World-leading MRI centre

A state-of-the-art medical imaging, research and innovation centre will be built in Tairāwhiti Gisborne with $6 million from the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund and $1 million from the Eastland Community Trust.

The centre will primarily focus on brain injury, concussion and heart disease and will be called Mātai, meaning to investigate or examine. Mātai whakatauāki Te Mata Mātai Hura translates to ‘the investigative revealing eye’.

Dr Samantha Holdsworth, an Auckland University senior lecturer who’s credited with a number of breakthroughs in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologies while working at Stanford University, will be the new Mātai director of research.

Gisborne ophthalmologist Dr Graham Wilson, speaking at an optometry event in Auckland said this was a very exciting development for the region and will have a strong visual component given the effect of traumatic brain injuries on sight. “Samantha is an expert in MRI physics, who has a software programme which can be applied to an MRI scan to detect concussion really early.”

Dr Wilson will be leading the visual research at the new centre, employing OCT, convergence testing and even the latest VR technology.

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