Symposium to open a window on a microscopic world

Almost 100 of the world's leading scientists will gather at the University of Western Sydney on Friday to discuss the latest theoretical and experimental developments in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) including diffusion MRI.
The symposium on the Campbelltown campus hosted by the UWS School of Science and Health will cover a range of topics including the medical and industrial applications of this versatile imaging technique.
Convenor of the symposium and leading imaging researcher, Professor Bill Price says the exchange of ideas will help shape the future direction of imaging research and applications.
"The world of imaging science has taken great leaps forward in recent times and this is a great opportunity for researchers to hear, first hand, about the latest techniques and research results," says Professor Price, Head of the Nanoscale Organisation and Dynamics research group at UWS and node director of the UWS node of the National Imaging Facility.

Panorama of NMR facility

Panorama of the UWS NMR facility 
Professor Price's lab specialises in developing the next generation of techniques and analysis protocols for high resolution MRI. The principles are the same as MRI machines in hospitals but key differences lie in the resolution and the amount of information that the research team obtains.
Professor Price says despite the power of the imaging techniques many scientists may not be aware of its potential to help them in their own research.
"MRI and diffusion techniques are powerful tools for studying physical changes in almost any substance or object in great detail. They can reveal, for example localised changes in chemical composition in living tissue, observe the turbulence of water flowing in a tube, or characterise a drug binding to proteins," he says.
"The research MRIs provide much more detailed images than the MRI machines used in hospitals to scan patients. The resolution of the lab machines is many times greater. Indeed, the sort of imaging performed in the lab is more correctly called MR microscopy, since the view of the substance is much more detailed than you can see with the naked eye."
Invited speakers to the UWS Symposium on MRI and Diffusion 2012 include those from across Australia, Sweden, Japan, New Zealand and Germany.


30 November 2012