#ImagingTheFuture Week: Enabling breakthroughs in biomedical science and technology

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s (CZI) Imaging the Future Week puts a spotlight on the importance of imaging science in biomedicine, and the value of the global imaging community in translating health research.

Imaging is unlocking solutions to the world’s biggest challenges across commercial, clinical and research fields and has helped innovate in bioengineering, biology, medical technology and science, pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical therapies.

National Imaging Facility (NIF) supports the Imaging the Future Week initiative, and the 2023 event is focused on highlighting advances in technology and the impact this has on our understanding of health and disease.

As we continue to meet the evolving needs of modern research, NIF is accelerating new technology, enabling experts to develop protocols, tools, imaging data, and the application of imaging to solve complex problems – scroll on to find out more.


Better evidence for decision-making in health

Advanced imaging methods and analysis provide critical evidence for decision-making across all aspects of health and clinical science to keep Australia healthy.

 

Australia’s largest investment in molecular imaging
Australia’s first open access research Total Body Positron Emission Tomography scanner is NIF’s largest investment to date, and it will deliver a transformative understanding of complex health problems. Next-generation molecular imaging and radiopharmaceuticals are revolutionising how we see biological processes, paving the way for better diagnosis and treatment of chronic, systemic adult and childhood diseases. The instrument will produce high quality data at lower doses of radiation. It can be used to capture information from all body organs simultaneously to build a better picture of complex processes such as ageing, metabolism, brain signalling, behaviour, cognition and drug interactions.

Multidisciplinary collaboration to improve epilepsy outcomes
MRI imaging technology, AI, machine learning and data analysis are helping improve the lives of 150,000 Australians with epilepsy. The Australian Epilepsy Project will combine neuroimaging with cognitive and genetic data, and integrate them using AI, to develop predictive tools that will guide diagnosis and highlight opportunities for precision treatment. Expertise from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, the University of Melbourne, Monash University and Austin Health drives the project, aiming to reduce seizure frequency and the risk of injury or death.


Better health for the young and older Australians

Imaging studies that look at conditions in younger and older Australians are essential for understanding and promoting healthy development and ageing.

 

Understanding the development of cerebral palsy
NIF is contributing to valuable data assets, including the first collection to show the way that muscles grow in children with cerebral palsy. The MUGgLE Study is the first longitudinal study comparing muscle growth in the development of children with cerebral palsy and typically developing children. The study is a partnership between Neuroscience Research Australia, the University of NSW and the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Institute. Imaging is being used to study muscle tightening and shortening as it happens, with high-resolution measurements of the architecture of whole muscles, giving researchers detailed, anatomically accurate, three-dimensional reconstructions to understand disordered muscle growth. The project has included the development of imaging methods and algorithms to be able to study this, adapting the acquisition protocols as well as the imaging analysis techniques to accommodate measurement of the specific features of muscles.

Brain-computer interface restoring independence after paralysis
An implant the size of a paperclip is allowing people who are paralysed to operate technological devices using their thoughts without open brain surgery. NIF expertise and the 7T MRI at the University of Melbourne enabled early developments of the device which can translate brain signals from the inside of a blood vessel into commands on a computer.

The Synchron Stentrode is a world first brain-computer interface designed to restore functional independence in patients with paralysing conditions like ALS. The device was named one of TIME Magazine’s best inventions of 2021, and is currently undergoing expanded human clinical trials in preparation for submission to the FDA.


Equitable regional and rural health

Crucial to societal equity and research quality, delivering a geographically distributed network of advanced imaging to support research and personalised medicine, and taking part in medical trials, is a major national challenge.

 

Bringing health equity to regional and rural Australia
NIF is deploying four low-field portable MRI scanners to remote and regional sites to help researchers apply this affordable imaging technology in rural areas. The national mobile magnetic resonance (MR) network will be the first project of its kind world-wide and is a collaboration with partners including Monash University, University of Queensland, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), the Alfred Hospital, Royal Perth Hospital, University of Western Australia and MedTech company, Hyperfine. These portable scanners will be used to understand how this fast-developing technology can help diagnose stroke, traumatic brain injury, and other conditions after testing in research laboratories at NIF nodes to build the usability of low-field MR, including developing techniques to maximise data quality and improve image processing.

