CURRENT PROJECTS

The Ramaciotti Imaging Centre is a core facility of the University of Sydney, located at the Brain & Mind Research Institute (BMRI) on the Camperdown health research precinct.

The researchers housed in this centre study the biology of mental health and illness using in vivo molecular imaging techniques.

Through novel molecular probes, imaging technologies such as microPET, and data analysis models, they aim to establish causal links between altered gene expression/regulation patterns and disease phenotypes in living subjects.

A further aim is to contribute to the ongoing development of the platform technologies that underpin the rapidly evolving field of in vivo molecular imaging.

The Brain & Mind Research Institute maintains strong links to other academic institutions across Australia and internationally.

It houses some of the most advanced imaging technologies based on the molecular tracer principle.

Its main research activity is the development of novel biomarkers and non-invasive imaging technologies that can be used to improve our understanding of disease and, ultimately, lead to better diagnosis and treatment of debilitating illnesses, such as cancer, dementia and psychoses.

Advanced data analysis approaches are used to link the measurements, such as receptor densities, made in the living organism to other complex data sets on gene and protein regulation.

This approach aims at translating basic research into clinical application.

Current active research projects include:

  • development and evaluation of quantitative microPET methodology
  • performance evaluation and optimisation of multi-pinhole small animal SPECT
  • anatomical and kinetic priors for PET image reconstruction
  • motion tracking and correction during microPET imaging experiments
  • tracer kinetic modelling of new ligands for imaging activated microglia
  • expression of the mitochondrial translocator protein (also known as peripheral benzodiazepine receptor) in brain tumour