University of Auckland centre for brain research

Further $1.3 Million to University of Auckland Centre for Brain Research

This renewed partnership is to continue the development of the centre’s now 5 year old CBR Biobank. A centre that houses human cells and tissue from patients with brain disorders for research into brain disease. This is the first brain-oriented Biobank in the country. The aim of this research is to discover new methods of diagnosis and treatment for patients who suffer from a wide range of brain disorders. The centre focuses on conditions including stokes, epilepsy, dementia, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. The foundation’s motivation for funding the biobank comes from a belief that medical research related to the brain has the potential to help solve mysteries of so many medical conditions, which affect people every day.

From the University website:

Biobank

Expanding on the internationally recognised Neurological Foundation Human Brain Bank, the new multi-tissue Biobank provides human tissues and cells in conjunction with clinical, neurophysiological and brain imaging information, for expanded lab-based research on human brain disease. The Biobank secures and significantly expands the human brain tissue and cell bank resources, and encompasses other human tissues (e.g. blood, serum, blood cells, skin fibroblasts, muscle biopsies) for research and diagnostic purposes into human brain disorders.

The storage facilities are located in the fifth floor laboratories of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences Grafton Campus, forming an integral part of the human brain research programme. There is good evidence that peripheral cells and tissues of people with brain diseases show abnormalities which are specific to these diseases, so being able to study these changes means that our scientists can validate the peripheral cell changes and understand better the mechanisms underlying the brain diseases.

Potential applications of the Biobank include:

  • Improving early and accurate diagnosis of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease through the research identification of specific biomarkers for each disease
  • Research to identify predictors of brain disease in order to apply new treatments to prevent the onset of brain disease
  • Opportunities for intervention at the very earliest stage of the disease
  • Monitoring and understanding the progression of brain disease during life with long-term widespread studies, in diseases such as Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease
  • Capability to directly test new drug treatments on diseased cells to fast-track drug development from the lab to the patient
  • Identification of new treatment opportunities to slow down disease progression to give a higher quality of life for people affected by brain disease
  • Early safety testing of new drugs and therapies on human cells

https://www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/en/faculty/cbr/our-centre/biobank.html

Malaghan Institute

Flow cytometry

The Hugh Green Foundation has entered into a new partnership with the Malaghan Institute. Which means $1.09 Million over the next 5 years for Malaghan to continue to build on the incredible work in the Hugh Green Cytometry Core.

Flow cytometry is the one technique that underpins all of the research groups at the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research and is the main technology essential for integrating all of our research projects. Approximately 90% of the scientific staff at the Institute utilise flow cytometry as a research tool in their quest to develop immune-based therapies for the treatment of diseases such as cancer, asthma, multiple sclerosis, arthritis and infectious diseases.

In simple terms, flow cytometry works by utilising lasers to stimulate fluorescent dyes that are attached to a cell type of interest via an antibody specific for that cell. This enables recognition, characterisation and subsequent sorting of cells of interest.

The Malaghan Institute of Medical Research Flow Cytometry Suite offers state-of-the-art analysis and cell sorting, including the isolation and analysis of haemopoietic and cancer stem cells. The Flow Cytometry Suite aims to provide crucial services, support and training not only to its own research staff, but also to the wider scientific community especially in regards to new clinical research opportunities.

http://www.malaghan.org.nz

Medicine Mondiale

Infant Incubator

Medicine Mondiale is developing a state of the art low cost, highly reliable infant incubator designed for use in the developing world setting.

The Medicine Mondiale Liferaft Infant Incubator is a radical departure from traditional infant incubator design.

We have spent three years researching end user requirements for the development of an affordable highly reliable, virtually maintenance free, infant incubator for use in the developing world setting.

Traditional incubators have air filters which filter out bacteria but these need to replaced every two months.

In practice, once an incubator fails in the developing world setting it is simply pushed into a corner and forgotten. This is because there is no one technically trained and competent to repair the incubator but mainly because there is no budget allocated to purchase spare parts.

The average lifecycle of an infant incubator in the developing world setting is typically less than two years.

Using technology based on NASA long haul space flights, we have developed a patentable infant incubator heating and sterilisation module which has a ten year life cycle, obviating the need for in the field servicing and maintenance.

All components of the Liferaft Incubator are being lifecycle tested to 100,000 hrs to ensure a virtually maintenance free highly robust infant incubator.

Using a combination of long life sterilising UV LEDS and nanoparticulate silver coatings, air within the infant incubator is maintained free of bacteriological contamination while the modular design of the incubator facilitates ease of cleaning using locally available cleaning agents.

While the Liferaft Incubator utilizes state of the art technologies, through the clever use of high tech low cost materials of construction we are able to keep the cost of manufacture to US$1,500.

The Medicine Mondiale Liferaft Incubator will be manufactured in accordance with recognised international standards for the manufacture of infant incubators including, IEC- 601-1, ISO 7767,ISO 9001,ISO 13485 and CE Mark.

n addition to providing a safe temperature controlled environment free from pathogenic bacteria, the Liferaft Incubator incorporates a non UV Blue light LED Phototherapy System for treatment of Bilirubin.

Commercial production of the Liferaft Incubator will commence in 2012 following successful validation of lifecycle testing.

http://www.medicinemondiale.org

RNZFB

Royal NZ Foundation for the Blind

Hugh Green Foundation has committed to making a gift of $300,000 over three years to the RNZFB to upgrade their library to digital. The upgrade has been a major project for the Foundation transforming the Library to a state-of-the-art digital service. All of the library’s borrowers are now using the new DAISY player and receiving books and magazines on DAISY CDs. With the infrastructure now in place and over 6,000 titles available in the digital library, the project is almost complete. The only downside they can see is managing to record books at the same speed their members are reading them!

www.rnzfb.org.nz

Hugh Green Group staff recently took part in the 'Bake a Difference' challenge for blind week. The staff put on a fantastic spread and raised over $200 to help the the Blind Foundation carry on their amazing work!

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