Our staff

Meet the team
Our experts help you get the most from our state–of-the-art equipment and techniques.


Professor Fernando Calamante, Director of Sydney Imaging

Professor Fernando Calamante is a Professor at the School of Biomedical Engineering and Director of the University of Sydney node of the National Imaging Facility. He has carried out research on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for the last three decades and has gained international recognition for his technical work on Perfusion MRI methods, which has been highly influential. His Diffusion MRI methods and software tool (MRtrix) for measuring brain structural connectivity are widely used globally. Fernando has been elected to several leadership positions within the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), including as the 2021- 2022 President.

Professor Steven Meikle, Deputy Director of Preclinical Imaging

Professor Steven Meikle is the Head of the Imaging Physics Laboratory at the Brain and Mind Centre and Deputy Director of Preclinical Imaging at Sydney Imaging. He works on imaging and computational methods that aim to push PET and SPECT towards their physical limits of sensitivity, spatial resolution and quantitative accuracy. He is best known for his development of instrumentation and methods that enable the brains of awake, freely moving small animals to be imaged with PET, and computational methods for the quantitative analysis of dynamic PET data.

Dr Arvind Parmar, Technical Facility Manager (Preclinical Imaging and Hybrid Theatre)

Dr. Arvind Parmar is an experienced preclinical imaging scientist who has been working in the field for over two decades. He is currently serving as the Technical Facility Manager for the Hybrid Theatre and preclinical imaging groups at the Sydney Imaging Core Research Facility, where he supports imaging-based projects that aim to advance diagnostic and therapeutic tools with clinical translation value for various diseases. Arvind is specialised in molecular imaging technologies, and he applied these techniques to study various disease models including cancer, cardiovascular, neurological conditions, and metabolic disorders. Throughout his career, Arvind has worked as an imaging scientist at AstraZeneca in the UK, and later at ANSTO between 2011-2022, where he specialised in in vivo small animal imaging. He has a Master of Pharmacy in Pharmacology from M S University, India, and a PhD in Pharmacology, which he completed in 2006. He also conducted research as a Post-Doctoral Research Scientist at the University of Manchester, focusing on pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic studies of novel antimicrobial drugs. Arvind is proficient in various molecular imaging techniques, including PET/CT, SPECT/CT, PET/MR, ultrasound, and optical imaging. He actively explores the application of molecular imaging techniques for clinical translation projects or therapeutic evaluation project applications through innovative in vivo approaches.

Katie Ockenden, Operations Manager

Katie Ockenden brings over two decades of higher education experience to her role as Operations Manager at Sydney Imaging. Holding a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting, her career milestones include vital contributions to an ARC Centre of Excellence and ARC Special Research Centre, supporting the development of an undergraduate degree in Cognition and Brain Science, and fostering the creation of an evidence-based Reading and Literacy Support Clinic. As Operations Manager, she is responsible for budget management, strategic planning, and comprehensive business and administrative oversight.

Preclinical Imaging Staff

Agnes Chan, Preclinical Technical Imaging Officer

Agnes has over 10 years of experience working with different preclinical models. She started her scientific research career at the University of Sydney where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree looking at transcription regulators in a muscular disease model called Williams-Beuren syndrome and a Master’s degree on the role of tropomyosin on neuritogenesis; a neuronal model. She was a research assistant at the Kolling Institute working on Activated Protein C on rheumatoid arthritis, and a wound healing and diabetic model. She has also worked at the Institute of Child Health, University College London on lentiviral haematopoietic stem cell gene therapy in Pompe Disease; a rare metabolic disease. Her role at Sydney Imaging is to support researchers with their imaging needs on various preclinical models. 

Dr Raj Parajuli, Preclinical Imaging Specialist

Dr. Raj Parajuli is an electronics engineer specialising in biomedical instrumentation. He earned his masters and Ph.D. in Ultrasonic Imaging and Diagnostic Imaging from Gunma University, Japan. He conducted research on Compton cameras for nuclear medical imaging and beam monitoring at Gunma University Heavy Ion Medical Centre. Later, he became a Preclinical MRI Technologist at the National Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology (QST), Japan. Raj has authored over 25 peer-reviewed publications, received research grants, and developed expertise in preclinical imaging, medical physics, radiation measurements, and signal processing. He has extensive animal (mouse, rat, marmoset, monkey) handling and histology experience for research studies. In his role at Sydney Imaging, he supports scientists and researchers using various imaging facilities for their projects, with a focus on data acquisition, image analysis, and lab management.

Dr Nguyen Pham, Preclinical Imaging Specialist 

Dr. Nguyen Pham holds a Bachelor and Master of Pharmacy from Hanoi University of Pharmacy, Vietnam, and a PhD in bio-inorganic chemistry from the University of Sydney. Specialising in nanoparticle development for cancer imaging and therapy, she gained expertise in synthesis and characterisation techniques. She contributed to Ferronova, a spin-off company of the University of South Australia, optimising manufacturing and testing protocols for clinical trials. Joining the Preclinical Imaging team in 2022, she offers support and training to researchers. Her background includes teaching and post-doctoral work, focusing on multimodal cancer imaging and therapy, with extensive experience in in vitro and in vivo testing.

