Funded UQ Major Equipment and Infrastructure (MEI) grants, NHMRC Equipment Grants and UQ Major Research Facility Fund grants information is intended to help facilitate widespread usage of the infrastructure/equipment. If you or your research group are interested in utilising this equipment, please contact the relevant equipment custodian.

UQ Research Facilities Infrastructure Grants (RFIG) 2018

In vivo Optical Imaging into the Next Generation

Contact: Associate Professor Kristofer Thurecht (Centre for Advanced Imaging)

IVIS Lumina X5 Preclinical In Vivo system; Optical Imaging is one of the key technologies for evaluating behaviour in preclinical animal models, and is the workhorse for evaluating new drugs or diagnostics in such models. An upgrade of the existing optical scanner in the CAI would provide users across UQ with a higher throughput and more sensitive means of validating these systems. Upgrade to recently developed technology will also provide UQ users with the ability to coregister optical imaging with tomographic x-ray imaging, providing far greater depth to the analyses required to understand fundamental biological properties. The upgraded capabilities will ensure continued support for a range of multidisciplinary projects across multiple Centres, Faculties and Institutes at UQ.

Data Storage Infrastructure

Contact: Professor David Abramson (Research Computing Centre)

Data is predicted to transform the 21st century, fueled by an exponential growth in the amount of data captured, generated and archived. This proposal will provide sufficient long term and working storage to handle the expected growth between 2018 and 2020.

Critical Aquatics Components

Contact: Mr Kevin Wathen-Dunn (UQ Biological Resources)

The aquatic systems managed by UQBR host a number of species (both marine and freshwater), facilitating a range of research interests. A combination of equipment age and a continued high level of usage is starting to create continuity of operation concerns. Should a component of the ”life support” systems fail there is a narrowing window to ensure effective and timely repairs can be achieved. The availability of on-site components for the rapid repair of critical equipment is essential when considering both animal welfare and UQ research.

Purpose Built Research Vessel

Locations:  UQ Marine Research Stations

Contact: Dr Clint Chapman (Science)

The Boating and Diving Facility has a range of trailerable commercial vessels available for use as transport for people and equipment, and as platforms from which to deploy equipment and conduct research. The Boating and Diving Facility aims to replace an existing 1996 built 5.8m boat with a new 6.5m vessel that will provide an affordable and flexible option or research and an increase in safety by complying with current design standards. The current vessel is the facility’s most highly utilised vessel but it is reaching the end of its life and, as a result, research use of the vessel has begun to decline. To ensure we continue to provide UQ researchers with the research infrastructure they need, the vessel needs replacement.

Replacement of glassworking lathe and wet-lab machinery in the UQ Glassblowing Facility

ContactProfessor Paul Young (SCMB)

The UQ Glassblowing Facility is an essential and specialist facility servicing UQ and external clients in both repair and custom fabrication of scientific, chemical and laboratory glass apparatus. Upgrade and replacement of a floor model glassworking lathe and wet-laboratory equipment is essential due to the age and obsolete status of these instruments. Instrument replacement will provide an efficient, contemporary facility, capable of meeting current and future demands for custom built glass apparatus for researchers in many organisational units across the University.

Major Equipment and Infrastructure grants (MEI)/National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) projects 2018

Continuous chromatography system for advanced bioprocessing

Contact: Professor Stephen Mahler (AIBN)

Continuous chromatography systems such as the AKTA periodic counter current (PCC) 75 system are required for successful continuous bioprocess development for biologics production. With multiple column ports and detectors, the latest online process analytical capabilities of AKTA PCC maximizes the usage of expensive purification resin, reducing costs by reducing buffer and resin usage and improving productivity (g/L resin-day). The equipment streamlines downstream bioprocessing of monoclonal antibody (mAb) production, enabling continuous production of biologics for preclinical research and potentially translation to clinical trials for UQ researchers.

Biomolecular Imager and microscope for preclinical radiopharmaceutical development

Contact: Professor David Reutens (CAI)

This application requests funding for a phosphor imaging system for autoradiography and accompanying digital microscope and scanner, essential tools in the development of new radiotracers for PET/CT and PET/MR, a major component of collaborative research projects performed at CAI and for 7 of the 15 projects proposed within the recently funded ARC Training Centre for Innovation in Biomedical Technology (CIBIT).The equipment is essential to validate the biodistribution of radiotracers and pharmaceuticals developed at CAI, and the characterisation of their tissue targets, critical steps in the pathway to commercialisation. The system will complement existing equipment for molecular imaging at CAI, particularly preclinical PET/CT and PET/MRI.

