• Functional Imaging laboratory founded in 1994 with a grant from the Wellcome Trust.

  • Main neuroimaging tool was PET. Moved to fMRI in subsequent years.

  • PET decommissioned 2004.

  • Wellcome core infrastructure grants 1999 & 2004.

  • Given Wellcome Trust Centre status 2006.

  • Wellcome Trust Centre status renewed 2011.

  • Wellcome Trust Centre status renewed 2016.


The Functional Imaging Laboratory (FIL) was founded in 1994 following a major grant award from the Wellcome Trust. This provided for a new building, capital equipment and core staff support. The award enabled a core group of scientists led by Richard Frackowiak, then based in the Medical Research Council Cyclotron Unit at the Hammersmith Hospital, to relocate to a central London site, within UCL.

In 1994 the principal neuroimaging research tool was Positron Emission Tomography (PET). Over the next decade functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) became the dominant investigative tool of the FIL, leading to PET decommissioning in 2004. The laboratory continued to enjoy core Wellcome Trust infrastructure support through major grant awards in 1999 and 2004.

In 2006, following a successful bid for a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award the laboratory was awarded Wellcome Trust Centre status, and is now known as the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL. Centre status was renewed following a further successful Strategic Award in 2011. The founding Director was Ray Dolan with Karl Friston as Scientific Director. Currently, the investigative infrastructure of the laboratory includes structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magneto-encephalography (MEG), electro-encephalography (EEG), and neuropsychological and behavioural testing.