28 July 2010
Monash University and technology company Siemens have signed an agreement to establish a biomedical imaging research centre to be located at the University's Clayton campus.
The project will see the development of the Clayton Biomedical Imaging Laboratories at 770 Blackburn Road.
The dedicated centre of excellence has been designed to support biomedical research and will also have the technological capabilities to support a wide range of engineering and scientific research.
The facility will be fitted out with a suite of Siemens imaging products including computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) scanning.
Monash and Siemens have also agreed to invest in a collaborative research program to develop new technologies and methods in medical imaging.
Monash University's Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Research Platforms Professor Ian Smith said the centre would complement existing biomedical and imaging research infrastructure in the Clayton precinct.
"We have an opportunity to create a comprehensive, world-class, imaging environment. The partnership with Siemens will ensure that we build and operate absolutely state-of-the-art capabilities to support the excellent and innovative research taking place within the Clayton precinct," Professor Smith said.
The facility will support a wide range of research projects undertaken by Monash University and its collaborating organisations including CSIRO, the Australian Synchrotron, Southern Health (Monash Medical Centre), Prince Henry's Institute and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Chairman and CEO of Siemens Albert Goller said the partnership was a step forward in positioning Australia as a world-leader in biomedical research.
"This partnership demonstrates a strong commitment to the advancement of medical imaging research. This centre could potentially revolutionise the future of health care and allow us to adapt rapidly to the changing demands of patients and healthcare professionals across Australia," Mr Goller said.
Monash University will be the first organisation in Australia to receive the latest imaging equipment, the MAGNETOM Skyra 3Tesla MRI, which will be operational by early 2011.
Professor Smith said the Skyra offered new flexibility for research applications in areas such as neurosciences, cardiovascular disease, cancer, regenerative medicine and obesity.
"The new equipment significantly improves image quality and consistency, reduces scanning time and increases efficiency by about 30 per cent, leading to faster diagnosis, more responsive treatment and a more productive research environment," Professor Smith said.