Griffith PhD student Deborah Sneddon will be one of the first people in the world to use medical imaging equipment which simultaneous incorporates Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanning.

Although the first experiments have only just begun, Deborah Sneddon believes the equipment will benefit a wide range of medical and scientific research.

“This hybrid molecular imaging will address the limitations associated with single imaging modalities, because it combines the sensitivity of PET and the high resolution of MRI,” Deborah said.

The first scans performed with the MRI/ PET instrument were a collaborative project between Griffith University, oncologists at University of Maastricht in the Netherlands and the Centre of Advanced Imaging at the University of Queensland. This flagship system is funded as part of the National Collaborative Research infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).

The preclinical imaging instrument was installed at the National Imaging Facility within the Centre for Advanced Imaging at the University of Queensland in December 2012.

Deborah, an international student from Scotland, began her PhD at the Eskitis Institute in October 2012 under the supervision of Associate Professor Sally-Ann Poulsen.

“As this MR/PET scanner is the first in the world, this is an exciting opportunity with so many possibilities,” Ms Sneddon said.

“Findings from our research will help nuclear medicine gain the maximum benefit from the development of simultaneous molecular imaging.”