Team Parizel/Francis opens imaging facility in Western Australia

ESR past president Prof. Paul Parizel, PhD, nuclear medicine physician Ros Francis, PhD, and colleagues have opened an advanced imaging facility in Western Australia. Over 200 people attended the recent official launch event, according to a news release.

The WA National Imaging Facility (WA NIF) Node now houses the region's first research-dedicated human MRI and PET/CT scanners, in addition to its existing preclinical capabilities. The McCusker Auditorium in the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Nedlands, where the event was held was "filled to the brim," officials said.

The opening ceremony started with an academic session, with speeches by Francis (associate professor of molecular imaging with the University of Western Australia [UWA] in Perth and is head of nuclear medicine at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital), Minister Stephen Dawson, Parizel (inaugural David Hartley chair of radiology at UWA), Prof. Anna Nowak (deputy vice-chancellor [research] of the UWA), as well as dignitaries representing the Department of Health, WA Health Translation Network, and the NIF.

Ultimately, the new facility will underpin potentially life-changing clinical trials in neuroscience and cancer, officials said.

Among key projects to benefit will be a study led by Prof. Fiona Wood and Dr. Mark Fear that compares the brains of children who have had a burn injury to those of the same age who have not had a burn. This follows earlier studies that found children who had burn injuries were more likely to be admitted to hospital for mental health treatment.

An Alzheimer’s disease study, led by Curtin University’s Prof. John Mamo, will use both PET-CT and MRI to investigate the impact of the cholesterol-lowering drug Probucol on cognitive function, according to the press statement.

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