Establishing a Sonova-UQ Hearing and Balance Research Centre

ContactProfessor Louise Hickson (Health and Rehabilitation Sciences).

This suite of equipment will enable comprehensive measurement of the human vestibular system, important in the regulation of head and eye movements and maintaining balance. We currently have limited understanding of vestibular impairments (caused by injury, illness and age) and their treatment. A suite of hardware and software for five key assessment tools is needed: videonystagmography goggles to measure eye movements; video head impulse testing to measure head and eye control; a caloric system to measure vestibular nerve function; a rotatory chair system to record brainstem response to vestibular stimulation; and vestibular evoked myogenic potential, to measure the physiological vestibular response. All can be used on people of all ages.

Equipment for naturalistic sleep-wake, circadian rhythm, and stress measurement.

Contact: Associate Professor Simon Smith (Institute for Social Science Research)

Sleep-wake behaviours, circadian rhythms (our ‘body clocks’), and physiological stress, are three crucial factors that interact to support biological and psychological aspects of wellbeing, learning, and social participation. These factors and interact with the external environment. These factors can be quantified with small, portable yet highly accurate devices worn on the body. This equipment will support high quality objective measurement of each of these factors in laboratory-based experiments, clinical research, and naturalistic studies, through a new laboratory at the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR; HASS) at the Long Pocket Precinct. This capacity will help us meet our goal of bridging the social and biological sciences.

Cryoelectron Microscopy Platform for Cellular Structural Biology 

ContactProfessor Robert Parton (IMB)

The aim of this application is to develop a ‘first of a kind’ cryoelectron microscopy platform for cellular structural EM at UQ. This involves purchase of crucial cryoelectron microscopy equipment; a cryo-transfer station (Cryo-Glovebox) to allow movement of frozen lamellae from the Focused Ion Beam/Scanning Electron Microscope (FIB/SEM) and a dedicated light microscope with cryo-capabilities allowing correlative light and electron microscopy. This equipment will form the basis of the new generation of electron microscopy (EM) at UQ which is aimed at elucidating molecular structure in situ, within the cell or tissue, under near-native conditions.

Multichannel Peptide Synthesiser to accelerate UQ's biodiscovery pipeline and peptide drug development programs.

ContactProfessor Paul Alewood (IMB)

Peptides are key modulators of biological function and an important class of drug leads. The 24-multichannel Symphony-X is the top-of-its-class automated peptide synthesiser with unsurpassed library capabilities. It will substantially enhance UQ’s strengths in peptide, medicinal and agrochemical research, and accelerate UQ’s drug discovery and development programs. Faster chemistry will enable UQ researchers to tackle bigger research questions which will directly translate into higher profile publications and improved industry engagement. This equipment will facilitate new collaborations and support current ARC/NHMRC grants (> 30) and 100 students/users across different schools and institutes at UQ.

KidSTIM: A non-invasive neuromodulation laboratory to simultaneously improve insight and treatment of brain disorders for children in Queensland.

Contact: Associate Professor Karen Barlow (CHRC)

Modern brain stimulation technologies, notably Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), allow us to use non-invasive neurostimulation techniques to both better understand brain disorders and modulate neural function toward better health outcomes. The equipment to be purchased will allow us to improve our understanding of how the developing brain changes after an injury as well as provide the latest neuromodulation therapies for a wide spectrum of brain and mental health disorders in children. This multidisciplinary platform comprises of scientists and clinicians from different hospitals and research institutes and strives to support the expansion of cutting-edge neurostimulation research into the paediatric realm.

A pre-clinical intensive care facility to research long-term outcomes in neonates.

ContactProfessor Paul Colditz (UQCCR)

This equipment package will provide a state-of-the-art preclinical neonatal intensive care laboratory for four piglets. Equipment will replicate that used in human neonatal intensive care. It will also enable research of the neonatal brain using MRI and assessment of brain function using validated testing systems. The package will include neonatal ventilators, heaters and syringe pumps. A portable MRI compatible ventilator will enable us to assess short-term outcomes on ventilated piglets. A video camera and analysis software will enable long-term functional outcomes to be assessed. The ability to care for 4 piglets simultaneously is essential to make efficient use of preterm piglets where a whole litter is delivered at caesarean section.

Individualised treatment of bacterial infections via rapid molecular detection of antibiotic resistant superbugs.

