The University of Newcastle, Australia

Global thought leader

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Professor Carolyn Mountford has received global recognition for her innovative cancer research using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy technology.

Dr Carolyn Mountford

Agilent Technologies Inc has awarded Professor Mountford an Agilent Thought Leader Award to support her research into new applications of the revolutionary diagnostic tool, which will help with the identification of breast cancer during its early stages without the need for invasive surgery.

"Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy is a highly accurate and precise tool for analysing human tissue," Professor of Radiology at the University of Newcastle's School of Health Sciences and Director of Newcastle's Magnetic Resonance Centre for Clinical Research, Professor Mountford said.

"This technology could help pathologists diagnose breast cancer more quickly and accurately, enable surgeons to make more informed decisions and, ultimately, improve the quality of care for patients."

The Agilent Thought Leader Award promotes fundamental scientific advances by contributing financial support, products and expertise to the research of influential thought leaders in the life sciences and chemical analysis.

The award will support Professor Mountford and her team in their pioneering research on novel in vivo NMR techniques that may detect early changes in breast tissue in high-risk women. Preliminary data suggests that NMR may detect early changes in breast tissue that reflect rapid tumour growth. NMR may also be used to analyse primary breast tumours to determine if the cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes, preventing unnecessary surgery.

Professor Mountford's methods are currently being used by the USA and Australian militaries for assessment of soldiers, and have been adapted by research centres and hospitals to evaluate patients with cancer, brain tumours and neurologic and psychological disorders.

Professor Mountford is also Director of the Centre for Clinical Spectroscopy at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston MA and Professor of Radiology at the Harvard Medical School, USA.

More information on the Agilent Thought Leader Awards.

See Professor Mountford on the NBN News Innovators Series.

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