Research facilities

Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals have a range of facilities available to our researchers and academic and industrial collaborators. These facilities allow researchers to use established techniques and protocols for their clinical research studies.


The Biobank allows access to retrospectively acquired biological specimens and the infrastructure and support for prospective specimen collection from patients.

Researchers interested in accessing the specimens will be required to submit an application to the biobank manager, which will be reviewed by the appropriate cardiovascular or respiratory committees for approval.

For access to cardiovascular and respiratory samples, please contact the biobank manager, Harshil Bhayani.

Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR)

1.5T and 3T CMR machines are available for research use. We have a Siemens Vida 3T scanner used solely for research. A team of physicists, radiographers and nurses support our research CMR activities.

Clinical research facility (CRF)

The CRF is a comprehensive and independent research facility located on the first floor of the Fulham Wing at Royal Brompton Hospital and accommodates a purpose built out-patients day-care unit. The CRF is resourced with staff, equipment/consumables and clinic/bed spaces to support and facilitate the hosting and delivery of early phase (phase 1 & 2a/2b), later phase (phase 3 & 4), biomarker (phenotypical) and observational studies, as well as health promotion and quality of life improvement projects.

The CRF structure accommodates a core team of 20 internal support staff overseen by the CRF Manager and approximately 25 external teams, actively using the facility. The facility is also supported by the Sample Processing Laboratory and the Clinical Trials Pharmacy department.

For more information, or to access the facility, please contact Geraldine Sloane.

Computer tomography (CT) imaging

This facility includes all the key diagnostic modalities for lung imaging, including two multi-detector CT scanners (one of which is a dual energy scanner). The scanners are run by senior radiographers with experience in undertaking complex research protocols and supervising image transfer. Imaging investigations available include:

  • digital chest radiography
  • high resolution computed tomography
  • contrast-enhanced computed tomography
  • CT pulmonary angiography
  • dual-energy computed tomography
  • lung cancer staging CT
  • V/Q scanning (nuclear medicine)
  • ultrasonography for pleural disease


Echocardiography facilities include 2D, 3D, colour flow, and tissue doppler imaging, enabling performance of high quality transthoracic, transesophageal and stress echocardiography for research.

Education centre

The education centre offers modern meeting room facilities situated in the heart of London. The centre is a dedicated space for meetings, events, teaching, presentations and workshops.

To make an enquiry or booking please call: 020 7352 8121 ext 4973/4974


The laboratory is staffed by HCPC-registered biomedical scientists specialising in lung histopathology. Technical expertise and resources available include:

  • cryo-sectioning of fresh-frozen tissue (cryotomy)
  • cutting of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue
  • H&E staining
  • immunohistochemistry using high-performance automated platform (Ventana Benchmark Ultra), including optimisation of novel antibodies, single and double staining
  • creation of tissue microarrays (TMAs)
  • gross specimen dissection, sampling and photography
  • in situ hybridisation
  • snap freezing
  • tinctural stains
  • light microscopy
  • pathologist consultation and interpretation services
  • project-based access to large numbers of tissue samples from Biobank, covering multiple specialist respiratory disease cohorts

If you would like to book the histopathology lab, please contact the histopathology core facility lab manager on 020 7352 8121 ext 8435.

Image processing laboratory

We provides a digital data processing service for in-house and multi-site international trials which include:

  • remote site sequence optimisation
  • acquisition training
  • volumetric analysis for functional assessment
  • tissue iron load assessment.

Interventional cardiology laboratory

Our research centre for interventional cardiology studies has been designed to enable multi-modality image integration during endovascular intervention.

The laboratory incorporates intracoronary imaging by optical coherence tomography (OCT) and intravascular ultrasound (IVUS). It also incorporates physiology assessment, such as:

  • coronary pressure/flow wires
  • conductance catheters,
  • transoesophageal and intra-cardiac echocardiography.

It also includes electrophysiology capability, including remote magnetic navigation and high resolution mapping systems (CARTO and Rhythmia).

Respiratory Physiology

This dedicated research unit is staffed by two dedicated senior respiratory physiologists.

Tests offered include:

  • spirometry
  • post BD spirometry
  • body plethysmography
  • gas transfer
  • blood gases
  • CPET
  • pulmonary blood flow
  • cold air challenge / EVH / vascular hyperreactivity
  • optoelectronic plethysmography
  • lung clearance index.

If you would like to use the respiratory physiology or have any questions, please contact the unit manager on 020 7352 8121 ext 8057.

Sample processing laboratory 

The respiratory sample processing laboratory processes and ships a wide range of samples for academic and commercial clinical trials and research studies.. Samples are processed to a point at which they can be frozen, stored or shipped to a central laboratory.
The samples that can be processed include:
•    blood
•    urine, stool
•    sputum
•    bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL)
•    nasal and bronchial brushings
•    bronchial biopsies.
If you would like to use the sample processing laboratory, please contact the sample processing lab manager, Lyn Ambrose.