The CRF is situated in the Imperial Centre for Translational and Experimental Medicine building, an Imperial College London facility, which is physically joined to Hammersmith Hospital, an Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust hospital. This provides researchers using the CRF with access to all that the College and Trust can provide.
Strong working relationships are established between the CRF and the Pharmacy within the Trust. A team of experienced pharmacists work closely with the CRF research staff to provide a tailored service to investigators undertaking all types of clinical research. This ensures the safe handling, storage, labelling and supply of IMPs to clinical trial subjects as well as governance of randomisation procedures and 24-hour cover to access code breaking.
The Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust pathology department offers a wide range of diagnostic and clinical support services from accredited laboratories.
Pathology laboratories are situated across the hospitals but concentrated at Charing Cross Hospital, which houses a large and sophisticated automated laboratory, a centralised microbiology laboratory, specialist biochemistry services, a tumour marker laboratory and toxicology department. Molecular diagnostics are focussed at Hammersmith Hospital where a new facility was opened in January 2011.
The Hammersmith campus has the highest density of equipment and facilities for translational molecular, functional and structural imaging in Europe. It hosts one of Europe’s leading molecular imaging and radiochemistry centres, Imanova, as well as radiochemistry in the CRUK-ESPRC-MRC-NIHR-funded Comprehensive Cancer Imaging Laboratory. Advanced image modelling is provided by the Cancer Imaging Centre, the MRC-CSC and the neuroscience mathlab. Additional expertise is provided by the South Kensington –based Imperial Biomedical Imaging Group.
Imanova, which is located next to the CRF at Hammersmith, offers unique opportunities for the development of innovative collaborative clinical science. The facility, with two cyclotrons, both R & D and GMP manufacturing radiochemistry (24 hot cells), two PET-CT and 2×3 Tesla MR scanners, is a limited company formed through a partnership between the MRC and three London Universities, Imperial College, University College and King’s College and intended to serve the PET imaging needs of this community, particularly around radiotracers with a short half-life.
In addition to Imanova, the site also hosts a new Imperial College London research imaging facility, launched in early 2013. Established within the Department of Medicine, the Imperial College Clinical Imaging Facility (ICCIF) provides PET (Siemens Biograph 6 PET/CT) and MRI (Siemens 3T Verio MRI) facilities. The Facility is housed in the basement of the Wolfson Education Centre, and the CRF has very close links with the facility, offering reception duties as a minimum for all ICCIF studies.
In October 2009, ICHNT received £1.95m in a Capital Investment award from NIHR to equip and refurbish a new Molecular Pathology Laboratory (Head, Prof L Foroni) on the Hammersmith Campus with the express purpose of bringing genomic medicine closer to the bedside. The Laboratory was formally opened in May 2011. It hosts two state-of-the-art next-generation sequence (NGS) platforms, a HiSeq 2000 and a GSJunior (Roche). Together with the Genome Analyser IIx (Illumina) and a further HiSeq 2000 now available in the MRC CSC Genomics laboratory (under the leadership of BRC genomics theme leader Prof Tim Aitman), these provide a powerful resource for translational studies. Recent BRC infrastructure funding has provided a small bioinformatics group to analyse and interpret the data output as well as BRC research funding for individual projects
The Imperial BioResource was established as a BRC cross-cutting theme to collect samples linked to clinical data to support research into predictive biomarkers, personalized medicine and stratified healthcare across the Trust. It operates to standards set by UK Biobank and has a dedicated liquid nitrogen repository in the basement of the Commonwealth Building on the Hammersmith campus.