Imaging mobilises ground-breaking field ventilator for deployment in the COVID-19 crisis
NIF provided critical support in preclinical testing to mobilise the now commercialised ventilator, 4DMedical ‘XV technology’ at the LARIF multipurpose fluoroscopy laboratory. A team of Australian collaborators, including biomedical company 4DMedical and University of Adelaide scientists created the ground-breaking, simple to use ‘field ventilator’ that can be locally produced at a low cost from easily acquired parts. It was developed in response to the global COVID-19 crisis, which identified potential shortages in essential medical equipment.

Communities in regional Australia to benefit from world’s first mobile magnetic resonance imaging network

National Imaging Facility (NIF) is deploying four low-field portable MRI scanners to remote and regional sites to help researchers apply this affordable imaging technology in rural areas.

Australians living in regional and rural areas unduly suffer lower life expectancy and a higher burden of diseases because of poorer access to health services, including reduced screening, late detection and barriers to treatment compared with people living in metropolitan areas.

The national mobile magnetic resonance (MR) network will be the first project of its kind world-wide and is a collaboration with partners including Monash University, University of Queensland, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), the Alfred Hospital, Royal Perth Hospital, University of Western Australia and MedTech company, Hyperfine.

The Hyperfine Swoop is the world’s first highly portable MR imaging system capable of providing neuroimaging at the point-of-care, designed to fit inside elevators and through doorways to be manoeuvred directly to a patient’s bedside, and plug into a standard electrical outlet.

These portable scanners will be used to understand how this fast-developing technology can help diagnose stroke, traumatic brain injury, and other conditions after testing in research laboratories at NIF nodes in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.

The scanners will enable real time tele-reporting and either remote operation or point-of-care use with low training requirements.

NIF is uniquely positioned to support work to build the usability of low-field MR technology, including developing techniques to maximise data quality.

Researchers at these sites will scan subjects on low-field mobile MR and high-field 3T MRI instruments to build a unique database that can be used to bridge the gap in outputs.

This valuable data will be made available by NIF to researchers to develop techniques to improve image processing and better understand how low-field scans can be interpreted.

Head of the Imaging Analysis Team at Monash Biomedical Imaging and Project lead Chief Investigator, Dr Zhaolin Chen said the collaborative work across NIF Nodes was critical to the success of the project.

“This nationwide network is critically important to identify a viable pathway for point-of-care MRI technology to be used in Australia,” Dr Chen said.

“Multi-site data acquisition is already underway and AI-based solutions to expand utility in regional Australia are in development.

“The network enables our project team to share knowledge, cross-validate findings, optimise resources and plan the next steps, which ultimately provides a route from research into clinics,” Dr Chen said.

NIF Chief Executive Officer, Prof Wojtek Goscinski said there were additional long-term advantages to deploying the national mobile MR network to regional Australia.

“NIF is focused on keeping Australia at the forefront of imaging, and the national mobile MR network is an innovative application of new technology to improve accessibility,” Prof Goscinski said.

“We hope these data collections and the AI models researchers build using them will lead to better technology that will improve treatment and diagnosis for Australians.

“This work will provide the foundation for the development and application of AI in clinical practice for low-field MR scanners, with experts optimising image quality for clinical data usability with reduced noise and improved resolution.

“The national mobile MR network and NIF’s increased national human imaging reach will enable innovative health research in remote populations, improve low-field MR technology, and over the long run will help increase access to better healthcare, professional training and socio-economic equity,” Prof Goscinski said.

ISMRM and ISMRT ANZ Chapters’ Annual Meetings shine a light on national imaging expertise and infrastructure

[Image: Presentation award winners at ISMRM ANZ, Honours student, Arunan Srirengan, Dr Ed Green, Dr Gwen Schroyen and Dr Myrte Strik. Photo credit: Dr Adam Clemente]

The Australian and New Zealand Chapters of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) and the International Society for Magnetic Resonance Radiographers and Technologists (ISMRT) held their Annual Meetings in Sydney last month, highlighting the work of leading national researchers and clinicians, including members of the NIF network.

NIF enables coordinated open access to magnetic resonance expertise and infrastructure to support leading national researchers and clinicians, and proudly supported the events.

