Tag Archives: Partner

CNBP conference veteran talks about his links to the Centre

Professor Dennis Matthews is one of CNBP’s oldest friends, having been coming to Australia from his home in California each year for nearly seven years as a member of its International Science Committee.

“I’ve actually been coming here since before the CNBP inception. They were just getting their act together for the initial grant when I first visited,” he says.

Professor Matthews was trained as physicist, but for most of his working life he has been involved in the development of medical devices.

His multidisciplinary life is reflected in his position as professor at University of California Davis in both the Department of Neurological Surgery and the College of Engineering. He was at one time also director of UC Davis’ Center for Biophotonics, Science, and Technology.

“I was hired into the neurological department not because I knew anything about neurosurgery but because they wanted their physicians to have more opportunity to do early stage research, even before it could be translated to the clinic,” he says.

He “abandoned physics 30 or 40 years ago”, drawn to things that were more hands-on and, around that time, he met a medical doctor who wanted to develop better instrumentation.
“I told him I didn’t know anything about medicine so he should go away. But he didn’t.”

That started a long history of working with doctors and bioscientists to develop technology that helped in their work.

“Biological scientists are incredibly smart at what they do but they are not so smart at measuring it,” he says.

“I don’t know what their problems are, of course, so they tell me what they are trying to achieve and I tell them ways to get at the solutions to their problems – and we help each other along the way.

“What I like about it, and CNBP works very nicely in this respect, is that you ‘bootstrap’ it. I tell the bioscientists I can do something but I’m not quite sure I know how to do it. So they challenge me to make technology progress at the same time.”

He believes CNBP has some unique strengths – “I wouldn’t travel around 13,000km to come here otherwise”.

Dennis Matthews presenting at CNBP’s 2019 conference

He was first introduced to the centre by the inaugural director, Professor Tanya Munro. “I thought she had an extremely good vision of where all this could go and perhaps an even better way of communicating that vision.” Since then, he says, current director Professor Mark Hutchinson has emerged as an incredible thought leader as well.

Professor Matthews says he likes the way the CNBP brings themes together and its “Mission Impossible” approach to throwing multidisciplinary teams of experts at problems.

As a technologist he was also drawn to the IPAS fibre optics group, and the way it was developing fibre sensors to interrogate places that might otherwise be invisible.
Two biological research themes particularly interested him.

“Many of the things here are important to me but there were two that were exceptional and that was Mark’s [Hutchinson] work on neuroscience applied to pain, and particularly his interest in developing a “painometer”.

He was also attracted to the IVF research under Chief Investigator Professor Jeremy Thompson.

“My daughter had two children by IVF and so my interests were already a bit piqued. But I was also interested to see if we could make the whole thing work better.”

Secondly was the possibility of making sure the highest quality embryos were developed and then implanted.

“That whole notion was extremely fascinating and provocative to me,” he says. “I think that we are going to learn how to make embryos healthier in normal conception. And if we can make the healthiest baby possible it can lead to a lifetime of good health.”

Personal experience also lay at the heart of his interest in Professor Hutchinson’s work on pain, which, while important to help people cope at a personal level, he sees as a potential solution to the opiate crisis.

“At the moment we are only delivering pain-masking drugs,” he says. “These powerful drugs don’t do anything except make people not care if they hurt – they still hurt.”

He is helping with the task of looking for biomarkers that might underpin such a measuring device.

“I think it’s possible, but I don’t know yet what the right measurements are,” Professor Matthews says. “And the problem with humans is there is no single recipe, so if we do get a panel of biomarkers that said my pain level was 6 it could be completely wrong for you.

“So we need some way to normalise it so we can say this is a baseline for an individual.”
Professor Matthews is particularly drawn to the CNBP’s focus on envisioning the ultimate translation of the technology.

“So instead of just filling the journals with more manuscripts it is also important in biosciences that you keep in mind that your work will, in the end, actually affect patients.

“The question we should always be asking is ‘how do we get doctors to have the latest technologies to work with?’.”

QST partner launch

15 October 2018:

The ‘National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology (QST)’ has been announced as a partner organisation of the CNBP at an official launch event held in Japan, October 15th, 2018.

The QST, a merger of the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) with operations that were previously undertaken by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), undertakes research and development into quantum science and technology, the effect of radiation on humans, radiation emergency medicine, and the medical use of radiation.

“The QST / CNBP partner launch was a huge success,” said CNBP Deputy Director A/Prof Brant Gibson, RMIT University.

“Our partner launch activities occurred over two site locations  of the QST – Takasaki and Chiba, Japan.”

“At the Takasaki ‘materials’ site I presented the CNBP partner plaque to Hisayoshi Itoh (pictured top left), Director General of the Takasaki site (Takasaki Advanced Radiation Research Institute).”

“Our delegation then moved to the Chiba ‘medical’ site of QST (National Institute of Radiological Sciences). There they have a medical high energy carbon irradiation facility – of which there are only two existent globally – the other is in Heidelberg in Germany. We had the opportunity to meet with Yoshiya Shimada, Executive Director of the entire QST at the Chiba site where I presented the CNBP plaque a second time,” he said.

