The state-of-the-art ACRF Centre for Comprehensive Biomedical Imaging was unveiled on 1 September by the Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk, Premier of Queensland. The Centre is hosted at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and is set to push the boundaries of its cancer research program.
A $2.6 million grant from the Australian Cancer Research Foundation has funded the new imaging equipment which will allow the Institute’s scientists to view and measure the biological processes of cancer in living tissue, including processes by which cancers metastasise, or spread, to distant tissues.
The ACRF Centre for Comprehensive Biomedical Imaging consists of three crucial pieces of imaging equipment: a multiphoton intravital microscope for imaging of live cells; a laser scanning confocal microscope for high resolution imaging of cancer at the molecular level; and a spinning disc confocal microscope for imaging signalling pathways in cancer cells. Ms Palaszczuk said the centre will allow QIMR Berghofer to unlock new techniques which will dramatically accelerate the understanding of cancer.
“This cutting-edge equipment will allow QIMR Berghofer to explore and extend their research with an emphasis on bringing new therapeutics to patients in Australia and biomedical industry to Queensland.”
QIMR Berghofer Director and CEO Professor Frank Gannon said the new imaging equipment will allow the Institute to build on its world-leading immunotherapy program.
“In recent days QIMR Berghofer has launched Phase II clinical trials of an immunotherapy treatment for nasopharyngeal carcinoma, and announced a major agreement with a global pharmaceutical company to discover cancer antibodies,” Professor Gannon said.
“Our scientists are delivering outcomes which have real consequences for patients, and thanks to the generosity and vision of the ACRF we will be able to take our research to a new level of understanding and targeting cancer.”
ACRF Trustee Russell Caplan said that since the ACRF was established in 1984 it has awarded more than $103.9 million to 34 research centres across Australia.
“Eleven of those grants ($23.3 million) have been distributed to research centres in Queensland and three of them have directly funded projects at QIMR Berghofer ($6.65 million).”
“ACRF grants are awarded on the basis of research excellence and are subject to a rigorous approval process,” Mr Caplan said.
“This process is overseen by a Medical Research Advisory Committee made up of some of Australia’s most respected researchers, to guarantee that funds go to the most worthy projects.”
ACRF is a leading Australian private charity that provides major funding grants for cutting-edge technologies, equipment, infrastructure and specialised resources for cancer research.