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The world's largest multi-modal imaging study resumed

The world's largest multi-modal imaging study resumed

UK Biobank’s imaging assessment centres have re-opened to continue working towards our goal to scan 100,000 participants. Following closure due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the centres are now open in a COVID-19 secure way, ensuring participants can safely and comfortably attend the imaging visit.

The UK Biobank imaging study is the most ambitious project ever undertaken and aims to collect brain, heart and abdomen scans from 100,000 participants. Performing imaging at this scale is unprecedented and will allow approved researchers to identify associations between lifestyle and genetic factors and imaging-derived phenotypes for the development of many common and life-threatening conditions.

"We are delighted to restart the UK Biobank imaging study after the global COVID-19 pandemic. We are incredibly grateful to all UK Biobank participants for supporting the further development of our biomedical database. Having imaging data on such a large scale will enable research into the mechanisms of disease and may lead to better early detection markers."

Professor Naomi Allen, Chief Scientist for UK Biobank

Thanks to the help of our participants, imaging scans from around 50,000 participants had been collected before the COVID-19 pandemic. These data are already enabling research findings to be published in scientific journals on the prevention and treatment of many conditions, such as arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis, with many more to come.

Combined with the genetic and lifestyle data already held on half a million participants, this imaging enhancement will provide an extra layer of detail to UK Biobank’s biomedical database to help approved researchers gain new perspectives on the best way to prevent and treat multi-faceted conditions.

Find out more details about our imaging study here.