The CNBP / QST partnership launch coincided with the launch of a 3 year International Research Initiative (entitled Quantum biosensors in wide bandgap semiconductors) between QST and researchers from RMIT, CNBP, The University of Melbourne, CQC2T and the Fraunhofer IAF.

“This initiative will focus on fostering strategic collaboration between Japan, Australia and Germany through short to long term visits from researchers focused in the area of quantum biology,” said A/Prof Gibson.

Below – A/Prof Brant Gibson with Yoshiya Shimada, Executive Director of the QST.

Below – QST and CNBP delegates pose for a partner launch photo at the QST Chiba site.

New CNBP partnership announced

13 June 2018:

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) is pleased to announce that the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry (CIAC) is now a Partner Organisation of the CNBP with Dr Xiaohui Wang (pictured) leading the relationship from the CIAC side as a formal CNBP Partner Investigator.

Collaboration activity to take place between CNBP and CIAC will be focused in the areas of innate immune targeted biosensors and novel pharmacology. More specifically, CIAC expertise will feed into CNBP’s advanced research program exploring the impact of innate immune signalling in pain processing.

In a similar manner, CNBP will bring to CIAC and Dr Xiaohui Wang’s team a unique set of pre-clinical behavioural models and application areas that will advance the CIAC research program more broadly across the synthetic chemistry space.

Prof Mark Hutchinson, CNBP Director, noted that Dr Xiaohui Wang already possessed strong linkages with CNBP following Dr Wang’s visits to several CNBP nodes, and the decadal collaboration between the two researchers stemming from their time working together at the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Colorado, Boulder USA.

“I look forward to our future co-operative activity,” says Prof Mark Hutchinson. “CNBP and CIAC are an excellent strategic partnership fit in the novel innate immune targeted chemistry and pain-signalling space and I’m extremely excited to see where our joint research activity takes us.”

As a part of the partnership, CIAC will fund a full-time PhD student working on CNBP-CIAC related projects as well as provide additional research funding to support project activity and materials.

Below – Dr Xiaohui Wang.

Launch of CNBP and CU partnership

15 August 2017:

The University of Colorado Boulder (CU) and the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) have officially announced their research partnership status at a launch event that took place at CU today.

The collaboration between the CNBP, an Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence, and the University of Colorado Boulder, will explore the use of novel CNBP biophotonics tools and techniques to examine in real-time, neuroinflammatory processes that govern behavior.

The novel immune sensing technologies developed at CNBP will allow circuit-specific measurement of immune molecule release during stress-related paradigms in rodents performed at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The overarching goal of the collaboration is to better inform intervention efforts
focused on stress- and ageing-related diseases.

Partner Investigators at CU are Professor Steven Maier and Professor Linda Watkins with CU’s Dr Michael Baratta (the successful recipient of the CNBP-American Australian Association Fellowship in 2016), also working closely with this partnership.

Below: CNBP Director Prof Mark Hutchinson (left) presents a partner plaque to Partner Investigators – Professor Steven Maier and Professor Linda Watkins.

 

China visit by Centre researcher

16 May 2017:

On a recent trip to China, CNBP Research Fellow A/Prof Guozhen Liu undertook a number of visits and talks, discussing her advanced sensing, nano-particle and bio-imaging work. This included:

5 May-8 May: Attendance at the International Congress on Analytical Sciences 2017 (ICAS2017) at Kaikou, China. Here Guozhen gave an oral presentation with the title “Engineering reduced graphen oxides towards a label-free electrochemical immunosensor for detection of tumor necrosis factor-alpha.”

11 May: Guozhen gave an invited talk titled, “Nanotools for cytokine monitoring in neuroscience” at Prof Zhihong Zhang’s research team at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan. Prof Zhang is one of CNBP’s Partner Investigators at HUST.

13-14 May: Guozhen provided a keynote speech, titled, “An optical fibre based ex-vivo device for detection of cytokines” at the 2nd International Congress on Biomedical Imaging and Signal Processing (ICBISP 2017) at Wuhan.

Below: A/Prof Guozhen Liu (right) visiting CNBP Partner Investigator Prof Zhihong Zhang.

 

New nanoparticle discovery to aid super-resolution imaging

23 February 2017:

Our researchers and collaborators have made a breakthrough in the development of practical super-resolution optical microscopy that will pave the way for the detailed study of live cells and organisms, on a scale 10 times smaller than can currently be achieved  with conventional microscopy.

Reported in Nature, it was demonstrated that bright luminescent nanoparticles can be switched on and off using a low-power infrared laser beam, and used to achieve images with a super resolution of 28nm (about 1/36 the wavelength of light).

Find out more by accessing the paper online.

Journal: Nature

Title: Amplified stimulated emission in upconversion nanoparticles for super-resolution nanoscopy.

Authors: Yujia Liu, Yiqing Lu, Xusan Yang, Xianlin Zheng, Shihui Wen, Fan Wang, Xavier Vidal, Jiangbo Zhao, Deming Liu, Zhiguang Zhou, Chenshuo Ma, Jiajia Zhou, James A. Piper, Peng Xi & Dayong Jin.