ISMRM ANZ Joint Chapter Annual Meeting 9-10 Nov

ISMRM ANZ hosted sessions on revolutionising MRI technology, advances in neuroimaging, and clinical applications of advanced MRI, in addition to keynote speakers neurologist and leader in stroke medicine, Prof Mark Parsons and Director of the Institute of Medical Physics at the University of Sydney, Prof Annette Haworth.

Dr Zhaolin Chen was a key speaker in the Revolutionising MRI technology session, presenting the NIF Point-of-Care project, a collaboration between NIF, Australian hospitals, and US medical device manufacturer, Hyperfine, to build the usability of low-field MRI and bring critical imaging to remote Australia and deploy imaging in challenging clinical environments such as COVID wards.

[Image: Dr Zhaolin Chen presenting the NIF Point-of-Care Magnetic Resonance project at ISMRM ANZ]

A number of other NIF users spoke at ISMRM ANZ, including:

  • Rebecca Glarin from the University of Melbourne, presenting findings from her PhD on ‘Optimising functional brainstem imaging of sympathetic drive with ultra-high field MRI’.
  • Dr Shahrzad Moinian from the University of Queensland Centre for Advanced Imaging, presenting ‘In vivo microstructural border delineation between areas of the human cerebral cortex using magnetic resonance fingerprinting (MRF) residuals’.
  • Honours student Arunan Srirengan presenting ‘Early identification of cerebral small vessel disease in obstructive sleep apnoea patients using magnetic resonance spectroscopy: a pilot study’, featuring data obtained on the NIF 3T MRI at NeuRA. This session was awarded second prize in the oral presentation awards.
  • Dr Myrte Strik from the University of Melbourne, presenting ‘Altered network topology in patients with visual snow syndrome: a resting-state 7 Tesla MRI study’, winning the award for best Early Career Researcher Data Blitz presentation.

[Image: Dr Shahrzad Moinian from the University of Queensland Centre for Advanced Imaging. Photo credit: Dr Adam Clemente]

Congratulations to University of Melbourne NIF Fellow, Prof Brad Moffatt as ANZ ISMRM Chapter President on the success of the 2022 meeting hosted at UNSW.

ISMRT ANZ Joint Chapter Annual Meeting 12-13 Nov

The ISMRT ANZ 2022 joint meeting program theme was MRI: Past, Present and Future, and featured a range of internationally renowned speakers demonstrating future technologies and cutting-edge imaging techniques.

Keynote presenters included Medical physicist and human brain imaging academic researcher Dr Samantha Holdsworth, Chief of the Quantitative Medical Imaging Laboratory, USA National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, Dr Carlo Pierpaoli, and founding member of the Society of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance and Principal Investigator for the Cardiac Atlas Project, Prof Alistair Young.

NIF Senior Manager and Senior Research Scientist – National Magnetic Resonance Capability, Dr Shawna Farquharson was a key speaker at the Diffusion Weighted Imaging (DWI) Forum, presenting on ‘DWI: Principles and practical applications’.

[Image: Dr Shawna Farquharson, National Imaging Facility]

NIF users showcased at ISMRT ANZ included:

  • Prof Lynne Bilston from NeuRA, presenting ‘Brain Elastography’.
  • Sarah Daniel from the University of Queensland Centre for Advanced Imaging, presenting ‘Image quality enhancement using deep learning for in vivo human kidney MRI’.

[Image: Ms Sarah Daniel from the University of Queensland Centre for Advanced Imaging]

Congratulations to all presenters at ISMRM and ISMRT ANZ.

Victorian imaging network meets to map out innovative future

[Pictured: VBIC Annual Network Meeting guest speakers Prof Lindy Fitzgerald and Prof Amy Brodtmann] 

Innovation, industry partnerships and commercialisation will be among the topics discussed at a meeting bringing together NIF’s capabilities from around Victoria on November 24. 

The annual Victorian Biomedical Imaging Capability (VBIC) network meeting will attract researchers, clinicians and industry partners to Monash Biomedical Imaging in Melbourne. 

Participants will represent NIF nodes at the University of Melbourne, Monash, Swinburne, the Florey, Olivia Newton John Cancer Research Institute and La Trobe University. 