Contact: Associate Professor David Whiley (UQCCR)

In partnership with SpeeDx Pty Ltd we aim to develop and validate rapid molecular assays to detect antimicrobial-resistant superbugs. The methods will be developed for use within clinical laboratories as well as at the point of patient care. The results of these tests will be used to guide patient treatment. We seek to purchase two pieces of equipment to facilitate this work: (1) The Cepheid GeneXpert instrument is a self-contained automated instrument that enables health-care workers to do sophisticated molecular point-of-care (POC) testing in clinic settings; (2) The Nuclisens easyMAG instrument provides automated premium quality DNA extraction and will be important for upscaling our assay development and translation.

Ion Mobility Separation of Challenging Clinical Samples.

Contact: Dr Sarah Reed (UQCCR)

Ion mobility mass spectrometry overcomes the challenges seen with LC/MS/MS workflows for the detection of co-eluting & interfering isobaric compounds from matrices in highly complex samples (blood, urine, milk etc). Ion mobility technology is a planar mobility device that separates based on differences in their chemical properties. This grant application is to purchase a SelexION ion mobility source that will be fitted on our existing MS system. We will use the device to detect & characterize metabolites (eg lipids, glycans) from clinical & biological samples by reducing background interference commonly found in complex mixtures. It will also be used to detect & quantitate chiral compounds (e.g. active drugs) used in clinical trials.

A multifunctional platform for monitoring and manipulating neural activities with freely behaving small animals.

ContactDr Zhitao Hu (QBI)

The ability to monitor and manipulate neural network activity is extremely important for our understanding of normal and pathological brain function. To gain a deeper appreciation of neural network computations, and the mechanisms underlying brain dysfunction, we request funds to build a multifunctional calcium imaging, optogenetics and behavioural recording (COB) system, which will allow us to simultaneously monitor neural activity as well as motor output during optogenetic interrogation in small model organisms such as C. elegans and Drosophila. Using the COB system, we will be able to directly manipulate the activity of specific neurons, and record the consequences of neural network activity in wild-type and disease model animals.

Epifluorescent and live-cell imaging microscopes for the investigation of host-pathogen interactions and for molecular and cellular biology.

Contact: Dr Kate Stacey (SCMB)

Zeiss AxioImager.M2 High End Motorised Research Class Microscope This is an upright fluorescence microscope for imaging fixed cells and tissues. The fast switching light source minimizes bleaching of signals, a motorised stage allows tiling to build up a composite image of a large sample area and it has high quality objective lenses and camera. Software allows 3D rendering, deconvolution and optical sectioning.

Nikon Ti2 Motorised Inverted Microscope This microscope gives high resolution live cell fluorescence imaging with deconvolution, and will be in a PC2 facility and available for studies on infectious agents.

Upgrading the UQ Business School Research Laboratory.

Contact: Dr Gabby Walters (UQ Business School)

The equipment requested in this application includes a collection of technological devices that will enable researchers from a range of disciplines to assess physiological and psychological responses to a broad array of stimuli. The equipment will provide academics and research students within the UQ Business School access to innovative methodological techniques that will enhance the overall research performance of the School. Specific techniques include but are not limited to: the physiological measurement of emotion; the study of consumer/user behaviour using eye-tracking technology; and the use of virtual reality technology for effective experience design and student learning.

Imaging in the nano-scale age: terahertz and millimetre wave microanalysis.

Contact: Associate Professor Aleksandar Rakic (ITEE)

We propose to establish a world-leading facility at UQ, for nanoscale infrared, terahertz and millimetre wave spectroscopy and microscopy, building on UQ’s proprietary developments in laser sensing combined with the high-stability Scanning Near-Field Optical Microscope. The facility will open up the slew of characterisation capabilities on the micro/nanoscale including biomedical samples and single cells, characterisation of quantum dots, nanowires, and metamaterials, and doping profile mapping in semiconductors and nanostructures. The proposed facility will enable UQ to lead international research in nanoscale imaging and spectroscopy creating capabilities not available elsewhere in Australia, nor globally.

Establishing a Sonova-UQ Hearing and Balance Research Centre

Contact: Dr Leanne Johnston (Health and Rehabilitation Sciences)

This suite of equipment will enable comprehensive measurement of the human vestibular system, important in the regulation of head and eye movements and maintaining balance. We currently have limited understanding of vestibular impairments (caused by injury, illness and age) and their treatment. A suite of hardware and software for five key assessment tools is needed: videonystagmography goggles to measure eye movements; video head impulse testing to measure head and eye control; a caloric system to measure vestibular nerve function; a rotatory chair system to record brainstem response to vestibular stimulation; and vestibular evoked myogenic potential, to measure the physiological vestibular response. All can be used on people of all ages.

