The “pod” space on the ground level of the SAHMRI building will become a Jones Radiology clinic, offering the highest level of medical imaging currently available in South Australia.

Through the $13 million dollar total investment, the organisations will establish a state of the art clinical and research imaging centre collaborating on advanced cardiovascular CT, MRI and PET/CT platforms, as well as providing a full range of clinical imaging services for the community.

This partnership is moving SAHMRI into a new direction of commercialisation with industry partners to create a facility that will benefit our researchers. But equally as important, it will ultimately improve the treatment and diagnosis of patients, meaning better health outcomes for the community.

The facility will further enhance the research already underway at SAHMRI, and in particular, work in heart health and Project Discovery – a project aimed at better diagnosing and treating spinal cord injury and concussion.

Having the imaging facility located on the same site as the Cyclotron at SAHMRI will enable new shorter half-life compounds to be utilised and streamlining of translational results. There are currently several compounds being developed for conditions such as dementia, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Dr Will Thompson, Managing Partner Jones Radiology, said that the practice is excited to be a key part of the state growing research imaging capability and the benefits that will flow to our patients.

“Investment in technology, specialised staff and evidence based medicine are core qualities of Jones Radiology,” Dr Thompson said.

“Patients will benefit from access to convenient state of the art imaging within the new health and biomedical precinct and complement our other CBD clinics at Calvary Wakefield and St Andrew’s Hospital, as well as across metropolitan and country South Australia.”

Professor Steve Wesselingh, SAHMRI Executive Director, said that the benefits of having dedicated imaging are countless.

“Having access to imaging facilities on a regular basis allows for less invasive treatment of patients and provides an opportunity for broader clinical trials that utilise imaging,” Professor Wesselingh said.

“A first of its kind arrangement for South Australian researchers, there will be dedicated time allocated to SAHMRI researchers for clinical research without compromising the scheduling of patient treatments.”

Another benefit includes the diagnosis of patients with new compounds created by the Cyclotron facility at SAHMRI, providing translational results sooner, in addition focusing on the prevention of illnesses. Several compounds are currently being examined for conditions including dementia, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

The heads of agreement will be signed today (18/04/2016) by Professor Steve Wesselingh and Dr Will Thompson. Work on the imaging facility is due to commence in the next six to eight weeks, with an expected completion date of November 2016.