Neurologist Prof Amy Brodtmann will draw on her interests in imaging, stroke and dementia to present research findings from the Cognitive Health Initiative at Monash and Alfred Health  

Guest speaker Prof Melinda Fitzgerald from Curtin University and the Perron Institute will present on a national initiative she heads as CEO, called Connectivity, the Mission for Traumatic Brain Injury.  The initiative includes use of MRI and clinical biomarkers in a national trial to improve the diagnosis and prognosis of traumatic brain injury. 

Sessions at the meeting will also cover the work of imaging experts in research programs employing ultra-high field MRI, CT and PET; as well as presentations from experts in industry partnering and commercialisation. 

NIF Chief Executive Officer Prof Wojtek Goscinski said the meeting would provide a platform for early career researchers and emerging leaders, a showcase for new-generation imaging, and opportunities for important in-person networking. 

It would also enable discussion on the NIF Imaging Roadmap, including supporting innovation and ensuring Australia’s international comparative advantage, Prof Goscinski said. 

The roadmap will add to the substantial impact and jobs that VBIC and NIF have already delivered, with a recent report estimating more than $350 million in economic activity for Victoria. 

VBIC nodes have grown to employ more than 150 FTE imaging staff, and partner with more than 90 organisations, including Austin Health, CSIRO, Melbourne Health, Mental Health Research Institute and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. 

Capital investments have reached $37 million, providing access to human and preclinical MRI and PET-CT, preclinical DEXA scanners and confocal endomicroscopy, as well as magnetoencephalography and nuclear scintigraphy. 

A massive $235 million in major grants has been secured, enabling new research projects in cancer, infection and inflammation, brain function, epilepsy, dementia and even long-term aspirin use. 

Click here for more information about the VBIC network meeting and full programme.

NIF to demonstrate impact of coordinated data and AI at RANZCR ASM 2022

National Imaging Facility (NIF) will host a session at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) 72nd Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) this month.

The NIF Showcase will highlight critical expertise and human imaging projects from across Australia’s advanced imaging network, including regional MRI and life-changing imaging for Australians living with epilepsy.


Point-of-care imaging leveraging AI to grow healthcare equity in regional Australia

Head of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology research at Alfred Hospital, Prof Meng Law will present on new technology for point-of-care imaging and regional MRI. Prof Law is an expert on neuroimaging and AI, and his presentation will focus on federated deep learning for signal-to-noise ratio imaging and motion correction, using NIF’s low-field magnetic resonance network.

NIF is deploying four low-field MRI scanners to remote and regional sites to help researchers apply this affordable imaging technology in rural areas. These scanners will be used to understand how this fast-developing technology can be used to diagnose stroke, traumatic brain injury, and other conditions after testing in research laboratories at NIF nodes.


Imaging networks and datasets to support life-changing platform for more than 150,000 Australians living with epilepsy

Clinical Director of The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Prof Graeme Jackson will present on the Australian Epilepsy Project (AEP), reducing diagnosis uncertainty and fast-tracking optimal treatment by combining advanced imaging, genetics, cognition, and artificial intelligence (AI).

Prof Jackson is the Chief Investigator on the AEP Platform, which will drive major advances in decision support tools for epilepsy, and NIF’s national human MR network is set to enable scanning across Australia.

The data collected by the AEP will provide a rich resource for addressing many other traditional science and mechanistic questions in epilepsy to progress epilepsy research worldwide.


NIF CEO Prof Wojtek Goscinski said the invitation to showcase NIF at the RANZCR ASM was an opportunity to highlight the transformation of imaging through AI and big data, and to underline the unique capabilities that NIF provides.

“We’re privileged to have world-class speakers Prof Meng Law and Prof Graeme Jackson presenting on two projects that are supported by data collections and the AI models around them, which will lead to better treatment and diagnosis for Australians,” Prof Goscinski said.

The impact of imaging in radiology is only increasing, with experts now able to extract quantifiable information from ever larger data collections by applying machine learning methods such as deep learning and convolutional neural networks.

Big data and AI have a transformative effect on radiology, enhancing patient outcomes by distinguishing irregularities and patterns in data collections, and enabling diagnosis with speed and accuracy.

“NIF is focused on keeping Australia at the forefront of imaging technology and imaging data analytics, and is exploring a range of activities to increase uptake of machine learning in imaging, including data infrastructure and imaging quality,” he said.

The NIF Showcase session will also see a panel of experts discuss opportunities for collaboration between NIF and RANZCR for the benefit of medical research.

