Australian Synchrotron and Medical Research
Dr Graeme Polglase
Professor Gary Egan
Professor Stuart Hooper
Hosted by the Monash Biomedical Imaging Group
Tuesday 15th July 2014
6:00 PM for 6:15 PM Start
Venue: Australian Synchrotron
800 Blackburn Rd, Clayton VIC
Attendance for the tour is capped at the first 75 people to register. If you would like to attend the tour please register your attendance ASAP at
Presentation: Early Detection of Preterm Brain Injury
Dr Graeme Polglase
Dr Polglase’s current research focuses on improving the respiratory, cardiovascular and neurological outcome of infants born preterm. Being born preterm is the single greatest cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality. His findings continue to expand understanding of how key events during fetal development, birth, and post delivery influence the pulmonary, cardiovascular, and cerebral circulation lead to organ inflammation and injury to improve
outcomes. As the single greatest cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality, he hopes this
work will improve outcomes for some of our tiniest patients.
Dr Polglase is an internationally recognised physiologist who leads the Perinatal Transition Research group, within The Ritchie Centre, MIMR-PHI Institute and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Monash University. Dr Polglase's research focuses on improving outcomes of preterm and compromised term infants. His research influences clinical practise as evidenced by his publications cited in Australian, European and International resuscitation guidelines.
Dr Polglase’s particular accomplishments include the awarding of NHMRC fellowships (early career fellowship and career development fellowship), the inaugural Rebecca L. Cooper Medical Research Fellowship, and significant funding from the NIH, NHMRC, National Heart Foundation of Australia, Cerebral Palsy Alliance and Financial Markets for Children. Dr Polglase has 80 career publications, 2 book chapters and >1000 citations.
Presentation: Monash Biomedical Imaging – Capabilities and Clinical Applications
Professor Gary Egan
Monash University has a world-class integrated network of technology platforms in the areas of biomedicine, science and engineering. The Monash Biomedical Imaging (MBI) research platform currently operates the following research infrastructure: an advanced 3 Tesla MRI scanner (human clinical and large animal preclinical), a 9.4 Tesla MRI scanner for small animal research, a small animal PET-SPECT-CT scanner, a small animal PET-CT scanner,
and a small animal fluorescence scanner.
The MBI facility is located adjacent to and connected with the Australian Synchrotron Imaging and Medical Beam Line, which together constitute the only integrated synchrotron imaging and multi-modality biomedical imaging research facility worldwide.
A key objective of the MBI platform is to achieve excellence in clinical and preclinical imaging capability in order to support scientific discoveries in biomedical research, and in particular to accelerate translation of the discoveries into clinical research and clinical practice. The biomedical imaging methods and techniques currently in use and being implemented at MBI will be presented, and recent findings using these techniques will be discussed.
Gary Egan is the Foundation Director of the Monash Biomedical Imaging (MBI) research facilities and Professor in the School of Psychological Sciences at Monash University. The MBI research infrastructure includes advanced ultrahigh field MRI and PET-CT scanners for clinical and preclinical research. The MBI facilities are located adjacent to and connected with the Australian Synchrotron that is the only integrated synchrotron imaging and multi-modality biomedical imaging research facility worldwide.
Gary is the Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Integrative Brain Function to understand the link between brain activity and human behaviour. He is also the Deputy Director of the Australian National Imaging Facility and node director of the Monash University node of NIF. He leads the development of advanced MRI methods to develop MR biomarkers for use in future clinical drug trials in neurodegenerative diseases.
His research focuses on the development of neuroimaging biomarkers to enable identification of progressive neurodegeneration and neural dysfunction in the clinical neurosciences.
Egan has published over 220 papers in peer reviewed journals and has a Google h-index of 58 with over 9,000 citations (see http://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=XyuvcXMAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao). He has been a chief investigator (CI) on 23 peer reviewed funded grants in the past five years that have received over $40 million in funding.
Presentation: Functional Lung Imaging
Professor Stuart Hooper
Imaging the first breaths after birth using a synchrotron.
The transition to newborn life at birth represents one of the greatest physiological challenges that any human will encounter during their lives. Before birth the fetal lungs are filled with liquid and this liquid must be cleared at birth to allow the entry of air and the start of pulmonary gas exchange. This process of lung aeration is not only critical for the onset of air-breathing, but also triggers major changes in the cardiovascular system. These changes include rapid restructuring of the circulatory system, which transforms it into the adult phenotype that is required for independent life.
To study the process of lung aeration at birth, we have developed a X-ray imaging technique that uses synchrotron radiation to resolve the air/liquid interfaces in the lung with a high degree of resolution. The technique, called phase contrast X-ray imaging, uses the refractive index difference between air and water to produce contrast of all air/liquid boundaries within the lung. As the lung is liquid-filled before birth it displays no absorption contrast with surrounding tissues and no phase contrast and so is not visible using this technique.
However, as air enters the lungs after birth the air-filled airways strongly exhibit contrast and immediately become visible. Consecutive images acquired during this process can be compiled into movies and, as a result, the entry air into the lungs can be visualized allowing the factors that regulate this process to be studied in detail. Using this technique we have identified the primary mechanisms regulating lung aeration at birth, which has overturned almost 40 years of accepted scientific wisdom. Furthermore, based on the concepts derived from this knowledge, we have been able to identify ventilation strategies that assist infants born very premature to aerate their lungs after birth. Premature infants commonly struggle to clear their lungs of liquid and commence effective gas exchange at birth. This can have severe consequences for the infant, including death or severe life-long disability, which requires substantial clinical intervention if it is to be avoided. Our primary research aim is to improve the outcomes for these infants, who are the most vulnerable in our society.
Professor Stuart Hooper is a NHMRC Principal Research Fellow and Head of the Ritchie Centre, MIMR-PHI and Research Director for Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Monash University. He is a fetal and neonatal physiologist whose research focuses on fetal and neonatal lung development and cardiovascular physiology as well as on understanding the fetal to neonatal transition at birth.