AITHM James Cook University

Researchers have access to state-of-the-art equipment, facilities, professional management and expertise to ensure professional support, training, and consultation in order to meet research objectives.

If you have any questions about the facilities or equipment please contact AITHM -, or phone (07) 4781 3122.

Biological Resource Facilities (BRF) (CNS and TVS)

The AITHMs Biological Resource Facilities (BRF) support approved biomedical research projects and are able to cater to a range of contained housing environments for PC2 and PC3 projects. Our Approved Arrangement facilities support both Class 5.2 and 7.5.  AITHM animal technicians are able to provide specialist technical support and advice. We supply a number of genetically modified lines. Details of lines held in the facilities can be obtained by contacting AITHM.

TripleTOF 6600 Mass Spectrometer (CNS)

The SCIEX TripleTOF 6600 Quadrupole Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometer allows researchers to collect high-resolution MS and MS/MS data on complex samples, using ultra-fast acquisition rates coupled with high performance sensitivity capabilities.


The SCIEX 5800 MALDI TOF/TOF mass spectrometer can be used to provide rapid and sensitive biomarker discovery and protein identification through MS/MS peptide sequencing. Both the TripleTOF and the MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometers form part of the Cairns AITHM Advanced Proteomics Facility.


The Bruker Avance III 600 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectrometer is capable of investigating structure and dynamics in proteins, RNA and small molecules including peptides, greatly assisting in research towards uncovering drug and vaccine candidates for a variety of tropical diseases.

Irradiator Facilities (CNS and TSV)

AITHM facilities are host to both a gamma (Townsville) and X-ray (Cairns) irradiators, used for the irradiation of parasites, cell lines and other biological samples for a host of different research purposes. The RS2000 Cabinet X-ray Irradiator (Cairns, pictured) is the only X-ray irradiator approved for use by Radiation Health Queensland.

nCounter FLEX (CNS)

The nanoString nCounter® FLEX Analysis system, acquired by AITHM in 2016, uses proprietary digital technology for multiplexed measurement of nucleic acids, offering unparalleled levels of precision coupled with the ability to quantify up to 800 targets (mRNA, miRNA, or dsDNA) in a single reaction.

Flow Cytometry Facilities (CNS and TSV)

AITHM possesses several flow cytometry instruments across both the Townsville and Cairns facilities, used to identify, count and characterize cells to support cell analysis for a variety of different research fields. Both Townsville and Cairns sites possess a LSRFortessa X-20 5 Laser, 18 Colour Cell Analyser, and a FACSCanto II 3-laser, 8 colour Flow Cytometer, with Cairns also having an Aria III instrument.

Cryostore (Biobank) (CNS and TSV)

The cryostore facilities at both Townsville and Cairns AITHM are capable of storing and cataloguing an extensive biological sample library for biomedical research into human diseases. Both sites have capacity for storing up to 80,000 biological samples under liquid nitrogen (-190°C), in addition to ultra-low storage in -80°C freezers.

Invertebrate Facilities (CNS)

AITHM Cairns has two Invertebrate Facilities, a PC2 Invertebrate laboratory and the Tropical Medicine Mosquito Research Facility (TMMRF), funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The TMMRF houses a laboratory and two large semi-field flight cages, used to simulate the natural environment and allow researchers to trial trapping and release strategies. These facilities have been used to house and produce large numbers of mosquitos such as the dengue vector Aedes aegypti for programs including the Verily Debug Project, the Eliminate Dengue Project and various other research programs. 

Approved Arrangement Facilities & Tissue Culture Suites (CNS and TSV)

Both AITHM sites possess Approved Arrangement facilities for research involving biological samples subject to biosecurity control. Cairns has a total of nine BC2 OGTR Class 5.2 AA laboratories across two building locations. In addition to BC2 Class 5.2 AA laboratories, Townsville AITHM also has a BC3 Class 5.3 laboratory for work involving risk group 3 organisms subject to quarantine control.

Both Townsville and Cairns AITHM buildings have specialist Tissue Culture facilities for infectious and non-infectious research involving human, small animal and parasite cells and tissues. All AITHM Tissue Culture facilities have OGTR approval for work involving genetically modified (GM) organisms.

Translational Research Facility (TSV)

The AITHM Translational Research Facility is dedicated to taking basic science that discovers new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat major health issues and translating these findings into hospitals and clinics for better health care delivery for those living in the Tropics. The AITHM Translational Research Facility enables a multidisciplinary approach with involvement from laboratory scientists, clinicians and patients.

PC3 Facilities (TSV)

The PC3 OGTR certified facilities in Townsville are the only PC3 rated facilities between Brisbane and Singapore, and include two independent PC3 suites. Research performed within the PC3 suites includes tuberculosis vaccine challenge research, in addition to research into other risk group 3 organisms