NSW will soon be home to a new range of cutting-edge technologies to reduce the impact of cancer, including a world-first super-resolution microscope.
Announced this week, the Cancer Institute NSW is funding universities and research institutes across the state through the Research Equipment Grants program to introduce technologies that will change cancer research.
NSW Chief Cancer Officer and CEO of the Cancer Institute NSW, Professor David Currow, says the ground-breaking equipment will enhance the state’s commitment to producing some of the best cancer researchers in the world and further promote collaboration in the NSW cancer research sector.
“It is vital researchers have access to the most innovative research technologies that will help them accelerate their research discoveries into new treatments for people with cancer."
"Collaboration is key to driving advancements in cancer research and to this end we have ensured that these technologies will be made available for the use of researchers across the State,” Professor Currow says.
What will the technologies do?
Single-objective selective plane illumination microscope – a world-first
Through the Institute’s $4 million investment, NSW will be home to the world’s first pre-production prototype of the Single-objective selective plane illumination microscope (soSPIM).
Being installed at UNSW later this year, it will give researchers ultrafast and super-resolved images of cancer cells in their natural environment.
For people living with cancer, it could accelerate new discoveries and treatments, opening the way for the development of new drugs.
More details on the soSPIM microscope - Institute for Interdisciplinary Neuroscience
Chromium Platform – unexplored opportunities
The funding will bring southern hemisphere’s first Chromium Platform to the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.
It will allow researchers to detect large genomic structural rearrangements that are missed by conventional sequencing technologies.
The discovery and characterisation of these genomic alterations will open up previously unexplored diagnostic and therapeutic opportunities for people with cancer.
More details about the Chromium platform - 10x Genomics
Fast Field Cycling – improving cancer detection
Another Australian first is the installation of the Fast Field Cycling nuclear magnetic resonance (FFC NMR) relaxometer at Western Sydney University.
This technology will allow researchers to design next generation contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
It means clearer, more information rich MRIs to improve the early detection of cancers.
More on Fast Field Cycling technology - Stelar
Orbitrap Fusion Lumos mass spectrometer – investigating treatments
UNSW will receive the latest generation mass spectrometer to help undertake a large array of innovative cancer research.
Research teams at UNSW and Children’s Cancer Institute will use the technology to investigate treatments for leukaemia, non small cell lung cancer, brain cancer, neuroblastoma and pancreatic cancer.
More details about the mass spectrometer - ThermoFisher Scientific
Also included in the funding are:
- Super-resolution light microscope – UNSW
- Multichannel fluorescence intravital video microscopy system – Anzac Research Institute
- ZEISS LSM 800 Confocal Microscope – University of Sydney
- CBCT-guided focal irradiator – University of Sydney.
See the full list of recipients and find out more about Research Equipment Grants from the Cancer Institute NSW.