 

UHN Toronto partnership launch

UHN Launch_sq30 May 2016:

The CNBP has officially launched an international research partnership with the University Health Network (Toronto) following a successful event, undertaken at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre on the 30th May 2016.

The partnership broadens the potential for research collaboration between the CNBP and the UHN as well as strengthens the current links and ties that already exist between the two organisations.

According to CNBP Director, Prof Mark Hutchinson, highlights from the day included an all day science workshop featuring plenty of opportunities for brainstorming between the teams researchers, as well as the  identification of immediate opportunities for materials and sample sharing.

“Formalizing the partnership between the CNBP and the UHN makes perfect sense and will provide both organisations with improved opportunities and expertise in the undertaking of leading edge biophotonics research”, said Hutchinson.

Below, the formal handover of the CNBP partner plaque by CNBP Director Prof Mark Hutchinson (far right) to UHN’s Prof Brian Wilson (second right). 

UHN Launch

Partner launch with Bioplatforms Australia

Bioplatforms-Andrew-Gilbert9 November 2015:

CNBP successfully launched its partnership with Bioplatforms Australia at a larger Node event at Macquarie University, Sydney, Nov 9th, 2015.

The partner launch, added to the official proceedings of the CNBP Macquarie University research node launch, featured CNBP Director Prof Mark Hutchinson and General Manager for Bioplatforms Australia, Mr Andrew Gilbert.

Mark Hutchinson noted the importance of the partnership with Bioplatforms Australia, with the organisation enabling CNBP research, with its world-class platform technologies and associated expertise in the specialist fields of genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and bioinformatics.

Prof Hutchinson then presented Mr Gilbert with a CNBP partner plaque and noted that he was looking forward to ongoing collaborations, particularly in the areas of biomedical research. Mr Gilbert concurred, with both individuals  then posing for official launch photos.

Bioplatforms2a

Collaborating with CSIRO

CSIRO launch1 October 2015:

CNBP officially launched its partnership with CSIRO today, at an on-site event at the Clayton facility of CSIRO in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Partner, Professor Yonggang Zhu, Team Leader of CSIRO’s Microfluidic Platforms Team, announced that he was extremely privileged to be a partner of CNBP and looks forward to future collaborations.

Centre Director, Professor Mark Hutchinson acknowledged CSIRO’s contribution to CNBP and indicated new areas of potential collaboration, which would include the Centre’s Spark of Life theme and embryological research.

The launch consisted of a number of science presentations from CSIRO researchers, together with researchers from Monash University. Industry representatives included Trajan Scientific Australia Pty Ltd and the Australian National Fabrication Facility.

CNBP colleagues from all three research nodes of CNBP – Macquarie University, RMIT University and the University of Adelaide, were present at the launch and science discussions were presented by Prof Dayong Jin, UTS; Prof Ewa Goldys, Centre Deputy Director, Macquarie University; Researcher, Dr Philipp Reineck, RMIT University; Researcher, Dr Ivan Maksymov, RMIT University; and Professor Andrew Abell, Chief Investigator and Node Director, University of Adelaide.

Lab tours were conducted at CSIRO, along with many group discussions, engaging CNBP and CSIRO researchers alike. At the conclusion of launch proceedings, CSIRO was presented with a formal CNBP partner plaque.

CNBP is continuing to deliver transdisciplinary conversations with our partners and looks forward to the current and future benefits of this valuable partnership with CSIRO.

CNBP’s RMIT node officially launched

RMIT-launch_web29 September 2015:

Senator Bridget McKenzie, Martin Bean Vice Chancellor and President of RMIT University, and Professor Calum Drummond RMIT Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation and Vice-President, jointly launched the RMIT Research Node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) at a formal event today, Tuesday September 29, 2015.

The event, which was timed to coincide with the opening of a new $3m  state-of-the-art laboratory for CNBP at RMIT, saw a full turnout, with CNBP representatives from all research nodes (the University of Adelaide, Macquarie University and RMIT), plus invited guests, all in attendance.

In addition to launch speeches by the Senator and RMIT’s Martin Bean and Calum Drummond, were speeches by CNBP Director Mark Hutchinson, CNBP RMIT node leader Brant Gibson and Fiona Cameron, ARC Executive Director for Biological Sciences and Biotechnology.

All looked forward to the exciting discoveries that would take place at CNBP’s RMIT research node, with the event concluding with the formal unveiling of the CNBP plaque, networking opportunities and lab tours for both guests and off-site CNBP researchers.

The new CNBP laboratory facility at RMIT will house two state-of-the-art scanning confocal microscopy systems with the focus on studying florescent properties of nano-particles and biomaterials. Also housed in the new space are staff and research offices, meeting rooms, visitor offices and specimen preparatory areas.

A day of CNBP workshops and presentations took place on the Wednesday, the day following the official launch, with CNBP-RMIT researchers providing an overview and update of their activities to visiting CNBP team members.