The Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute is getting a big upgrade.
Like any equipment, magnetic resonance instruments only have so many years before they're no longer state-of-the-art. Researchers at the institute need equipment to be cutting edge in order to stay competitive.
"It's like buying a new iPhone," vice-president of research Roxanne Deslauriers said.
Except that this $1.4 million purchase of a new and improved MRI, made thanks to FedNor, that will help the institute conduct experiments that will save lives, create 16 new jobs and and eventually take the fruits of that research to market.
"Science can power commerce, there are appropriate and responsible ways in which that can occur," MP Greg Rickford (Con., Kenora) said Tuesday morning in Thunder Bay after announcing the funding.
"It takes supporting science and research to get there."
The institute has been using an MRI since its inception. Deslauriers said that happens two ways. Using cancer as an example, she said first an MRI allows for a picture of a lump to be taken. Then researchers can use spectroscopy to analyze biochemistry and the actual makeup of the cells.
"It can actually tell you what type of metabolic defect is there," she said.
With the right hardware, technicians and relentless curiosity of researchers the institute can generate seemingly infinite data that can be studied. The federal funding lets that happen with the latest in technology, which Delauriers said usually only has a shelf life of about five years.
"The questions you can ask, the ability to be competitive just skyrockets," she said.