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The Wellcome Trust has today announced five-year funding of centres for both neuroimaging and innovation in ethics in Oxford, confirming Oxford's place as a world-leading hub for neuroscience and mental health research.

Brain scan

Wellcome has today announced funding of £118 million to 14 major research centres, including three centres based in Oxford.

The Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, and the Wellcome Centre for Ethics, Innovation, Globalisation and Medicine, are among the centres across the UK and South Africa to secure the funding for the next five years.

All of the centres aim to advance our understanding of health and disease, and span fundamental and social sciences, clinical research and engineering. 

Professors Clare MackayPaul Harrison, Mark Woolrich and Kia Nobre lead the Psychiatry aspects of the Integrative Neuroimaging Centre. 

This award will enable integration across all levels of neuroscience research in Oxford and accelerate translation from bench to bedside. It solidifies the strong partnership between OHBA, FMRIB and Experimental Psychology, bolsters our new Biomedical Research Centre, and lowers the technical barriers to using state of the art neuroimaging for mental health research. - Professor Clare Mackay

The Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging is focussed on enabling novel fundamental discoveries of brain function. Neuroimaging is a powerful tool for connecting current advances in the measurement of brain circuits and large-scale datasets being generated by clinical and epidemiological studies, bridging the gap between laboratory neuroscience and human health.

Our work will motivate ethical thinking to evolve and to keep up with the global scale and pace of scientific knowledge and innovation. The ethical challenges are particularly compelling in neuroscience and psychiatry, where a series of advances, such as in informatics, genomics, and neurosurgery raise profound questions about who we are as humans and what we value in human identity. - Professor Ilina Singh

Professor Ilina Singh co-leads the Wellcome Centre for Ethics, Innovation, Globalisation and Medicine. This Centre will provide a platform for collaboration between researchers in ethics, the humanities, and medical sciences. Located in Oxford’s Big Data Institute, the Centre will identify and address the challenges to ethics raised by developments in data science, genomics, neuroscience, and globalisation.

Prof Matthew Wood, Associate Head of Research at the Medical Sciences Division, University of Oxford, said: “One of the great strengths of research at the University of Oxford is the number of world-class researchers working in close proximity, creating unrivalled opportunities for collaboration and knowledge-sharing.

“This significant investment in Oxford demonstrates the importance of the research being carried out here, which is constantly expanding our knowledge of science and health, and raising the quality of medical care globally.” 

Wellcome’s Director Dr Jeremy Farrar said: “Wellcome Centres play a special role in the global research ecosystem. By creating places where researchers can flourish we can catalyse world-leading research and translation, and amplify its influence and impact.

“At Wellcome we believe in long term support for discovery-driven science, and Wellcome Centres are an outstanding environment for researchers to further our understanding of fundamental biology, accelerate translation to clinical practice, and explore the social and cultural context of medicine."

For more information about the centres visit wellcome.ac.uk/centres