ACRF Cancer Imaging Facility

Cutting edge technology comes together at the Perkins


 CIF equipment

In 2011 the Australian Cancer Research Foundation awarded a $2.4 million grant to the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research to purchase vital imaging equipment, allowing scientists to assess tumours and determine effective forms of treatment.

This imaging equipment is essential in the fight against cancer, helping experts in the field move towards earlier disease detection, prevention strategies and assessment of the efficacy of new cancer treatments.

As a state facility, the equipment is available to researchers from all over Western Australia.

To find out more about the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, please visit

You will need login access for more detailed information about the facility and to make a booking. 
To apply for access to the facility, please contact the facility manager.


Perkins welcomes new imaging expert

Radiologist and nuclear medicine specialist, Dr Liesl Celliers, has been appointed in a new position which aims to fast-track cancer research at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.

High tech boost for WA Cancer Researchers

A $2.4 million grant awarded to the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research to purchase vital imaging equipment, which will allow scientists to assess tumours and determine effective forms of treatment. Read more.

Peter Klinken's ABC: PET scanner

Peter Klinken has spoken publicly about the exciting news that the Institute has received a $2.4 million grant from the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, which will be used for a PET scanner to provide images of developing tumours in pre-clinical models. Read more.

Major cancer research boost

Western Australia's best scientists have been given a major boost in their fight against cancer, with the announcement of $2.4 million in grants from the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF). Read more.

Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Where did the grant come from?
    2. Why did the Perkins apply for funding for a integrated preclinical Cancer Imaging Facility in WA?
    3. How can pre-clinical imaging help researchers find treatments for cancer in humans?
    4. Would the Perkins be able to achieve these outcomes without the support of the ACRF?
    5. What will this grant mean for cancer patients?
    6. Will the new facility be limited to Perkins staff?
    7. What impact is ACRF is having on cancer research in Australia?
    8. How important is cancer research?


1. Where did the grant come from? 

This $2.4 million grant honours the memory of the late Mr Kevin McCusker who made a generous donation to the Australian Cancer Research Foundation through his Will. Mr McCusker was a quiet and unassuming man of strong principles and deep feelings and his family told the ACRF he made this bequest because people he loved had died from cancer. Mr McCusker's donation will be used to help fund a state-of-the-art preclinical imaging facility to maximise WA's capacity to promote innovation in cancer research.

2. Why did the Perkins apply for funding for a integrated preclinical Cancer Imaging Facility in WA? 

To expand its preclinical and clinical cancer research program in WA, the Perkins sought an ACRF grant to establish the ACRF Cancer Imaging Facility and to equip the facility with a state-of-the-art preclinical imaging suite and cutting edge optical imaging endomicroscopes. In particular, this application sought to significantly expand the cancer imaging capability in WA with the addition of a microMagnetic Resonance Imaging scanner (microMRI), a hybrid microPositron Emission Tomography/X-ray Computed Tomography scanner (microPET/CT), a hybrid Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography/CT scanner (microSPECT/CT), together with additional cutting-edge confocal fluorescent imaging equipment which will be further developed by CMCA.

3. How can pre-clinical imaging help researchers find treatments for cancer in humans? 

Imaging for cancer management and diagnosis in humans is fundamental. Equally, in preclinical models of cancer, it's a central part of cancer research. The micro- scanners will allow Perkins researchers to image cancer progression in a range of well developed preclinical models like never before, enabling them to monitor for the first time tumour development, angiogenesis, metastasis and response to novel therapeutics.

4. Would the Perkins be able to achieve these outcomes without the support of the ACRF? 

No. These are very expensive items of equipment, and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Other grants don't come near this. There is no other source of funding in Australia that offers grants for infrastructure and equipment for cancer research like the ACRF.

5. What will this grant mean for cancer patients? 

It will mean that, for the first time in WA, researchers will be able to subject preclinical models of cancer to more intensive scrutiny and imaging and thereby speed up progression of new therapeutic advances with cancer. Preclinical models are essential for Perkins researchers to trial new drugs and new ways of treating cancer. It will have a profound effect.

