The Government of New South Wales (NSW) announced it would invest AU$12.5 million to aid the expansion of the Innovation Precinct at the Lucas Heights campus of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).
The expansion plans will include a cutting edge nuclear medicine cluster; nuclear medicine broadly deals with the use of radioactive substances in research, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases.
This includes many types of cancers, heart disease, gastrointestinal, endocrine, neurological disorders and other abnormalities within the body.
The purpose of the nuclear medicine cluster will be to enable the sharing of knowledge among scientists, with the larger goal of advancing development of diagnostics and therapies for treating cancer and other diseases.
Health researchers at ANSTO are currently investigating the ways in which nuclear techniques can be used most effectively as treatments and to monitor the progression of disease.
The main research goal is to facilitate the integration of nuclear techniques with other therapeutic approaches for more tailored treatments.
Located within the Innovation Precinct is the Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering and the OPAL multipurpose reactor, which supports the country’s nuclear medicine supply and health research.
The CEO of ANSTO, Dr Adi Paterson, said support for the Innovation Precinct would also lead to job creation and help ensure the organization could continue its cutting-edge research.
“It will be a place where research and industry meet, to ensure that what happens in a lab or at a science facility is developed into real outcomes that benefit all Australians,” he said in a statement.
There are currently approximately 350 credentialed specialists in nuclear medicine in Australia who deliver nuclear medicine services in approximately 200 sites across the country, according to the Australasian Association of Nuclear Medicine Specialists.
ANSTO is also working to deliver advanced cancer treatment based on carbon ion therapy, a form of particle therapy that offers an alternative to those patients who cannot be treated with conventional radiation therapies using x-rays.
The ANSTO Innovation Precinct is designed to connect, on one campus, a community of industrial users close to Sydney’s central business district, with the ability to access the organization’s infrastructure and research capabilities.
“The investment into a world-class precinct for business, students, scientists, and startups will ultimately end up delivering improved treatments for cancers and other diseases,” minister for better regulation and innovation, Kevin Anderson said in a statement.
Back in February the NSW Government announced its initial backing of the expansion of ANSTO’s Nandin nuclear science and technology incubator-- ANSTO health researchers also investigate key biological processes or environmental factors that lead to the development of disease.