View the NIF Showcase agenda below:

RANZCR ASM NIF Showcase: Friday 28 October, 08:30-10:00

TIMETOPICSPEAKER
8:30IntroductionA/Prof Sanjay Jeganathan
RANZCR President
8:35Introduction to National Imaging FacilityProf Wojtek Goscinski
NIF Chief Executive Officer
8:45Point of Care Imaging and Regional MRI 
NIF Low Field MR Network
Federated Deep Learning for SNR, Motion Correction
Prof Meng Law
Professor and Director of Radiology, Alfred Health
Director of iBRAIN
Monash University
9:05The Australian Epilepsy Project
MR guided focused ultrasound
Prof Graeme Jackson
Chief Investigator, Australian Epilepsy Project
Clinical Director, The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health
9:25Panel discussion
RANZCR and NIF: Opportunities for collaboration for the benefit of Australian healthcare
Chair: Prof Paul Parizel
NIF UWA Node Director
Chair, UWA Medical School
David Hartley Chair in Radiology, UWA Medical School

Prof Wojtek Goscinski

Prof Meng Law

Prof Graeme Jackson

A/Prof Christen Barras
Radiologist
Co-Convenor RANZCR ASM 2022

Dr Lauren Oakden Rayner
Director, Research
Royal Adelaide Hospital Medical Imaging

The RANZCR ASM will take place at the Adelaide Convention Centre on 27–30 October 2022.

Under the theme of Reflect, Revive, Reimagine, the 72nd RANZCR ASM will be the largest meeting to date, with an innovative scientific program of over 250 presentations across 70+ sessions.

The four-day conference has lined up leading international and local radiologists to share best practices and highlight emerging medical advancements.

Inaugural NIF Scientific Symposium kicks off #NationalScienceWeek

Leading researchers, clinicians and industry attended the inaugural National Imaging Facility (NIF) Scientific Symposium on 12 August.

The event kicked off National Science Week for NIF, highlighting the critical role of collaboration in translating research challenges to benefit industry and keep Australians healthy, with the theme ‘National partnerships for innovation and impact’.

NIF CEO Prof Wojtek Goscinski said the Symposium was an excellent opportunity to highlight ground-breaking work from Australia’s world-class imaging community.

“It was a privilege to host experts from across Australia, including keynote speakers Prof Graeme Jackson, Prof Louise Emmet and Prof Gemma Figtree, whose work is at the leading edge of imaging globally,” Prof Goscinski said.

“I’d also like to extend my thanks to the presenters who delivered an excellent Technology Showcase session, and Health and Medical Translational Challenges session.

“A particular highlight was hearing from our industry partners, including Telix Pharmaceuticals, Clarity Pharmaceuticals, Cochlear and Nyrada, who discussed the way they engage with national imaging research infrastructure.

“NIF is privileged to have a strong network of world-leading expertise at our fingertips and it was an honour to bring some of these people together to present their work and share ideas at the 2022 Symposium,” he said.

Keynote presentations of the Symposium included:

  • ‘The Australian Epilepsy Project’, Prof Graeme Jackson
  • From mouse to Medicare: the PSMA story in Australia’, Prof Louise Emmett
  • Coronary artery imaging to inform the next Frontier of heart attack prevention’, Prof Gemma Figtree

The Technology Showcase session highlighted NIF’s latest capabilities, including tools for processing and interpreting data, and applications of imaging to solve complex problems, including:

  • ‘Ultra-high field magnetic resonance imaging’, Prof Leigh Johnston and Prof Markus Barth
  • ‘Bringing imaging to rural Australia with a national network of low field mobile MR scanners’, Dr Zhaolin Chen
  • ‘Australian Imaging Service: The national platform for trusted data management and analysis’, Dr Ryan Sullivan
  • ‘Magnetic Particle Imaging’, Dr Andre Bongers
  • An insight into MicroCT imaging: recent advances, applications and impact on research and innovation’, Ms Diana Patalwala
  • Preclinical Research: The Crucial Step in Medical Advancements’, Dr Chris Christou

The Health and Medical Translation Challenges session provided an opportunity for attendees to hear from clinicians and researchers about their journey to making translational impact, including:

  • Neuroimaging in clinical trials: Perspectives of a clinician-researcher’, A/Prof Sylvia Gustin
  • The Australasian Radiopharmaceutical Trials network (ARTnet)’, A/Prof Ros Francis

