Global BioImaging is an international network of imaging and microscopy infrastructures and communities that span seventeen countries. Recognizing that scientific, technical and data challenges are universal rather than restricted by geographical boundaries, it brings together imaging facility operators and technical staff, scientists, managers and science policy officers from around the globe, to network, exchange experiences and build capacity internationally.
Through Global BioImaging we can provide our staff with opportunities to attend workshops for exchange of experience, international training courses for staff of imaging core facilities, and participate in an international job shadowing program. We also host staff from around the world along with events to foster collaboration within the international microscopy community.
In addition to the many research collaborations and connections that our staff and facility users have with researchers and institutions in Europe, Microscopy Australia has a formal collaboration framework with Euro-BioImaging, a large pan-European network of microscopy and imaging facilities. The objective of this relationship is mutual benefit in the establishment of collaborative infrastructure that supports research in the areas of biological and medical sciences.
For our users in Australia, this means enhanced bioimaging capability. For our colleagues in Euro-BioImaging it means learning from Microscopy Australia’s experience in forming and operating large distributed research infrastructure. It also provides the opportunity for the professional development of technical staff through the International Job Shadowing Program.
In 2012 University of Western Australia (UWA) became the first university in the world to join the United Nations international nuclear verification program, by using the Microscopy Australia’s advanced ion microprobe technology to help monitor global nuclear safeguards. This followed a stringent qualification process that took more than two years to complete and was led by our UWA Flagship Engineers. The Cameca IMS 1280 ion microprobe is used to analyse micrometre-sized environmental dust particles collected by IAEA inspectors from nuclear facilities around the world, to search for evidence of illicit weapons development programs.
EMBL Australia are formally working with us to establish programs of research collaboration underpinned by the capabilities of Microscopy Australia. These programs bring significant benefits to the communities served by both institutions.
As an associate member of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, EMBL Australia was formed to foster and enhance Australia’s international reach in life sciences research and strengthen Australia’s position as a leader in biotechnology research. The centrepiece of EMBL Australia is its Partner Laboratory Network (PLN) consisting of 14 research groups led by outstanding early-career researchers at nodes in Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and the ACT. EMBL Australia also offers student training programs, bioinformatics support for Australian life science researchers and access to international linkages through EMBL and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI).
NIF is an Australia-wide collaborative network of world-class imaging infrastructure at the macro scale. In 2012 NIF colocated a new bioimaging facility at the Microscopy Australia facility in the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre, University of Western Australia (UWA). This provides a continuum of imaging capability from the microscopic scale to X-ray microtomography, bioluminescence and multispectral imaging of living animals.
This continuity enhances our ability to support a whole range of research projects including those in cancer biology, drug development, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
The Australian Synchrotron uses accelerator technology to produce a powerful source of light – X-rays and infrared radiation – a million times brighter than the sun. The facility has ten different experimental stations, or beamlines, which harness that light so researchers can see the fundamental structure and composition of materials, on scales ranging from the atomic to the macroscopic – with a level of detail, speed and accuracy not possible in conventional laboratories. The techniques provided by the Synchrotron are complementary to those offered by Microscopy Australia. Our experts can help facilitate our users’ access to the most appropriate technology.
Deuteration enables scientists to use neutron-based techniques such as small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) (QUOKKA), neutron reflectometry (PLATYPUS), neutron diffraction, neutron spectroscopy, neutron crystallography and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) or IR based techniques more effectively in the investigation of the relationship between the structure and function of proteins, DNA, synthetic polymers or other materials known as ’soft matter’. Our experts work closely with ANSTO staff to support users access the most appropriate technology.
The National Committee for Materials Science & Engineering links the Academy of Science to Microscopy Australia in order to foster interdisciplinary materials science and engineering in Australia and internationally. See our connections with the Australian Academy of Science.