What is the relationship between PreClin and the Biological Resources Facility (BRF)?

PreClin and BRF are separate core facilities at TRI, operating from different budgets and staff rosters, but work very closely together. PreClin is managed by TRI, whereas BRF is by UQ-BR on behalf of TRI. PreClin instruments are housed in two big rooms within physical BRF space. As such, all rules and policies that govern the BRF also apply to PreClin.  

Do all in vivo imaging procedures require animal ethics approval? 

Yes, all experiments which involve in vivo imaging must receive approval from a UQ Animal Ethics Committee (AEC), and from the AEC of the researcher’s home affiliation, if not UQ. Generally, all animal work done at TRI is overseen by the UQ Health Sciences (HS) AEC. If UQ imaging SOPs are to be followed in experiments, they must be cited in the ethics application, otherwise the imaging procedures are to be described in detail to the satisfaction of a UQ AEC; please contact [email protected] for more information. Below is a link for a list of UQ-approved SOPs for citation purposes:   

Do PreClin staff need to be named as participants on user animal ethics before they can provide training and assistance?

Yes, since PreClin staff may handle researcher’s mice from time-to-time as part of training and when providing assistance, they need to be named as participants on user animal ethics. Training on imaging instruments is exclusively provided by PreClin staff. Their role in the study must be clearly described in the animal ethics. Please contact [email protected] for PreClin’s staff latest biography for use in ethics applications.

Are PreClin staff in a position to help design projects from scratch and develop them with researchers?

PreClin is a highly collaborative core facility at TRI, and are always keen to help researcher’s develop their projects from any stage. PreClin staff have solid track records in biomedical research, and also have advanced surgical skills, which researchers can benefit from technically and knowledge-wise. They are frequently invited by researchers to be co-chief investigators or associate investigators on grant applications, and often co-author publications.

How do we acknowledge the contribution(s) of the facility in publications and abstracts?

Any work that was undertaken in PreClin that is published or presented publically should acknowledge the role of the facility’s infrastructure and/or staff. When a PreClin staff makes a substantial intellectual contribution to a research outcome, acknowledgement of this contribution should be in in the form of co-authorship on publications and/or abstracts. This is standard academic practice, and is in aligment with the principles of the Australian Code for Responsible Conduct of Research (The Code): The code also states “the right to authorship is not tied to position or profession and does not depend on whether the contribution was paid for or voluntary”

Acknowledgement of other contributions such as routine training and standard technical assistance where intellectual input is not substantial should be covered in the Acknowledgments section of publications or other mediums. Please use the following template:

“The authors acknowledge the TRI for providing the excellent research environment and core facilities that enabled this research. We particularly thank <name(s)> from the < Microscopy, Preclinical Imaging, Proteomics, Flow Cytometry, Histology, Biological Resources> Core Facility. We also acknowledge the funding support provided through <SPORE, co-funding of Advance Queensland etc...”

Why are there charges for using imaging equipment?

Access to equipment is available on a fee-for-use basis in an effort to offset some of the total operating costs for the facility. PreClin, like all other TRI core facilities, is not-for-profit. 

How are charges for individual sessions calculated?

User fees are calculated based on PPMS booking times (15 min increments) in combination with when the instrument is physically occupied. For example, if a machine is booked for 30 mins on PPMS but 25 mins were actually used, the fee applies to 30 mins of usage because other users could not use/book the machine during that period. If there are significant deviations, eg booked for 3 hours but only used 30mins because of unforeseeable circumstances, the charges can be manually amended to reflect actual usage by PreClin staff if they are notified of the reason. 

What is the background of Preclinical Imaging Facility (PreClin) staff?

Dr Brian Tse, Senior Preclinical Imaging Scientist, obtained his PhD from the University of New South Wales in 2011 in the field of cancer immunotherapy, where he also gained expertise in cutting-edge imaging modalities (optical imaging, ultrasound and microCT). He then undertook a two-year post-doctoral position at the Lowy Cancer Research Centre in Sydney before moving to Brisbane in 2012 to join QUT-IHBI to work on several projects including prostate cancer imaging, and elucidating the molecular drivers of cancer progression. Dr Tse has received funding from the US Department of Defence (Post-doc Fellowship), NHMRC (Project grant) and QUT-IHBI (ECR grant). He has been managing the Preclinical Imaging Facility since late 2015, and has particular research interests in the application of photoacoustics, high-frequency ultrasound, microCT and microPET-CT to study diseases. 

Dr Kamil Sokolowski, Preclinical Imaging Officer, completed his Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Hons) degree at the University of Queensland in 2009. He then practiced as a fully qualified veterinary surgeon in a private clinic in Canberra for three and a half years, before joining TRI-BRF as an animal technical officer in 2014, having also worked as Acting Senior Research Co-ordinator for three months. During his time as a veterinarian, Kamil became very experienced in diagnostic ultrasound imaging and radiography, and developed advanced surgical skills. Since starting at Preclinical Imaging Officer in mid-2017, Dr Sokolowski has developed expertise in imaging modalities within PreClin (microCT, optical, ultrasound, microPET-CT), and now has a leading role in running the ultra-high resolution microCT instrument. 

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