The Industry Discussion Panel opened up conversation on how imaging accelerates and underpins innovation and future opportunities, with speakers:

  • Dr David Cade, Chief Executive Officer, Telix Pharmaceuticals Asia Pacific
  • Dr Matt Harris, Chief Scientific Officer, Clarity Pharmaceuticals
  • Dr Zachary Smith, Director, Algorithms and Applications, Cochlear
  • Dr Jasneet Parmar, Neuroscience Researcher, Nyrada Inc

Members of the NIF network recognised internationally as in-person conferences return

[Pictured: UNSW-NeuRA Facility Fellow, Dr Michael Green presented a study titled “Effect of Compressed SENSE on Freesurfer parcellation precision” which was a collaboration between NeuRA researchers, Philips Australia and New Zealand, and UNSW.]

In-person events have returned – and over the last few months, leading edge experts from the NIF network have attended, presented, and taken the opportunity to collaborate at conferences like ANZSNM and ISMRM.

We’re proud to acknowledge the members of the NIF network who have presented their globally significant work to the greater imaging communities.

We congratulate University of Sydney-ANSTO Node Co-Director, Prof Fernando Calamante as President of ISMRM on the success of the 2022 31st Annual Meeting hosted in London, UK in May.

We also recognise the incredible achievement of Dr Shawna Farquharson as recipient of the ISMRT 2022 Distinguished Service Award at the same event.

Back in Australia, NIF kicked off events with a Molecular imaging and Radiopharmaceuticals Capability Showcase at ANZSNM. We were honoured to invite world-class speakers from within our network, Prof Steven Meikle, A/Prof Roslyn Francis, Prof Gary Egan, Prof Kristofer Thurecht and Dr John Bennett to present during the NIF session.

We look forward to seeing more of our network at upcoming events – stay tuned for the NIF Scientific Symposium next month in Sydney. Save the date for Friday 12 August.


Here are some more highlights from the NIF network attending events so far this year:

Markus Barth

QLD Node Director

ISMRM

 

Why did you attend? Many reasons: present group results; moderator of sessions; member of study groups and initiatives

 

What was the highlight of the event for you? Catching up with fellow researchers

 

What would you say to someone considering attending next meeting? Best check the hybrid setup, i.e. what is available in person and what is available online

Michael Green

NeuRA Facility Fellow

ISMRM

Why did you attend? Primarily it was a great way to re-connect with colleagues and share ideas in an old-fashioned, non-Zoom type of way. I presented a study titled “Effect of Compressed SENSE on Freesurfer parcellation precision” which was a collaboration between NeuRA researchers, Philips Australia and New Zealand, and UNSW. The study assessed the reliability of an MRI acceleration techniques designed to speed up the time it takes to acquire images. We wanted to provide a guideline for MR researchers wanting to reduce scan time while acquiring high quality data.

 

What was the highlight of the event for you? The face-to-face aspect of a conference was a real highlight. It was a nice compliment and surprise to see Philips also present data from our study to a global audience as validation for their acceleration techniques employed on their MRI machines. I also received some interesting feedback regarding the study analysis which I may implement before publishing the manuscript.

 

What would you say to someone considering attending next meeting? Study the conference schedule well before attending then pick and choose which seminars you’d like to attend. Then talk to as many people as possible. In person!

Joseph Ioppolo

UWA Facility Fellow

ANZSNM

Why did you attend? This is a good meeting to attend to connect with the other radiochemists in Australia. Due to COVID I had not had a chance to do this in a long while. I was also very keen to see the Q-TRaCE labs at Royal Brisbane, as we have a good working relationship between them and us at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. I was able to let people know I had moved across to the NIF Node at UWA and was able to speak about our new lab and facilities being built now in Perth during my talk on the Saturday

What was the highlight of the event for you? While ANZSNM was a great chance to hear some great talks and connect with a lot of people, it was also exciting to tour the labs at Q-TRaCE and the Centre for Advanced Imaging at UQ, where we also had our national Cyclotron User Group meeting.

What would you say to someone considering attending next meeting? There are just not that many radiochemists in Australia, and the ANZSNM (along with the EPSM) is a great opportunity to see meet each other in person and see how the radiopharmaceuticals we make are being used to image and treat disease around the country.

