New $2.5m MRI machine upgrades brain research capabilities

Heralding a new era in brain imaging for The Florey, a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine has been installed into its new home at the Heidelberg campus.

Following extensive collaboration between The Florey, the National Imaging Facility (NIF), Siemens, Austin Health and other critical partners, the new Siemens Magnetom Vida 3T MRI Scanner will give researchers unparalleled insight into what is happening in the brain.

The $2.5m model, co-funded by The Florey and NIF, will enable high-quality personalized exams for clinical research – a key diagnostics tool used in epilepsy, dementia, mental health conditions and the developing brain.

The new machine will replace one of the existing MRI machines – decommissioned after 10 years of service.

“This installation future-proofs our MRI needs,” said Associate Professor Heath Pardoe, Academic Lead for The Florey’s MRI facility.

“MRI technology is vital in giving Florey researchers the knowledge they need for solving brain and mind problems with world-leading neurological research, right here in Melbourne.”

The new machine is larger than its predecessor, allowing more patients to have MRI scans. It will also be compatible with new MRI equipment being installed at The Florey early next year; this includes a key piece of equipment for researchers to perform non-invasive thermal ablations with MRI-guided ultrasound for conditions such as essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease.

An additional capability of the new machine will be technology which corrects head motion during scans –enabling researchers to perform high-quality MRI scans on patients prone to moving without anaesthetic. Our second MRI machine will be upgraded to incorporate this new capability early next year.

The MRI will join our existing machines used for research projects.