High-throughput ion channel pharmacology

ContactDr Irina Vetter (Pharmacy)

The Ionflux Mercury (FluxIon Biosciences) is a the latest state-of-the-art, fully automated high-throughput electrophysiology platform that enables sophisticated and efficient recordings from transfected, primary and stem cells. It can record from up to eight cells simultaneously with G seals and incorporates fast solution exchange, heatable pipette, automated current clamp recordings and fast solution exchange, enabling characterisation of temperature-sensitive or insensitive voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels in cells or lipid bilayers. The IonFlux Mercury provides unprecedented flexibility, user control, high success rates and premium data quality from whole cell and single channel recordings.

Music Keyboard and Piano Infrastructure

Contact: Dr Liam Viney (Music)

This application seeks funding for replacement and upgrading of current piano and keyboard research equipment and infrastructure for staff and students to industry standard. The equipment will enhance existing and emerging areas of research strength by supporting the creation, editing and analysis of musical materials, and preparation for documentation of creative research outputs in music performance and composition. The equipment is vital to the School’s developing focus and international leadership in non-traditional and traditional research. Equipment will be placed in collaborative research spaces to maximise access and use. Requested new electronic music keyboards are portable and will support research in locations on and off campus.

In vitro gastric processing equipment

ContactProfessor Mike Gidley (QAAFI)

The requested equipment is to enable investigations into the effect of gastric processing conditions on a wide range of foods. It is becoming increasingly clear that the physical and biochemical changes that occur in the stomach play a key role in determining the overall digestive fate of foods. However, sampling digesta from the stomach is invasive, which both limits the extent to which results can be extrapolated to the non-invasive state as well as raising ethical considerations. The requested equipment is a validated stomach and duodenum model that includes tunable mechanical and biochemical processing options to identify the effects of changing gastric conditions on the digestion of food.

A specialised surgical and behavioural facility for longitudinal, multimodal examination of the rodent brain

ContactProfessor Pankaj Sah (QBI)

The aim of this application is to create a surgical and behavioural facility in the Ritchie building. This will provide an area in which animals can be longitudinally studied in parallel with non-invasive MRI. This facility comprises specialised areas for animal holding, surgery and behavioural tests, including custom soundproofed experimental rooms with specialized lighting controls.

Continuous flow isotope ratio mass spectrometer (CF-IRMS) and ancillary preparation systems for carbon, nitrogen andsulfur isotope microanalysis for archaeology, biology, earth and environmental sciences and ecology research

Contact: Professor Sue Golding (SEES)

The new continuous flow isotope ratio mass spectrometer (CF-IRMS) in the Stable Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory will enable high precision analysis of organic C, N and S isotopes and sulfide and sulfate S isotopes, which will serve interdisciplinary research spanning the Schools of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences and Social Science. The IRMS platform will allow much higher throughput and analysis of a wider variety of samples than previously possible. This enhanced capability is essential to obtain the large data sets required for cutting edge archaeology, biological sciences, earth and environmental sciences and ecology research.

Nuclear medicine suite for animals

ContactDr Ben Ahern (Vet Science)

A state-of-the-art animal nuclear medicine suite will facilitate veterinary research as well as human medical research utilising large animal models (sheep, pigs, goats and horses). This imaging unit would be integrated into a service utilising the unique expertise of staff on site including veterinary specialists in pharmacology, diagnostic imaging, anaesthesia, internal medicine and surgery. The nuclear medicine facility at UQ Gatton would compliment the facilities available at the CAI, and with specialist veterinary expertise on site the new facility will greatly enhance the capabilities of medical researchers investigating diseases and distribution of pharmacological agents in particular.

Advanced imaging with wide spectrum molecular, quantitative and morphological applications in biological research

Contact: Professor Sassan Asgari (Biological Sciences)

LI-COR Odyssey CLx is an imaging system with an integrated imaging and analysis software that generates high quality imaging and quantitative biological data in areas such as comparative gene expression (in-cell and on membrane), tracing molecules within living organisms, immunofluorescence in tissue sections, and virus quantification.

Advanced micro-X-ray Fluorescence (µ-XRF) facility for biological, medical, materials science and geochemistry applications

Contact: Dr Antony Van Der Ent (Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation)

Micro-X-ray Fluorescence (µ -XRF) is a powerful technique to quantitatively analyse the distribution of elements in physically large intact samples, at room temperature and atmospheric pressure, including live materials (plants, living cells), as well as cryogenic analysis of biological samples. It finds numerous applications in materials science, geochemistry, environmental and agricultural sciences, and medicine. The proposed µ -XRF facility at UQ will bridge the gap between existing micro-analytical capabilities and synchrotrons and will have immediate substantial impacts to achieve true multi-disciplinary benefits, with users across many of UQ’s Schools and Institutes.