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The Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging originated as the Oxford Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain (FMRIB) and the Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity (OHBA).

Early drawings of FMRIB

FMRIB officially opened in 1998 after founding Professors Alan Cowey, George Radda, and John Newsom-Davis secured its first Medical Research Council (MRC) core grant. Paul Matthews was appointed its first Director along with core staff members Irene Tracey, Steve Smith, and Peter Jezzard. In 2003 we physically extended the FMRIB Centre to its current size of near 900m2. This enabled our continuing growth and a broadening of our expertise. The expanded space also allowed us to build laboratories for additional neuroimaging and stimulation methods including EEG, TMS, tDCS, and NIRS.

Following Paul Matthews' departure, Professor Irene Tracey was appointed Director from 2005 to 2015. During this time the Centre was awarded £8 million by the MRC, EPSRC, Wolfson Foundation and University of Oxford to purchase and install new 7T and 3T leading-edge MRI systems to enable us to image brain structure and function at even higher resolution than was possible with the equipment we had at the time.

OHBA building

The original Oxford MEG facility was established in 2007, and focused on neuro-developmental research in the area of autism. Out of this facility, OHBA was formed in 2010, under the directorship of Professor Kia Nobre. In 2016, the facility was significantly expanded to accommodate more researchers and the installation of a new 3T MRI scanner, and in 2019 a new MEG scanner was installed. Mark Woolrich became Director of OHBA in 2023.

In 2015 Professor Heidi Johansen-Berg was appointed Director of FMRIB and led the bid to bring together FMRIB, OHBA and the imaging facilities within the Department of Experimental Psychology, to form the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging.


FMRIB's original core grant support came from the MRC, with additional contributions from the Wolfson Foundation, Oxford Magnet Technology, Universityof Oxford, Glaxo Wellcome and EPA Cephalosporin Fund. We successfully renewed our core MRC grant in 2003, and also funded the physical expansion of FMRIB with financial support from: SRIF, HEFCE, Royal Society, Wolfson Foundation, EPA Cephalosphorin Fund, JREI and the Department of Clinical Neurology. In 2010 we secured funding from the MRC, EPSRC, Wolfson Foundation, and University of Oxford to purchase and install new 7T and 3T MRI systems.

Funding for the original MEG facility at Oxford came from the University of Oxford and a major gift by a single donor who prefers to remain anonymous. A Wellcome grant contributed significantly to establishing OHBA as a centre for investigating neural dynamics in the human brain. The subsequent expansion of the facilities and installation of the MRI in the Centre was funded by the University of Oxford.  OHBA receives core support from the Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre.

The 2018 Centre Award from the Wellcome Trust, together with generous support from the University of Oxford, allowed the Centre to upgrade and expand its pre-clinical facilities, expand and develop Centre support staff and expand into new office and meeting space.

Individuals within WIN are supported from a wide variety of sources with a large number funded through competitive fellowships from the Wellcome Trust, Royal Society, MRC, EPSRC BBSRC, NIHR and others.

Principal funders

  • The Wellcome Trust
  • The Medical Research Council
  • The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
  • The Wolfson Foundation
  • The National Institute for Health and Care Research