Lord Dowding Fund for humane research


National Antivisection Society

New Aston University research centre houses only paediatric MEG scanner in Europe

12 October 2011


A brain scanner specifically for children – one of only three in the world – forms part of pioneering new research facilities at Aston University in Birmingham.

The newly opened Aston Brain Centre (ABC) brings together a unique suite of equipment and facilities for related areas of brain research, from child development to healthy ageing.

The ABC is committed to the development of humane research techniques for the replacement of animals in neuroscience research.

The Centre specialises in areas including epilepsy, dyslexia, autism, ADHD, sleeping disorders and metabolic disease. The ABC will also provide a referral service for the National Health Service (NHS), providing innovative diagnostic services unavailable within the NHS.

The facility will house:

The new £5m purpose-built Centre was officially opened by Tim Melville-Ross CBE (Friday, 7th October 2011), Chair of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Speaking at the launch, Professor Paul Furlong, Director of the new Aston Brain Centre at Aston University said: “Aston University has a 40-year track record of research leadership in the study of brain development and imaging. Our team of scientists will be working to understand how the brain works in health and disease, using the latest technology to study all aspects of brain function throughout a person’s life from individual brain cells through to the whole brain.”

The ABC is supported by the Lord Dowding Fund for Humane Research, HEFCE, the Wellcome Trust, Aston University, and the Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research.

Jan Creamer, Chief Executive of the Lord Dowding Fund for Humane Research, which sponsors non-animal scientific and medical research said: “The Aston Brain Centre stands right at the cutting edge of neurological research, and we are proud to play our part in helping fund the project. We recently donated £450,000 to the University towards humane research with another £200,000 to follow in the next few years. It is projects like this which show the research potential of groundbreaking, cutting edge technologies without the use of animals, and set an example for others to follow. We are delighted to continue to provide funds to the Aston Brain Centre, and applaud its foresight in making use of new technologies, and rejecting outdated animal testing methods.”

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