MBCIU awarded funding for infrastructure upgrades and new equipment.

Minister for Higher Education Gayle Tierney recently announced two Victorian Higher Education State Investment Funded (VHESIF) projects that were awarded to advance critical medical and agricultural research capabilities across a number of Victorian universities, hospitals and research institutions.  Funding received will support key infrastructure projects including the acquisition, upgrade and maintenance of powerful new technologies at the MBCIU, University of Melbourne.

Co- funding received from the State Government, The University of Melbourne and the National Imaging Facility have facilitated the upgrade of the MBCIU’s 7T MRI, and the procurement of the new Siemens Biograph Vision 600 PET/CT.

Image of a strawberry plant in a CT/PET scanner.
Strawberry plant undergoing a CT scan in the PET/CT scanner. Data will be used for future planning and attenuation correction for PET scanning.

Additionally, the funding received will also support the establishment of advanced plant imaging capability that will potentially assist in investigations looking at the effects of climate change on crops and soils.  This application can also support research projects focused in agricultural improvements and crop optimisation.

With the awarded grant we have purchased a coil array and ancillary equipment to image and examine sodium and hydrogen in plants.

Dr Edward Green, NIF Plant imaging Fellow, is leading the work with the MBCIU team.

Image of a strawberry plant in a CT/PET scanner.
Strawberry plants in the MRI system. The hexagonal coil elements act as "antennae" that can be configured in an number of orientations to suit the subject being imaged. This equipment allows researchers to image hydrogen and sodium in plants and soil giving information about their composition and structure.