McMaster opens new $22M nuclear research facility

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McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, has unveiled its newly expanded Nuclear Research Building, which includes a new cyclotron facility and improvements to the McMaster Nuclear Reactor (MNR) Building.  

Nuclear sciences and engineering received $22 million from Canadian federal and provincial governments in 2009, as part of the Knowledge Infrastructure Program. The money was used to upgrade physical infrastructure, expand isotope research and production capacity, as well as enhance research and education facilities for the nuclear industry and healthcare sectors.

The new facility houses a 10-ton, $2 million cyclotron which will produce PET medical isotopes. McMaster intends the facility to primarily be used for the development of new drugs for the early diagnosis of diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. The facility is hoping to produce imaging isotopes every day, and to immediately deliver to a local hospital.
In addition, the funding provided for renovations and upgrades to the Nuclear Research Building, to accommodate and support new laboratories, and research space and education for new faculty members, researchers and graduate students. The new building will play host to the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization, a private sector government-funded nonprofit enterprise whose funded goal is research, development and commercialization of new molecular imaging tools for disease treatment and diagnosis.