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World leader in MR-PET imaging awarded veski fellowship

Monash Distinguished Professor Jon Shah, a world leader in MR-PET technology development and biomedical imaging, has been presented with a veski innovation fellowship.

veski is a Victorian government funded initiative dedicated to fostering innovation in the state. The highly esteemed veski innovation fellowships are designed to bring Australian expatriates and leading researchers, with outstanding skills in science and innovative technology, typically in the top five percent of their respective fields, to Victoria.

Professor Shah, a Distinguished Professor, Monash Institute of Medical Engineering and Deputy Director at Monash Biomedical Imaging, was presented with his veski innovation fellowship, on Thursday, 28 April 2016 by The Hon Philip Dalidakis, Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, in the presence of government partners and national and international leaders from research and industry.

“The arrival at Monash University of Professor Shah, from the Jülich Research Centre — an institute of the German Helmholtz Association — marks a significant milestone for both academic and industry relationships here in Australia, while at the same time cementing our connections with the international biomedical imaging community,” said Professor Ian Smith, Vice Provost Research and Research Infrastructure at Monash University and veski chair.

Professor Shah is transforming the way we ‘look’ at the human brain and developing new ways to investigate the brains of people suffering from traumatic brain injuries, mental health disorders and obesity and diabetes.

In global partnership with Monash University, Research Centre Julich in Germany and industry partner Siemens Pacific, Professor Shah is developing next generation brain imaging methodologies focused on quantifying brain scans, allowing researchers to compare images produced today with images produced tomorrow and see measurable changes in physical units such as milliseconds and absolute concentrations.

MR-PET combines Positron Emission Tomography (PET) with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to provide more detailed imaging of physiological and biochemical processes. This powerful combination benefits the community through delivering enhanced knowledge of disease: enabling the development of new techniques for diagnosis and treatment.

Professor Shah said the fellowship will have a significant impact on his research.

“The veski innovation award will enable me to push forward the development of novel technologies, such as hybrid imaging, using state-of-the-art instruments. The fellowship has helped me to make contacts with the relevant researchers, enabling me to ensure I can further the aims of the research program as quickly as possible,” he said.

veski chief executive officer Julia Page said Professor Shah's international standing in the area of MR-PET combined with access to advanced imaging technologies at Monash University will accelerate current Victorian collaborations and deliver transformational imaging technologies to the world.

“Awarding the veski innovation fellowship to Professor Shah is a signal of our commitment to industry and research partnerships and the potential benefits they can have for all Australians,” she said.