Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Image-conscious researchers to meet at symposium

21 November 2012

Image-conscious researchers to meet at symposium

New Zealand technologies being developed to more accurately deliver anticancer drugs, locate the sites where drugs are “switched on”, and to model the skin over a person’s entire body, are just some of the topics that will be discussed at the Maurice Wilkins Centre’s annual symposium on Friday 23 November.

The event, titled “New ways to image the body – from macro to nano” will present the latest imaging technology vital to the progression of medical science in the clinic and the laboratory. The day will begin with technologies used to image the whole body and its organs and move progressively down in scale to the imaging of individual molecules.

“Imaging helps us to understand what’s happening in the body in health and disease, and how it responds to treatment, so it’s a critical tool for both clinicians and scientists,” says Director of the Maurice Wilkins Centre Professor Rod Dunbar. “Exciting new imaging technologies are being developed in New Zealand, and the symposium is an opportunity to share this expertise and hopefully spark new scientific collaborations.”

Amongst the presenters, Dr Jeff Smaill from the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre (ACSRC) will describe research on a new way to “switch on” anti-cancer drugs only where they are needed. With colleagues Dr Adam Patterson from the ACSRC and Dr David Ackerley from Victoria University of Wellington, and collaborators at Nottingham and Maastricht Universities, he is developing a bacterium that selectively colonises tumours and, once there, produces an enzyme that converts otherwise inactive “pro-drugs” into potent anti-cancer agents.

To ensure this occurs only in tumours, the system is designed so that the enzyme also switches on a PET imaging agent, lighting up the parts of the body where the bacterium and therefore the enzyme is present. The New Zealand researchers are members of the Maurice Wilkins Centre and the Centre is helping to fund the work.

International speaker Dr Daniel Hausermann, head of the Imaging and Medical Beamline Team at the Australian Synchrotron, will discuss new capabilities for biological research. The synchrotron, an electron accelerator the size of a football field, creates extremely bright light that is channelled in beamlines for research. Its new imaging and medical beamline – the longest in the world – can be used to study biological structures such as blood vessels and dynamic process like breathing. New Zealand scientists routinely use the synchrotron and will learn about its new capabilities at the symposium.

Some of the other technologies to be presented on the day include: a new way of combining ultrasound and MRI imaging in real-time so that doctors can more precisely place needles to deliver cancer drugs; computer modelling an individual’s whole skin and body shape to more accurately mark sites of disease or treatment; a new molecular probe that improves the resolution of MRI; and nano-scale three-dimensional mapping of cells.

Further details including the full programme are available at:

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Land & Water Forum: Fourth Report On Water Management

The Land and Water Forum (LWF) today published its fourth report, outlining 60 new consensus recommendations for how New Zealand should improve its management of fresh water and calling on the Government to urgently adopt all of its recommendations from earlier reports. More>>



Welcome Home: Record High Migration Stokes 41-Year High Population Growth

New Zealand annual net migration hit a new high in October as more people arrived from than departed for Australia for the first time in more than 20 years. More>>


Citizens' Advice Bureau: Report Shows Desperate Housing Situation Throughout NZ

CAB's in-depth analysis of over 2000 client enquiries about emergency accommodation shows vulnerable families, pregnant women and children living in cars and garages, even after seeking assistance from the Ministry of Social Development and Housing New Zealand. More>>


Speaking For The Bees: Greens Call For Neonicotinoid Pesticide Ban

The National Government should ban the use of controversial pesticides called neonicotinoids after evidence has revealed that even at low doses they cause harm to bee populations, the Green Party said today. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news