New fridge is a freezing success at hospital

Posted on Tuesday, 2 July 2024

Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital has used a $10,000 donation from Canterbury League Club to purchase an Ultra Low Chest Freezer to help in their research studies of Parkinson’s disease.

The hospital is currently conducting two studies and was lacking a place to properly freeze and store blood samples.

“One of our studies is looking at Parkinson’s disease and the other one is looking at the different types of proteins,” said Mark Dobson, Chief Nuclear Medicine Scientist at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital.

“Parkinson’s disease is increasing in Australia, and we are looking at whether the lifestyle of an individual makes a difference and if there are any changes to their blood samples.”

Both studies are focused on analysing the differences in genes and proteins in patients’ blood, along with tracking their lifestyle characteristics. The Ultra Low Chest Freezer will allow researchers to store blood specimens at -80 degree Celsius and for a longer period of time (over a year).

Mr Dobson said: “The blood specimens, genes and proteins need to be stored at a low temperature so that it is stable. This freezer helps with that, which is fantastic to have for our research.”

Canterbury League Club Chairman Peter Winchester visited Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital to tour the premises, view the fridge and speak to researchers who are passionately involved in the studies.

“We started this study as we are an ageing population nation – about 50 people per day in Australia are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. So, it is very relevant and particularly impacts the Bankstown area as we have an elderly population,” said Mr Dobson.

“Medical research has come a long way and yet we still have so much to learn about human biology. The team at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital are doing terrific work in deepening our understanding in these degenerative diseases and hopefully in the future, contribute to a cure or more advanced medical treatment,” said Peter Winchester, Chairman of Canterbury League Club.