Since the very beginning, MMI has attracted to its ranks medical imaging researchers. Our doctors and scientific staff have a passion for medical imaging and its application to medical/scientific research and trial projects. While the plaster was still drying on the walls of Macquarie University Hospital, MMI was scanning their first clinical patients. Our research-grade equipment and skilled staff quickly started to attract the attention of serious research groups and trial groups.
MMI currently provides imaging for 109 clinical trials and academic research studies. this does not include the research and trial studies that have concluded over the last 9 years. Of these, 65% are for trials or project conducted by Macquarie University. MMI also had 41 in-house research projects to enhance our ability to acquire the highest quality medical imaging. Working with international partners we are able to create imaging protocols, acquire the necessary imaging ligands (radio-pharmaceuticals), obtain local ethics approval in a short amount of time. Often we are asked by our research partners to create novel imaging techniques specific to research/trial projects. We are also experienced in transferring the medical imaging data to different platforms all over the world.
- Some of these studies include:
- The Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) study: MMI was the only site in the Southern Hemisphere to be selected The Michael J Fox Foundation for this trial. Based on results from MMI, this study changed the way they viewed and assessed the imaging.
- In a new trial, MMI will be the first site in Australia to conduct PET scan using Zirconium. If the trial is successful, this ligand can be utilised locally to deliver therapeutic agents to cancerous tumours.
- With Prof Antonio Di Ieva, MMI was the first in the Southern Hemisphere to successfully conduct MR spectroscopy of 2HG, a non-invasive method to classify tissue of a brain tumour.
- For Prof Grieve, MMI is conducting a cardiac MRI validation study with 300 participants. As a result of this work, MMI is a GE global reference site for cardiac MRI.
- MMI was the first in the world to conduct a diffusion tensor image acquisition with 1150 directions, with a human participant. As a result of this work, a new white matter pathway has been discovered (see publications).
- Planned future studies include Assessing head trauma in professional football players with MRI
MMI has acquired advanced CT imaging equipment that has proven to be very useful to the ancient history and marine biology faculties at Macquarie University. MMI has been able to successfully perform CT scans on mummies, coiled up clay tablets containing information on contract from thousands of years ago, and on endangered marine specimens. The CT data can be used to reconstruct 3D images of the mummies, take inventory of items buried with the mummies, electronically uncoil the dry clay tablets containing contractual information, and to look at the biology of marine specimens.
This broad application of our research-grade equipment has given our staff a distinctive edge in medical imaging. In light of this experience and new knowledge, our staff continually refine our clinical imaging protocols to create the very best imaging techniques for our patients. MMI is leading the way in medical imaging.
For any enquirers regarding research/trial projects or for information regarding our clinical imaging protocols please feel free to contact MMI to discuss any issue.