Hybrid Theatre Staff

Lisa Partel, Hybrid Theatre Senior Technical Officer

With over 16 years of experience as a certified veterinary nurse specialising in emergency and critical care, Lisa Partel is a seasoned professional in the veterinary field. As a Veterinary Technician Specialist (ECC), she possesses a comprehensive skill set encompassing critical care, anaesthesia, emergency management, and effective team leadership. Lisa's commitment to ongoing professional development is evident through her attainment of a Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Practice in Veterinary Nursing. She has presented at various national and international veterinary conferences, showcasing her expertise. As Senior Technical Officer at the Hybrid Theatre, Lisa facilitates the execution of research projects, drawing upon her extensive experience and dedication to advancing veterinary care through meticulous research practices.

National Imaging Facility (NIF) Fellows

Dr Georgios (Yorgos) Angelis, Total Body PET NIF Fellow

Dr Georgios (Yorgos) Angelis obtained a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Manchester developing novel spatiotemporal 4D image reconstruction algorithms for neuroscience applications. He specialises in image reconstruction and optimisation algorithms for Positron Emission Tomography, as well as quantitative analysis of imaging data. Georgios oversees and coordinates human research studies at the University of Sydney’s flagship Australian National Total Body PET Facility, offering strategic guidance to imaging and non-imaging scientists on protocols and experimental design.

Dr Tom Close, NIF Informatics Fellow

Dr Thomas Close specialises in neuroinformatics and computational neuroscience. He obtained a PhD investigating advanced techniques in diffusion MRI tractography of cerebral white matter and has completed a post-doctoral position in the Computational Neuroscience Unit of Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University in Japan. Tom provides support for the imaging operations at Sydney Imaging. Tom is actively collaborating with other NIF Informatics Fellows on the national Trusted Data Repositories Project and has developed a deployed exemplar utilising the XNAT platform.

Dr Arkiev D’Souza, Neuroimaging Analysis NIF Fellow

Dr Arkiev D’Souza is a specialist in pipeline development, automation, and implementation with a focus on neuroimaging. He earned his PhD by leveraging advanced MRI techniques to quantitatively assess skeletal muscle structure in individuals affected by muscle contracture, a condition commonly seen in stroke survivors and children living with cerebral palsy. Following his graduation, Arkiev continued to contribute to the field of neuroimaging as a research officer and post-doctoral research associate. In these roles, he successfully implemented advanced diffusion analysis pipelines in both healthy and patient cohorts. As a neuroimaging analysis fellow, Arkiev is dedicated to ensuring that cutting-edge neuroimaging analysis pipelines are readily available to MRI users within the NIF network.

Dr Yaser Hadi Gholami, Preclinical Imaging NIF Fellow

Dr. Yaser Hadi Gholami is a physicist specialising in applied physics in nuclear medicine. His research spans nanomedicine, radionuclide therapy and imaging, radiation physics and biology, nuclear chemistry, and Monte Carlo simulation. During 2019, he was a visiting research associate at Harvard University/Massachusetts General Hospital, where he developed a theory on positron annihilation localisation. Winner of the 2020 Physics Grand Challenges at USYD, he aims to establish a quantum-medicine-platform for studying cancer cells using positronium lifetime spectroscopy. Collaborating with Harvard Medical School/MGH, he developed a chelate-free nanoparticle radiolabeling technique for PET/MR imaging and therapy. He contributed to OncoSil Medical Company's personalised 32P microparticle therapy achieving FDA approval and collaborated with Varian on a radiobiological modelling platform utilising FDG PET/CT and 90Y PET/CT for radionuclide therapy. Dr. Gholami is currently the pre-clinical NIF fellow focusing on the utilisation of PET-MR and PET/CT imaging for a variety of research fields, including brain studies, cancer research, and engineering applications. Additionally, he leads the NIF pre-clinical PET Network and chairs the radiation safety committee at the USYD.

Administrative Staff

Sophie Curran, Project Integration Officer

Sophie Curran brings over five years of expertise spanning healthcare, administration, and management, complemented by over three years of dedicated project management experience. As a Project Integration Officer, Sophie plays a pivotal role at the Australian National Total Body PET Facility, providing administrative support for research initiatives. Her responsibilities include contract facilitation, governance support, budget management, and schedule coordination. Sophie's professional background extends across both American and Australian healthcare systems, encompassing both private and public sectors, adding a valuable dimension to her comprehensive understanding of the intricacies within the global healthcare landscape.

Nadine Sharpe, Administrative Officer

Nadine has a diverse background both in the corporate world and the not-for-profit space.  Most recently, Nadine was General Manager of an independent NFP. A qualified contemporary jeweller, Nadine has a passion for creating space for makers and making creative learning accessible.  She has spent the last 10 years delivering a diverse range of jewellery education programs that have seen her work with visual arts schools, community colleges, art galleries, large corporations and more. In addition to her creative pursuits, Nadine has an honours degree in Economics and has spent many years working in HR and Training related positions with some of Australia’s largest organisations.  This work has included program development, consulting on end-to-end HR practices, training and coaching of senior executives, and managing people.


Sydney Imaging

Sydney Imaging operates sites on and adjacent to the University of Sydney Camperdown campus at the Charles Perkins Centre and the Brain and Mind Centre, as well as at Royal North Shore Hospital and the Kolling Institute. Our headquarters are located at the Brain and Mind Centre, 94 Mallet St Camperdown, NSW 2006.