6. Will the new facility be limited to Perkins staff? 

The ACRF Cancer Imaging Facility is a state facility and the imaging equipment is available to all WA experts in their fields . There are currently no micro- MRI, PET/CT or SPECT/CT scanners in Western Australia, so this facility drastically expands the range of analyses available in preclinical models of cancer.

7. What impact is ACRF is having on cancer research in Australia? 

ACRF is absolutely essential. ACRF is filling a gap that no other organisation fills, which is core infrastructure. Core infrastructure is both 'bricks and mortar', as well as core, large cutting-edge pieces of equipment that are remarkably difficult to get in any other way. The ACRF stands alone in this country. There is no other foundation that provides any large infrastructure.

8. How important is cancer research? 

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Australia with over 39,800 deaths each year, in spite of a 30 percent improvement in survival over the last two decades. One in 3 Australian men and 1 in 4 Australian women will be directly affected by cancer before the age of 75. Cancer does not discriminate. It can, and does, affect people of all ages. Perkins researchers are dedicated to their vision of a healthier future for humans across the globe and generous grants such as this funding from ACRF are hugely appreciated.

About us

The Cancer Imaging Facility is a state of the art facility providing high resolution, non-invasive, in vivo
preclinical imaging. The facility is ideally co-located on the QEII campus where we work closely with the Departments of Medical Imaging and Nuclear Medicine as well as the SCGH cyclotron with the capacity to provide a wide range of radiopharmaceuticals which are used in routine clinical imaging and research. The facility is available to researchers all over Western Australia including Harry Perkins Institute, UWA, QEII, RPH, Telethon Institute, Lions Eye Institute and Path West, as well as Interstate and International

Our team

Our team comprises a small group of highly trained and experienced doctors, technologists and medical physicists who specialise in medical imaging and have extensive experience in clinical as well preclinical imaging. Additionally we have an animal care technician with many years of preclinical experience.

Radiologist and Nuclear Medicine Specialist

Our Radiologist and Nuclear Medicine specialist is the inaugural Perth Radiological Clinic Associate in Translational Imaging, a position established by the PerthRadClinic Foundation to help scientists optimise research conducted in the high-end cancer imaging facility located at the Perkins. After receiving her Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from the University of Melbourne, she trained as a Radiologist and a Nuclear Medicine specialist with an interest in oncology and PET. She has had broad exposure to various public and private diagnostic settings during her work at hospitals in Melbourne and Perth.

Nuclear Medicine/PET Technologists

Our Nuclear Medicine/PET technologists have over 20 years of experience in the clinical setting, and over 4 years in preclinical imaging. In addition to their undergraduate qualifications in Nuclear Medicine, one technologist has a Master's degree in Nuclear Medicine, PET and clinical CT, and the other has Certificates in Magnetic Resonance Imaging and CT Imaging. They have attended specialist workshops in preclinical imaging as well as courses on animal handling. They maintain their roles in clinical imaging at the Nuclear Medicine/WA PET Service at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital on the QEII campus, in addition to providing the preclinical Nuclear Medicine/PET service.

MRI Medical Imaging Technologist

Our MRI Technologist has been a Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Radiology Department employee since 1985, graduating with a Diploma of Applied Science in Diagnostic Radiography. He has over 30 years of clinical diagnostic/ research imaging, and in addition to his clinical role, he has been with the CIF for over 4 years using the MR Solutions 3T scanner. He has also undertaken courses on animal handling. He liaises closely with the MR Solutions team to develop new imaging sequences for use in the CIF. Animal Care Technician Our animal care technician has had 10 years' experience working with small animals since graduating from the University of Western Australia. She is an integral member of one of the Perkins lnstitute's largest cancer research groups, and is an invaluable resource for the rest of the imaging team whose experience is largely clinical.


The Cancer Imaging Facility is a comprehensive facility offering anatomical as well as functional imaging including microMagnetic Resonance Imaging scanner (microMRI), a hybrid microPositron Emission Tomography/X-ray Computed Tomography scanner (microPET/CT), a hybrid Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography/CT scanner (microSPECT/CT), together with additional cutting-edge confocal
fluorescent imaging equipment which will be further developed by CMCA. All modalities are conveniently located in the same suite allowing for multiple scans to be performed simultaneously or concurrently. The applications include (but are not limited to) oncology, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and neurological imaging.