 

Sjoerd Vos

UWA Facility Fellow

ISMRM

 

Why did you attend? I presented a project shared between my current role as NIF fellow and my previous job in London.

 

What was the highlight of the event for you? My highlight was discussing potential new collaborations within Australia and internationally.

 

What would you say to someone considering attending next meeting? I think this is also a key reason to go to these conferences – to help explore new collaborations to benefit our imaging centres and community.

Shenjun Zhong

Monash Informatics Fellow

ISMRM (Virtual)

Why did you attend? My abstract was accepted as an online power pitch presentation in the ISMRM 2022 conference. And I virtually co-chaired one of the gather.town sessions in the theme of imaging processing and analysis.

What was the highlight of the event for you? The main highlight was the talk provided by one of the famous AI researchers, Yann LeCun, and his topic was ‘Future AI research in medical imaging‘. The key take-home message is the shifting from supervised to self-supervised learning framework in general AI and medical imaging research.

Meet our new Fellows

Meet the newest members of Australia’s advanced imaging network.

Their expertise is vital in applying imaging technologies, processing and interpreting imaging data, and applying imaging to solve complex problems.

We’re proud to extend our welcome to, and introduce, the newest members of NIF’s Fellows network, joining our team of experts enabling Australian imaging science to unlock solutions to major challenges.

USyd/ANSTO Facility Fellow
SAHMRI Facility Fellow
Monash Facility Fellow
Macquarie Facility Fellow

NIF Molecular Imaging and Radiochemistry Showcase to be presented at ANZSNM

National Imaging Facility enables access to imaging capabilities across the country and will present a Molecular Imaging and Radiochemistry Showcase at ANZSNM 2022, featuring presentations from a range of research leaders from Australia’s advanced imaging network.

See the full ANZSNM program here.

Register to attend ANZSNM 2022.

National Imaging Facility: Molecular Imaging and Radiochemistry Showcase
Saturday 14 May 2022, 3:15pm – 4:15pm
Session Chair: Prof Wojtek Goscinski, CEO National Imaging Facility

TimeSpeakerTopic
3:15 – 3:20Professor Wojtek Goscinski

Chief Executive Officer
National Imaging Facility

Introduction to NIF Molecular Imaging and
Radiochemistry Showcase

3:20 – 3:30Professor Steven Meikle

Head of the Imaging Physics Laboratory, Brain and Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney

Total Body PET
3:30 – 3:40Associate Professor Roslyn Francis

Head of Department of Nuclear Medicine and WA PET Service, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, University of Western Australia

Radiochemistry activities in Western Australia
3:40 – 3:50Professor Gary Egan

Professor and Foundation Director, Monash Biomedical Imaging

Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Brain Function

Australian Precision Medicine Enterprise
3:50 – 4:00Prof Kristofer Thurecht

Acting Deputy Director (Research Technologies) and Group Leader – Principal Research Fellow,

Centre for Advanced Imaging, University of Queensland

Affiliate Principal Research Fellow and Group Leader,

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology

Alpha therapies and activities
4:00 – 4:10Dr John Bennett

Research Infrastructure Platform Leader – Biosciences,
ANSTO

ANSTO’s new NIF Alpha Radioisotopes and
Radiopharmaceuticals Facility

World class imaging expertise empowers a sight for (dino)saur eyes

ICYMI, Horridus, the world’s most complete and finely preserved Triceratops was unveiled to the public (for the first time in 67 million years) last month at Melbourne Museum, as part of their new exhibition, Triceratops: Fate of the Dinosaurs.

Advanced Imaging experts from Monash Biomedical Imaging (MBI) and the National Imaging Facility (NIF) worked with Melbourne Museum to create a digital record of Horridus and further examine how the dinosaur would have walked the earth back-in-the-day for the exhibition’s immersive digital experience.

Longstanding research collaborations exist between the Melbourne Museum palaeontology team and the Biomedicine Discovery Institute and School of Biological Sciences at Monash University, with MBI facilitating imaging of many important fossil specimens for collaborative scientific study, teaching and outreach.

Imaging is critical to a broad variety of research problems including environmental and ecosystems research, palaeontology and preservation. The National Imaging Facility (NIF) makes cutting edge imaging capabilities accessible to Australian researchers and companies, and NIF’s world-class network of Fellows provides expertise in processing and interpreting imaging data and applying imaging to solve complex challenges.

