Improved imaging access for WA researchers
- New imaging technology to exclusively support innovative medical research in WA
- Equipment purchased by the Future Health Research and Innovation (FHRI) Fund
- Improved imaging makes clinical trials more accessible to more Western Australians
Western Australian researchers now have exclusive access to world class medical imaging technology with the expansion of the National Imaging Facility's Western Australian (WANIF) node.
The Cook Government's Future Health Research and Innovation (FHRI) Fund has contributed $2.3 million towards the new imaging infrastructure - accounting for half of the State Government's $4.5 million overall contribution to the facility.
The imaging equipment, including a 3 Tesla Medical Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine and a PET/CT scanner, is now available at the QEII Medical Campus.
It means WA researchers will no longer need to compete for bookings to access medical imaging equipment at public hospitals.
Research which focuses on the body's response to burn trauma in children and its effect on the brain, is just one project that will benefit from the upgraded imaging facilities.
The project is looking at why children who suffer a serious burn are up to five times more likely to be admitted to hospital for their mental health, which can be years after the burn trauma.
Using MRI scans, researchers will compare the brains of children at least a year after their burn injury to children of the same age who have not had a burn to see if inflammation after a burn injury might cause changes in the brain.
The study will help better understand who might need more resources and support to improve their long-term mental health after a burn.
Researchers using the new scanners will also be able to take advantage of WANIF's in-house expertise, with three research fellows available to assist with research design and analysis.
Today's launch is the culmination of a collaboration between the University of Western Australia which hosts WANIF, WA's four other universities, the Commonwealth and State Government's and a host of philanthropic partners.
Comments attributed to Medical Research Minister Stephen Dawson:
"The Cook Government is proud to support this important initiative, which we know will have enduring benefits for the research sector and the future health of the WA community.
"This new infrastructure will not only make it easier for our researchers to undertake investigations requiring medical imaging - it will also strengthen their competitiveness for national research funding.
"It will also
increase opportunities for WA to be involved in nationally coordinated clinical
trials, giving WA patients better access to emerging treatments and therapies."