Vital research at the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation could potentially be fast-tracked after a new piece of lab equipment was donated by the local Freemasons.
City of Brisbane Consistory, with the support of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, recently donated a new Epithelial Voltohmmeter which will be used by researchers in the Liver Cancer and Ophthalmology Research Units to measure membrane potential and resistance of epithelial cells in culture. Up until now, researchers have had to travel from Greenslopes to QIMR Berghofer in Herston to measure their cultures, for a procedure that takes no more than 10 minutes.
City of Brisbane Consistory Grand Secretary, Rod Powell said that having this resource on site would save valuable time and money – potentially leading to improving patient outcomes sooner.
“In the past eight years the Consistory has donated over $18,000 to the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation. We hope our latest donation supports scientists in their quest for answers,” Rod said.
Currently Liver cancer is the fastest growing cancer in Australia. Head of the Liver Cancer Research Program at the Gallipoli Medical Research Institute, Dr Jason Steel, welcomed the donation.
“This piece of equipment is vital for our research where we are attempting to model the epithelial barriers found in the Gastrointestinal tract in cell culture and find viruses that are able to move through this layer and shuttle to the liver. The ultimate goal of this work is to help us target the liver with an oral treatment,” Dr Steel said.
“Similarly, the new equipment will support the Ophthalmology unit to model the epithelial barriers found in the eye, as they attempt to develop treatments that can move through the eye and into diseases such as Uveal melanoma found behind the eye,” he said.
In addition, the Consistory donated computers and software to the Foundation’s Veteran’s Mental Health Initiative, enabling researchers to carry out comprehensive imaging and analysis of their lab findings, looking at ways to support the next generation of Veterans transitioning back to civilian life.
Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark, spoke highly of City of Brisbane Consistory acknowledging their charitable efforts.
“Empowering researchers to understand and find solutions for some of the most complex health issues aligns with our philanthropic goals, which in part is to equip people to lead better lives,” Gary said.
“For that reason Hand Heart Pocket was happy to match the charitable efforts of City of Brisbane Consistory, maximising the impact of their donation,” he said.
Photo: PhD student Bijay Dhungel uses the new Epithelial Voltohmmeter as part of his Liver cancer research at the Gallipoli Medical Research Institute.