Finding cures for children's genetic diseases


World’s best researchers need world’s best technology


Having the most experienced researchers in the world means nothing if they don’t have the appropriate tools to support their expertise, so at Children’s Medical Research Institute it is vital we stay on top of the latest advancements in technology.

In coming weeks we will be upgrading a microscope that is used by many of the teams of researchers at CMRI, so that they can all work smarter and faster.

The LSM 880 Airyscan microscope was the first of its kind installed in Australia when it was originally set up at CMRI in 2015. It is in the Australian Cancer Research Foundation Telomere Analysis Centre (ATAC) on level 2 of our building at Westmead. This is where the researchers look at the cellular function of telomeres and their emerging role in cancer risk.

ATAC manager Dr Scott Page said they would be upgrading the Airyscan in February.
"It is great to be able to add to the capabilities we’ve already got and this upgrade is very exciting because it will speed up the rate at which we can take very detailed images of live cells,’’ he said.
"A lot of the time, proteins in live cells move around faster than we can keep track of them, so if we can accelerate how fast we snap images, we can catch that movement. We will be able to capture more images per second and see those proteins move in live cells in super-resolution."

Dr Page said that researchers may know that a drug causes a particular reaction in a cancer cell, but they may not know why.

Scott-ATAC2-(4).jpg"By studying what is happening inside the cell, we can begin to understand why the drug is having the effect it does,’’ he said. "If we understand that pathway, it can open up a whole new world of possibilities for different approaches to treating diseases."

All the researchers at CMRI appreciate the support of donors in making these technical upgrades possible.

"When new enhancements come out, everyone gets very excited, but people often don’t realize how expensive they are. It’s good to have ongoing support that allows us to keep adding these new capabilities and to keep us functioning at such a high standard."