As the CT scanner can penetrate plastic and foam, the team were able to keep the bones in their protective stillages during scanning


Why make a digital record of Horridus?

As the most complete real dinosaur fossil in any Australasian Museum, Horridus was scanned in MBI’s large bore Siemens CT scanner before it was assembled for display, to enable further study of the Triceratops by the global scientific community.

The imaging of rare and high-value specimens such as Horridus allows the preservation of information from fragile objects, in addition to the non-destructive exploration of the interior of specimens.

Monash University PhD student Hazel Richards conducted the scans and created 3D models of the Triceratops bones for the exhibition as part of her role as research assistant on the project.

“When we combine the internal images produced by these CT scans with the external surface scan images, we can create a complete 3D model of the Triceratops bones that allows us to research a range of exciting biological and evolutionary questions,” Ms Richards said.

“The team at MBI are always enthused and accommodating when we come to them with proposals for scanning weird and often unwieldy objects like these Triceratops fossils.”

“With their support and expertise, we have been able to maximise the scientific potential of these remarkable pieces of natural history,” Ms Richards said.

Monash University PhD student Hazel Richards conducted the scans and created 3D models of the Triceratops bones for the exhibition as part of her role as research assistant on the project.


Applying imaging expertise to solve challenges

NIF Facility Fellow, and MBI’s Head of Pre-Clinical Imaging, Dr Michael de Veer worked with Ms Richards to provide training and operational guidance on the optimal use of the instrument to generate the data.

“Fossilised bone is very dense, so our scanning challenge was to manipulate the CT settings so that the X-rays would penetrate the bones, allowing visualisation of internal structures such as the dinosaur’s brain case,” Dr de Veer said.

“Different parts of the dinosaur fossil were scanned over a number of visits, and the bones were transported in special crates to reduce the possibility of damage.

“As the CT scanner can penetrate plastic and foam, we were able to keep the bones in their protective stillages during scanning, a capability that made Museums Victoria palaeontologist Tim Ziegler very happy” Dr de Veer said.

As Collection Manager Vertebrate Palaeontology, Tim Ziegler manages the preservation of Victoria’s fossil collections of backboned animals, plants, and microfossils, including dinosaurs.

“Fossils are surprisingly fragile once they are uncovered and brought out of the ground,” Mr Ziegler said.

“We take any opportunity to improve the safety of specimens under research. As part of Victoria’s State Collection, this skeleton will be kept and preserved in perpetuity, and will offer scientific potential for years to come.”

Museums Victoria palaeontologist Tim Ziegler, Monash University PhD student Hazel Richards and NIF Facility Fellow, and MBI’s Head of Pre-Clinical Imaging, Dr Michael de Veer. 


What can a CT tell us about life 67 million years ago?

Visitors to the Triceratops exhibition will see the CT data captured first-hand – both virtually –through animated projections from the scans, and physically – as life-size touchable resin casts made from the 3D printed models.

This information can be used to tell deeper stories about Triceratops, including its evolution, behaviour and how it sensed its Cretaceous world.

The data of the upper and lower jaws reveal Horridus had more than 800 teeth. These CT scans can contribute to investigations of feeding biomechanics and diet in Triceratops and other highly specialised herbivorous dinosaurs.  

Scans of the dinosaur’s well-preserved braincase provided 3D models of the internal cranial cavity, allowing the team to examine the size and shape of regions of the brain and inner ear.

These provide important data for research reconstructing what sorts of sounds Triceratops was adapted to hear, and the relative importance of vision, smell and hearing in the daily lives of these long-extinct beasts.

The data of the upper and lower jaws reveal Horridus had more than 800 teeth. These CT scans can contribute to investigations of feeding biomechanics and diet in Triceratops and other highly specialised herbivorous dinosaurs. Image copyright Museums Victoria.


Say hi to Horridus

You can visit Horridus in the flesh (er.. bones?) at Melbourne Museum’s exhibition, Triceratops: Fate of the Dinosaurs.

View Horridus in 3D here.

For more information, contact Dr Michael de Veer, Head of Pre-Clinical Imaging and NIF Facility Fellow.

Images courtesy of Museums Victoria and Monash Biomedical Imaging.

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