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QIMR Berghofer’s imaging for the future

The QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute has taken delivery of state-of-the-art imaging equipment, thanks to a funding injection of $2.6 million from the Australia Cancer Research Foundation.

The laser scanning confocal microscope is a key, first piece of equipment in the Institute’s new ACRF Centre for Comprehensive Biomedical Imaging.

QIMR Berghofer Director, Professor Frank Gannon, said the Centre would further empower world class cancer researchers.

“The ACRF Centre for Comprehensive Biomedical Imaging, combined with QIMR Berghofer’s renowned cancer researchers, will be the genesis for new scientific discovery which will enrich cancer based discovery worldwide,” Professor Gannon said.

“Imaging equipment of this sensitivity has transformed our ability to understand cancer because it allows us to see biological processes at each step, from basic discovery through to clinical application.

“This level of detail is essential for understanding cancer and developing new treatments.”

The laser scanning confocal microscope provides high resolution images of cancer at the molecular level. To ensure the best images, QIMR Berghofer has installed an anti-vibration table which weighs almost one tonne and is suspended on legs controlled by pressurised air.

It is one of three new pieces of imaging equipment funded by the $2.6 million dollar cancer research grant from the ACRF.

ACRF Chairman, Tom Dery, said: “This new imaging equipment will pave the way towards a greater understanding of all types of cancer, ultimately speeding up new treatments and cures for patients and their families.”

In coming months, QIMR Berghofer will also take delivery of a multiphoton microscope to image cancer cells and immune cells in vivo, and a spinning disc confocal microscope to investigate signalling pathways in cancer, thanks to the support of the ACRF.

In addition to this ACRF-funded equipment, QIMR Berghofer has invested in a new slide scanner which can digitise up to 400 pathology slides automatically. The digital images can then be viewed instantly by researchers across the globe.

QIMR Berghofer has also a new spectral imaging camera which captures images of cancer beyond the scope of conventional microscopy.