Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost?

This information is listed here . MR scanner use is priced per hour (£120-180*) for in vivo and per session (£350-£540) for ex vivo.

(*depending on type of funding)

If you want to collaborate with us or use our additional services (experiment planning, acquisition, analysis, etc.) we will estimate the additional costs. These will vary, depending on the type and amount of work required.

How do I set up a collaboration with BRAIN centre?

First email us at brain@kcl.ac.uk. Following initial contact, we would arrange to meet you here and show you around, or set up a phone/skype call. Complex projects are likely to require several conversations and some setup/pilot/feasibility testing.

Do you provide training?

Yes. Half-day of basic training on MR scanner use (software and hardware) is included in the scanner hourly cost . However, we are happy to provide additional training on scanning, analysis or any other methods we offer, for additional cost (as part of the collaborative model ).

What kind of equipment / methods do you have?

Please see a list of equipment and facilities here, and a description of some of the methods here. Contact us (brain@kcl.ac.uk) if the method you are interested in is not listed.

Can you undertake work for industry?

Absolutely. The BRAIN Centre team have many years’ experience of working with industry. We recognize that imaging is of particular importance to the preclinical phase of drug discovery but that, due to complexity of methods, it is often preferable to commission an external CRO or academic collaborator for this element of the work. To this end, we are keen to provide flexible options to our industrial partners, for example by either undertaking joint collaborative projects or providing a full ‘fee for service’, as preferable.

Can you help with grant application?

Yes. If we determine that your project is fundable and the imaging element fits within the remit of our facility, we would be happy to work with you through all stages of grant application. This may include writing sections related to imaging work or description of the team and the facility; commenting and editing of application; providing official costings, letters of support, etc. It is however very important to allow additional time for such undertakings (e.g. minimum 5 working days for official costings; time needed for applications and letters to be discussed at the start).

If I pay to use the BRAIN centre service, do I have to give academic credit?

Yes, if appropriate, in the same way you would credit an individual academic collaborator. For example, if a member of the BRAIN centre makes a sufficient intellectual contribution to your project then he/she should be included as an author of the paper or mentioned in the acknowledgments. We would discuss and clarify any likely such contributions early on, at the start of the project, during the protocol meeting.

The BRAIN centre is not a company and it is completely non-profit. All funding we receive goes toward running & improving our facility.

Do you provide discounted costs for development/pilot work?

In some cases, we may offer special discounts for development work or for pilot projects. This will particularly apply when your proposed method or experiment fits within the remit / portfolio of our facility. We would discuss any such potential development project individually – please drop us a line at brain@kcl.ac.uk.

Are your experiments on animals ethical?

Yes. The UK has some of the strictest rules for animal experimentation on the planet. All our experiments must legally comply with the UK Animals (Scientific procedures) Act 1986 administered by the Home Office. In addition, we follow the guidance of the National Centre for the Replacement Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research and our experimental methods and staff training are continually assessed and monitored by the KCL’s Animal Welfare and Ethical Review body (AWERB), which includes veterinarians and lay members alike, and the Named Training and Competency Officers (NTCO) in collaboration with the UK Government.

Imaging is at the core of the translational ‘bench to bedside’ research. Many therapeutic interventions or disease mechanisms cannot be tested or characterised without the use of model systems. Because we can use almost identical methods to image human and animal brains, preclinical imaging is a particularly powerful tool for unravelling the mechanisms of human diseases. Moreover, the non-invasive nature of imaging is ideally suited to refine experiments and therefore reduce the overall numbers of animals used research.