Minister for Higher Education, Gayle Tierney, joined researchers at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute to officially announce an investment of more than $14.8 million to support the upgrade and expansion of critical imaging capabilities across several research sites, through the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund.

In partnership with the Victorian Biomedical Imaging Capability (VBIC), the total investment into Victoria’s imaging capabilities equates to just over $50 million through collaborative co-investment.

This funding supports National Imaging Facility’s (NIF) network of imaging research facilities in Victoria, including the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute and La Trobe University, The Florey, Monash University, Swinburne University of Technology, and University of Melbourne in partnership with Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Austin Health.

The new and expanded imaging capabilities will ensure that Victoria remains at the forefront of drug discovery and new medical treatments by providing cutting-edge, open access infrastructure for both academia and industry.

“Collaborative projects such as this demonstrate how our government is supporting higher education and industry to become international leaders in their field,” said The Hon Gayle Tierney, Minister for Higher Education.

Critical medical research in dementia and cancer as well as agriculture research will be enabled by the co-investment, which includes $26.7 million from NIF through the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) funding scheme.

Expanded preclinical imaging capabilities at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute / La Trobe University School of Cancer Medicine, including a PET/MRI scanner, will support important drug discovery and testing of treatments before entering early phase clinical trials. In addition, upgrades to radiochemistry hot cell facilities at Austin Health will support the design and development of novel cancer treatment.

Head of the Tumour Targeting Program at Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, and Director of the Department of Molecular Imaging and Therapy at Austin Health, Professor Andrew Scott AM, expressed the profound impact that this funding would have on patients.

“This funding from the Victorian Government and the National Imaging Facility, will provide cutting-edge imaging technologies to assist with biomedical research, drug discovery and identifying disease processes in patients.”

“Through new imaging techniques we can diagnose conditions such as cancer, dementia and heart disease earlier than previously possible, which can lead to improved treatments and outcomes for patients and their families,” said Professor Andrew Scott AM.


Read more about the imaging capability upgrades across other Institutes in the Victorian Government’s media release.

Learn more about the National Imaging Facility