The Herston Imaging Research Facility is now able to purchase essential imaging machines with funding from the Queensland Government.
The Herston Imaging Research Facility is now able to purchase essential imaging machines with funding from the Queensland Government.
19 June 2012

A new world-class imaging research facility in Brisbane will provide cutting edge imaging methods to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, mental disorders and neurological diseases associated with ageing.

Funding of $3 million from a Queensland Government grant combined with $8.25 million from Commonwealth, industry and partner contributions, has made it possible for the new Herston Imaging Research Facility (HIRF) to purchase essential imaging machines.

HIRF is a joint venture between The University of Queensland (UQ), Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital (RBWH), Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR). Siemens is the industry supporter.

The project will drive meaningful reform in health care delivery and place Queensland at the global frontier of human imaging research, clinical trials and patient care.

The new imaging equipment to be purchased includes a 3-T MRI scanner, and a simultaneous PET/MRI machine, a ground breaking technology not yet seen in Australia.

UQ Faculty of Health Sciences Executive Dean Professor Nicholas Fisk said HIRF would be pivotally positioned at UQ’s Centre for Clinical Research, between RWBH and QIMR, with an outpatient floor that has direct access to the hospital.

“This location combined with the state-of-the-art imaging resources will permit clinical research that will directly impact the accuracy of a patient’s diagnosis and the effectiveness of their treatment,” Professor Fisk said.

“The new PET/MRI machine will for the first time give simultaneous information on the location and function of tumours, such as in the brain.”

QIMR Director Professor Frank Gannon said the MRI scanner would facilitate collaborative research to improve the treatment of diseases, specifically debilitating mental health and neuro-degenerative diseases.

“Increasing collaboration in this major project between RBWH, QIMR, UQ and QUT on the Herston Campus is a significant development that will ensure the best combination of advanced level equipment is available and shared,” Professor Gannon said.

RBWH Executive Director, Dr David Alcorn said: “This new collaboration between academic, commercial and healthcare partners offers an exceptional opportunity to explore new pathways for improving and maintaining human health.

“Patients will significantly benefit from HIRF, as the facility will provide opportunities for their involvement in translational research at Herston.

"This will hopefully lead to earlier diagnosis, improved assessment of conditions and disease and more effective treatment,” Dr Alcorn said.

QUT Faculty of Health Sciences Executive Dean Professor Andrew Wilson said the collaboration with QUT would support the development, evaluation, and validation of novel bio-markers for cancer and other metabolic complications, as well as the ability to profile patients for individualized treatment according to their level of risk.

Media Contacts: Jan King, Communications and Media, University of Queensland, 07 336 51120, 0413 601 248 or