Located in the Ralph and Patricia Sarich Neuroscience Research Institute building (SNRI), Alzheimer’s Research Australia takes pride in its world-class facilities that attract top-tier Alzheimer’s researchers.

As one of five organisations housed on over four levels in an 8,900sqm building, our facility has state-of-the-art laboratories housing advanced equipment, enabling our researchers to embark on cutting-edge research into Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s Research Australia (ARA) has clinical assessment and treatment rooms on the ground floor, fully equipped PC2 research and specialised laboratories for neuroscience research on the upper floors for experiments, as well as dedicated cryogenic archival and -86 degree Celsius freezer farm storage on the upper floor.

The ARA space on the ground floor houses 10 medical and specialised rooms, including dedicated retinal imaging cameras, a Transcranial Pulse Stimulation device, phlebotomy and medical procedure facilities, and a dedicated laboratory on the ground floor for the time-sensitive processing of human biofluids.

This biofluid processing laboratory contains Class II biological safety cabinets that can accommodate five investigators, with additional workspace dedicated to eight refrigerated blood centrifuges and other major equipment, as well as ample short-term -80 C freezer storage space. All samples are then stored long-term in either the -80 C freezer farm, or the -200 C dedicated cryogenic archival facility.

Research equipment

State-of-the-art equipment

Retinal imaging
One of the retinal imaging cameras housed within ARA (and kindly purchased by Lion’s Alzheimer’s Foundation), is the Optina Hyperspectral Retina camera. It is one of only five prototype instruments built and uses breakthrough NAA-inspired technology, which is being used to identify a retinal fingerprint of Alzheimer’s disease.

Current methodologies for the early diagnosis of brain amyloidosis are unsuited for community-wide screening as brain scans are expensive and cannot be repeated too often, while lumbar puncture for central spinal fluid analysis is invasive and requires highly trained personnel. The main benefit of developing an eye test is that it is non-invasive, less expensive than a brain scan and could be rolled out broadly to the community.

Detecting protein biomarkers
On Level 2 of the SNRI building, are the cutting-edge PC2-certified laboratories that feature the revolutionary Single Molecule Array (SIMOA) technology, notably the Simoa HD-X machine. This exceptional equipment excels at detecting protein biomarkers in minuscule amounts in matrices, such as blood (plasma and serum), cerebrospinal fluid, urine, and cell extracts for early disease detection of various neurological conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease.

SIMOA’s groundbreaking sensitivity allows it to detect signals up to 1000 times fainter than traditional tests, enabling the measurement of proteins that were previously nearly impossible to identify. This heightened precision is a game-changer, empowering our researchers to explore biomarkers with unprecedented accuracy.

Essential resources

Cutting-edge technology

Recognising that excellent facilities attract top researchers, we continually draw a significant number of researchers and PhD students throughout the year.

In addition to our research-centric environment, we prioritise the comfort and convenience of our research participants. Access to a dedicated breakfast room and comfortable testing rooms enhances the overall experience for those contributing to our studies.

The initial contributions of Lotterywest and Ralph and Patricia Sarich were instrumental in facilitating our entry into the building, enabling us to enhance our facilities, invest in cutting-edge technology, and equip our dedicated team of researchers with essential resources. While their support was crucial for our establishment, we now rely on continued engagement from the broader community to sustain and expand our impactful research endeavours.