Dear NIF Network, 

The past 12 months have been transformative for National Imaging Facility (NIF), Australia’s advanced imaging network. 

In 2023 the Australian Government Department of Education announced NIF would receive a sum of $46m NCRIS funding for 2023 – 2028, supporting Advanced Human Imaging, Preclinical and Frontier Imaging, Radiopharmaceuticals programs, and launching a new dedicated Data Collections and Partnerships program. This funding will allow NIF to address the growth of translational and precision medicine, extend industry use to benefit Australia’s health and wellbeing, and continue to operate, innovate and partner at an exemplary international standard. 

I’d like to acknowledge and thank the NIF network and our collaborators for their contributions to support this process, enabling NIF to advance a strong application, but also to continue to deliver world-class imaging. 

NIF helps translate research into outcomes that address national priorities. In the last year, our network has made headlines. We’ve supported a range of clinical trials, fostering advancements in medical research by helping to test the world’s first disease-modifying drugs to treat dementia, and improving diagnosis accessibility and treatment options for prostate cancer patients. Our cutting-edge experts have enabled scientific breakthroughs including the identification of a link between Long COVID and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, helped find the likely cause of obsessive-compulsive disorder, underpinned studies for novel treatments and the use of VR to help chronic pain sufferers, and harnessed technology to pinpoint epilepsy triggers in the brain. We’re proud to maintain Australia’s world-leading reputation in applying advanced imaging technology, and have deployed low-field MRI for testing in hospitals, underpinned one of only nine international labs holding the prestigious Helmholtz brand and received national media recognition for excellence in preclinical and frontier imaging techniques. Our users are world-class, and we were proud to support the exemplary scientists whose revolutionary work in drug discovery and cystic fibrosis lung health imaging was lauded at the 2023 Eureka Prizes. 

A new generation of services are set to further advance our mission. This year our teams have delivered a range of world-leading new investments and capabilities, including the opening of: 

It was a privilege to bring our national imaging community together in August for NIF’s Annual Scientific Meeting in Melbourne. Hosted in partnership with VBIC, this year’s Symposium was our most successful event to date, with just under 450 attendees from across Australia and the world. 

Engaging with the wider imaging community, our experts presented at a range of national and international events. My personal highlights were our Australian National Total Body PET Facility webinar series which has attracted attention from global communities, and sessions at ANZSNM and RANZCR

These milestones and achievements are a testament to the NIF imaging community – including our network of imaging experts. Over the coming years we look forward to continuing to integrate on a national scale, underpinning NIF’s strong partnerships to support strategic collaborations and maximise impact to benefit Australian industry and help keep Australians healthier. 

As this year draws to a close, I’d like to thank the whole NIF community. 

I extend my gratitude to the NIF Board and its Chair, Prof Margaret Harding. Very special thanks for Ms Sue Renkin and Dr Stephen Rose, who are completing their tenure on the NIF Board. I am grateful that they have contributed their unique expertise to help NIF.

NIF delivers its services through our 14 institutional Partners. Thank you to our national network of Partners, Node Directors, Fellows, and other Partner staff who support Australia’s most advanced imaging capabilities.  

I thank our NIF Central team for their dedication and hard work throughout 2023 to support our national network. 

Finally, thanks to our users who lead impactful projects, and our engaged research imaging participants who make an extremely valuable contribution to improving health outcomes for Australia. 

The NIF Central Office will shut down between 23 December – 2 January, and I wish you an enjoyable and safe holiday break. I look forward to working with you in 2024. 

Best wishes 

Prof Wojtek Goscinski