UNSW researchers are revolutionising medical research by creating virtual reality technology that allows scientists to walk around the landscape of human cells.

Ground-breaking virtual reality technology is allowing multiple scientists to see inside a human cell at the same time, giving researchers a three-dimensional tool to improve doctor interaction and help analyse how cancer drugs work.

UNSW Art & Design’s Associate Professor John McGhee is working with Professor Maria Kavallaris, from UNSW Medicine and Children’s Cancer Institute, in the second phase of the Journey to the Centre of the Cell project, a major initiative that combines scientific data, microscopy images and animation to create a virtual reality (VR) world of cells and blood vessels that can be seen through headsets.

“I saw we could do so much more with VR than selling products and superheroes,” says McGhee. “We have amazing gaming technology and we can use it to benefit patients and specialists. The inner workings of the body can often get lost in specialist data and this makes the process democratic.”

McGhee and Kavallaris are investigators in the ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science & Technology (CBNS) and are collaborating on this project.

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