In October 2015, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Francis Peterson , Prof Lionel Opie and multiple researchers from different Institutions in the Western Cape gathered together to celebrate the opening of the new Lionel Opie Preclinical Imaging Core Facility at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town.
The establishment of this new Core Facility is a joint venture between the Department of Medicine (Prof Sandrine Lecour), the Department of Cardiac Surgery (Prof Neil Davies) and the Department of Anaesthesia (Prof Justiaan Swanevelder). It was named after Professor Lionel Opie, in recognition for his career-long contribution to Cardiovascular Research worldwide. It aims to be the region’s first comprehensive Preclinical In vivo Research Facility, serving Cancer, Cardiovascular and Developmental Biology researchers from across Africa. The acquisition of a state-of-the art 10 million rand ultrasound machine was made possible with the support of the National Research Foundation, the University of Cape Town and industry partner Alliance Global.
“We are very happy to see the spirit of partnership and collaboration between us and UCT materialize into this MOU, and we believe this center will contribute greatly to the research efforts in the region” Said Dr. Tamer Degheidy, Group CEO at Alliance Global. Profs Sandrine Lecour and Neil Davies, co-directors of this new Core Facility added “this partnership between the University and Alliance Global will allow us to raise the quality of training in the in vivo imaging field” and “it will contribute to increase the quality of research conducted in Africa.” Prof Swanevelder, Head of the Department of Anaesthesia highlighted that ” This facility will bring both clinicians and basic scientists together which will facilitate translational research within UCT”