£2m fundraising appeal brings medical scanner to Sheffield University

A £2 million fundraising appeal has brought revolutionary medical imaging to The University of Sheffield.

Just more than a year after hitting the ambitious £2m fundraising target, the university has taken delivery of its new PET-MRI scanner.

The scanner will be used to focus on a number of clinical research areas to speed up the diagnosis of, and lead to the development of new treatments for diseases such as motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, multiple sclerosis and cancer.

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The Sheffield Scanner appeal – launched by the University of Sheffield in 2017 - was led by Professor Dame Pamela Shaw, director of the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience.

It received more than 11,000 generous donations.

Prof Shaw said: “It has been truly inspiring to witness the fundraising efforts which made this innovative facility possible and I’d like to extend my thanks to everyone who contributed to the appeal.

“This revolutionary imaging technology will have a crucial impact on our understanding of some of most serious medical conditions, helping us to develop new solutions to treat them in the future.

“We are delighted to be one of a small number of global institutions with such advanced technology which will underpin the future of our neuroscience research.

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“This will be the only PET-MRI scanner in Yorkshire, so it will be of great benefit to people in Sheffield and across the wider region.

“We hope the pioneering research made possible by the scanner will have a global impact and benefit people across the world.”

It is one of only eight PET-MRI scanners in the UK - and the first in Yorkshire.

A PET-MRI scan, which usually lasts about 45 minutes, combines positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scans into one to give detailed information about a patient.

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PET scans use a mildly radioactive drug to show up areas of your body where cells are more active than normal, while MRI scans use magnetism and radio waves to create cross-section pictures of the body.

After a period of commissioning and testing, the scanner is expected to be operational in March.

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