Royal Free London in the UK has received approximately £4m ($5.05m) in funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to enhance its clinical research infrastructure.

The funds will be used to purchase advanced equipment, including a dedicated research MRI scanner, to expand the research capacity of the pharmacy and develop its clinical research laboratory.

This investment will enable the hospital to support more new trials, including cell and gene therapy, and process and analyse samples from a growing portfolio of clinical studies at its laboratory.

Royal Free London research and development director Farhan Naim said: “This additional NIHR funding will provide a welcome boost to the clinical research infrastructure at RFL.

“The broad range of equipment that it will fund will go a long way in ensuring that we are able to realise our vision of offering optimal clinical research access to our local patient populations and staff.”

Royal Free London anticipates that the new equipment and facilities will also strengthen collaborations with researchers in various fields, such as translational imaging and machine learning.

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Royal Free London consultant cardiologist Dan Knight said: “The new low-field MRI scanner will support our groundbreaking research into interventional MRI, which we believe will significantly improve patient outcomes.

“This investment will also open up entirely new areas of imaging research in the unique patient populations served by the Royal Free Hospital such as those with pulmonary hypertension, connective tissue disease, and interstitial lung disease.”