ARC Centre of Excellence for Advanced Molecular Imaging

Science in Public helped the ARC Centre of Excellence for Advanced Molecular Imaging in 2014 and 2015 through its establishment phase and launches. Read more about the current work of the Centre at www.imagingcoe.org.

Not long ago, the centre of the Milky Way exploded

Researchers find evidence of a cataclysmic flare that punched so far out of the Galaxy its impact was felt 200,000 light years away.

An artist’s impression of the massive bursts of ionising radiation exploding from the centre of the Milky Way and impacting the Magellanic Stream.
Credit: James Josephides/ASTRO 3D

A titanic, expanding beam of energy sprang from close to the supermassive black hole in the centre of the Milky Way just 3.5 million years ago, sending a cone-shaped burst of radiation through both poles of the Galaxy and out into deep space.

That’s the finding arising from research conducted by a team of scientists led by Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn from Australia’s ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D) and soon to be published in The Astrophysical Journal.

[continue reading…]

Carnivorous mushrooms reveal human immune trick

ImagingCoE logo

How we punch our way into cancer cells

Full media release, media contacts, photos, videos and background information below.  

Full paper here

The pore-forming pleurotolysin proteins

The pore-forming pleurotolysin proteins

Edible oyster mushrooms have an intriguing secret: they eat spiders and roundworms. And they do so using proteins which can punch their way into cells, leaving tidy but deadly holes. It’s a trick that our immune cells also use to protect us; destroying infected cells, cancerous cells, and bacteria.

Research published today in PLOS Biology by an international team, led by the ARC Imaging Centre at Monash University and Birkbeck College, in London, reveals the molecular process behind the punch. [continue reading…]

A titanic electron microscope that snap-freezes cells to reveal immune secrets

Today: a $20 million microscope facility opens at Monash at 11 am. 

A unique electron microscope launched today at Monash University, Melbourne, will transform the way we view the human immune system, and advance Australian research towards better treatment for diseases from cancer and malaria to diabetes, rheumatism and multiple sclerosis.

The FEI Titan Krios cryo-electron microscope is the centrepiece of the $20 million Clive and Vera Ramaciotti Centre for Structural Cryo Electron Microscopy. Standing 3m tall, weighing around a tonne, and with a powerful 300kV electron gun, it’s a true giant of a machine. More below.

On 6 February in PLoS Biology (6am AEDT) carnivorous mushrooms will reveal an intriguing secret that has implications for the human immune system. Embargoed release online at www.scienceinpublic.com.au. Call me for the password.

On 15 February in San Jose, California, we’re hosting our annual dinner for journalists attending the AAAS (Association for the Advancement of Science). Contact me if you’ll be there.

Kind regards,
Niall [continue reading…]

A titanic electron microscope that snap-freezes cells to reveal immune secrets

Launch of the $20 million Clive and Vera Ramaciotti Centre for Structural Cryo Electron Microscopy

  • Monash University, Melbourne
  • 11 am Monday 2 February 2015

 With Prof Aidan Byrne, CEO of the Australian Research Council; Prof Edwina Cornish, Provost and Senior Vice-President, Monash University; and Caitriona Fay, National Manager Philanthropy, Perpetual.

A unique $5 million electron microscope launched today at Monash University, Melbourne, will transform the way we view the human immune system, and advance Australian research towards better treatment for diseases from cancer and malaria to diabetes, rheumatism and multiple sclerosis.

[continue reading…]

A new way of looking at the immune system; Imaging Centre launch

ImagingCoE logo

  • Launch 15 October 2014 from 11 am at Building 75 (STRIP Building), Monash University, Clayton. Click for map.
  • With Professor Aidan Byrne, CEO of the Australian Research Council and MP Michael Sukkar.

The $39 million ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging launches today with the mission of changing the way we see the immune system.

Understanding our immune system is central to fighting cancer and infectious diseases. And understanding why our immune system sometimes over-reacts is critical to tackling auto-immune diseases.

Yet many of the workings of our immune systems are a mystery, especially at a molecular level – for example:

  • How does trauma and infection trigger inflammation?
  • How does a T-cell recognise an infected and cancerous cell?
  • And how does it persuade other T-cells to join the fight?
  • What happens when our immune system over-reacts?
  • How is coeliac disease triggered?
  • How do diabetes and other autoimmune diseases start?
  • How can we persuade the immune system to accept organ transplants?

[continue reading…]

Six new Group Leaders partnering with EMBL Australia and other news from the Imaging Centre of Excellence

Posted on behalf of James Whisstock, Director Imaging CoE

The Centre is collaborating with EMBL Australia to expand the highly successful EMBL Australia Group Leader program at UNSW and Monash. The program offers a five-year funded position, extended to a maximum of nine years subject to an external review.

Two new five-year EMBL Australia Group Leaders working in light microscopy and single molecule science will be recruited to UNSW.  The new Group Leaders will benefit from close linkages to the UNSW node of the Centre led by Chief Investigator Kat Gaus and with her new single molecule imaging centre.

At Monash University a further four new EMBL Australia Group Leader opportunities are being created.  Two of these researchers will be in protein crystallography and electron microscopy and will have natural synergy with the structural and cell biology directions of the Imaging Centre. A further two Group Leaders will be recruited in regenerative medicine and based at ARMI, the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute. 

Altogether this represents a new funding commitment of $21 million to the EMBL Australia Group Leader program and will represent a major opportunity to recruit new talent to our shores.  An international recruitment drive is being developed, and the formal advertisements for the positions will be released through EMBL Australia in the coming couple of weeks.
[continue reading…]