus.
Training and education
Colleagues in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health contribute to a taught Masters programme in Medical Imaging Science.
We also welcome PhD students in the Faculty and offer a PhD/DPhil programme in Biomedical Imaging Sciences.
Many of our PhD students are based at WMIC, with its PET and MR imaging capabilities at close hand.
We are involved in a wide range of research activities; here’s a snapshot:
EPSRC/CRUK Cancer Imaging Centre
This is a high profile grant worth £5 million in which the University has been awarded CiC status by Cancer Research UK. The University is working closely with the University of Cambridge on this grant, which is funding a number of pre-clinical and clinical imaging studies (PET and MR), post-doctoral posts and PhD studentships.
The PI for the project is Prof Alan Jackson
MRC – Dementias Platform UK initiative (DPUK)
The University was awarded £6 million in October 2014 as part of the Prime Minister’s Dementias Platform UK initiative and one element of this award funded the purchase and installation of a new PET-MR scanner.
The scanner is housed in the Nuclear Medicine department at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester and is available for research scanning now. This is an exciting development for the University’s Imaging Facilities, as it is one of just seven PET-MR scanners in the UK – and the only one in the North-West.
MRC/NIHR – Deep and Frequent Phenotyping Study (DPUK)
The University of Manchester is a partner in this multi-centre study which has been designed to identify measureable characteristics, known as biomarkers, which can detect the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease very early on in the progression of the disease. The study will use [18F] Florbetapir across the seven PET-MR scanners in the UK. WMIC will be manufacturing the tracer for the Manchester PET-MR scans.
The PI for this study is Dr Iracema Leroi
MRC DPUK MR-PET Harmonisation study
This is a multi-centre study led by Prof Karl Herholz and aims to harmonise and quantify the repeatability and reproducibility of regional [18F] Florbetapir brain measurements using the seven PET-MR scanners in the UK. This study is badged under the Dementias Platform UK initiative and WMIC will be manufacturing the tracer for the Manchester PET-MR scans.
MRC STRATA - Schizophrenia: Treatment Resistance and Therapeutic Advances
STRATA is a multi-million pound, multi-site study led by Kings College London that includes Manchester, Cardiff and Imperial College London, in which multi-modality imaging (PET, MRS and MRI) is one of the key components. This study aims to determine whether failure to respond to current drugs is because some patients have a non-dopamine abnormality, namely excessive glutamate function, which maintains their symptoms and is not corrected by dopamine blockers. The study uses [18F] F-DOPA which, for the Manchester scans, will be manufactured at WMIC.
EPSRC Quantification of vascular and neuronal pathology in dementia using PET and MRI
MRC Characterisation of the inflammatory component of carotid plaques using PET-CT and PET-MR to develop non-invasive prognostic imaging markers for stroke
The study aims to address the lack of a current non-invasive methodology to determine the inflammatory component of a plaque, by proposing a novel combined PET-MR approach, using [18F] GE-180, manufactured at WMIC using GE FastLab cassettes.
The PI for this study is Prof Ian Bruce.
MRC CCHIRAL (Advanced Characterisation of tumour hypoxia using PET-MR to personalise radiotherapy for cervical cancer patients)
This study will perform simultaneous PET-MR scanning using [18F] Faza, manufactured at WMIC, with DCE-MRI, to assess the repeatability of hypoxia PET-MR as a first step towards its introduction as a tool for novel hypoxia-based adaptive radiotherapy in cervical cancer.
The PI for this study is Dr Ananya Choudhury.