The Australian Cancer Research Foundation’s (ACRF) Cancer Biology Imaging Facility is one of the largest and most comprehensively equipped facilities in Australia for both the imaging and screening of chemical and biological libraries. The facility is home to 22 high-performance microscopes and supporting image data analysis workstations, with facility staff on-site to provide users with expert technical support and training.
During the past 12 months, 206 unique users across the university used the facility for a total of 18,800 hours to conduct advanced live imaging of cancer cells to help unravel the molecular reasons why healthy cells turn cancerous and spread through the body. Capabilities of the facility include laser scanning and spinning disc confocal microscopy, deconvolution, high-throughput multi-well imaging, and 3D optical projection tomography (OPT).
Data generated from facility equipment featured in more than 30 publications in 2015, and highlighted a range of discoveries, including a protocol that prompts stem cells to form all the required cell types to ‘self-organise’ into a mini-kidney in a dish, and the discovery of a protein in cells that could block the escape route of potentially cancerous cells and stop them spreading to other parts of the body.
The ACRF Cancer Biology Imaging Facility was founded in 2009 with a $2.5 million ACRF grant and was designed to complement and extend the work of the existing ACRF Dynamic Imaging Facility, which was established in 2003.