Equipping researchers with game-changing technology

Equipping researchers with game-changing technology

Lattice light sheet microscope
A generous bequest from Australian author and historian, Alan Shaw AO, has provided Institute researchers with access to astonishing four-dimensional (4D) images of cell biology.

Imaging team members
Specialists from the Institute's Centre for Dynamic Imaging:
Dr Lachlan Whitehead, Dr Kelly Rogers and Dr Niall Geoghegan

Mr Shaw’s estate contributed almost $3 million to WEHI and came at a time when imaging technology had made a major leap forward.

Dr Kelly Rogers, head of WEHI’s new Centre for Dynamic Imaging, said recent advances in 4D microscopy were “revolutionising research globally”.

“In 2014, light sheet microscopy was declared the scientific method of the year by the highly respected scientific journal, Nature Methods. This new technology offers the opportunity to visualise cells and organs in unprecedented detail and in real time. It is a game changer for medical research,” Dr Rogers said.

Enabling exciting discoveries

WEHI’s custom-built lattice light sheet microscope was instrumental to exciting new research published in the journal Science in early 2018, which showed how DNA escaped from mitochondria inside cells. This ‘Great Escape’ moment may one day prove to be the crucial trigger for autoimmune diseases like arthritis.

“With the guidance of international experts, and philanthropic support, our imaging facility staff custom-built a lattice light sheet microscope, enabling the Institute and the Parkville precinct to be at the forefront of this revolution,” Dr Rogers said.

An invaluable gift to research

The Shaw Bequest enabled WEHI to establish a world-class imaging facility, offering leading scientists at the Institute and across Australia access to the most advanced 4D imaging technology.

The Centre for Dynamic Imaging, supported by the estate of Alan G L Shaw, includes a Zeiss Lightsheet Z.1 microscope, a custom-built lattice light sheet microscope, upright spectral detection confocal and a two-photon super resolution microscope.


Video: as mitochondria (red) start to die, they begin to ball up, before releasing the DNA which we see as green spots appearing outside the mitochondria. The images were captured on the lattice light sheet microscope at WEHI's Centre for Dynamic Imaging.