Also located within the Perkins Institute building is the University of Western Australia Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis {CMCA) which features a preclinical 9.41 MRI and cutting-edge confocal fluorescent imaging equipment. Reciprocal agreements between the Perkins and UWA Ethics committees and the Bioresources Centre facilitate the movement of experimental animals between the CIF and CMCA.


Magnetic resonance imaging is a non-ionising radiation modality with high contrast resolution that can be utilised to obtain excellent images of brain, solid organs and soft tissues. Specialised sequences including fluid and fat sensitive sequences, diffusion weighted imaging and vascular imaging are available and can be performed with cardiac and/or respiratory gating if required. Recent and ongoing projects include imaging in models of hepatosteatosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer.


Positron emission tomography combined with high resolution anatomical computed tomography (CT) images are available for functional particularly metabolic imaging in oncology and neuroimaging. 

MicroPET/CT system:
  • Mediso nanoPET/CT, Mediso Medical Imaging Systems, Budapest, Hungary  
  • Axial field of view (FOV): 28 cm
  • PET spatial resolution: 1.02 mm (axial cFOV, FWHM)
  • CT spatial resolution: <30μm at 10% modulation transfer function (MTF) 


Through our collaboration with the Department of Medical Technology and Physics at QEII, the facility has access to a wide range of 18F- and 11C-labelled radiotracers which are produced on site for clinical imaging and research.

  • 18F-FDG for imaging glucose metabolism,
  • 18F-NaF a bone seeking tracer for imaging skeletal abnormalities,
  • 18F-Fluorocholine for imaging cellular membrane phospholipids

Others available upon consultation with CIF and Department of Medical Technology and Physics.


The facility has a fee structure which can be based on an hourly rate or fixed priced package depending on the scale and complexity of the project. New projects are welcomed. Pilot studies can be performed for a minimal cost. Imaging charges include consultation and advice about incorporating imaging into your research project, planning and performing the imaging, and help and advice with quantitative and qualitative analysis of the images. Please call or e-mail for further details.

Current Projects
  • 18F-NaF imaging in vasculopathy; correlation with microCT
  • 11C-PIB imaging in dementia; correlation with MRI
  • Multi-modality imaging in lung cancer and mesothelioma
  • Hypoxia imaging in mesothelioma

Image gallery coming soon

Perkins Bioresources

The Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research maintains a world class holding facility adjacent to the ACRF Cancer Imaging Facility.

The highly skilled Bioresources team has oversight over all animal related procedures within the CIF.  This endures that you not only receive a high standard of imaging services, but that your animals are also maintained to this high standard.

The welfare of your animals is our highest priority and we ensure that all procedures adhere to the Australian code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes.


To better facilitate your experimental work during imaging, we provide a fully equipped laboratory where you can simply monitor the health of your animals or perform more complex procedures.


All mice housed in imaging holding rooms are maintained in Tecniplast Greenline individually ventilated cages (IVC’s).  This state of the art animal housing system enables the team to ensure that your animals environment is carefully controlled.  Your animals are maintained in a disease and stress free environment allowing the highest quality of research.


In addition to state of the art Tecniplast caging, Bioresources also provide you with advanced animal change stations, anaesthetic units, Thermacage warming units, dietary storage freezers and all the equipment necessary for the success of your work.


All Bioresources staff members are highly experienced technicians with a collective 60+ years’ experience in the industry. 

Their knowledge of animal health, and both surgical and non-surgical procedures assists in providing you with a quality service while ensuring the highest standards of animal welfare are maintained.

 If required technicians can assist you in procedures and will also advise on technical and welfare aspects of your project.

Their industry knowledge also allows them to source specialised equipment which may not already be available within the facility.


The Perkins AEC is an established committee with a reputation for working closely with research personnel to guide and assist them in the process of obtaining approval for ethically-conducted projects in accordance with relevant legislation.

The CIF and Bioresources Managers will also work closely with you during the writing and submission of your application providing you with invaluable advice and direction.

For further advice and information please contact the AEC Executive Officer by email:


Many Perkins based research groups have interests in collaborations in their area of research.  The AEC Executive Officer and the Bioresources Manager can act as a liaison between yourself and these groups to facilitate such collaborations.

Back To Top