Guy Cameron

PhD, Bbiomedsci(hons), Bmedsci

Jai Briggs-Ford


Jai was raised in the heart of Kamilaroi country surrounded by family who shaped his deep connection to Aboriginal culture and values. The chance to experience life as a medical student as part of a high school summer program ignited his desire to pursue a career in health. He hopes to be part of an expanding Indigenous-led medical workforce that prioritises culturally sensitive and appropriate healthcare. Jai believes that no matter what corner of the world you call home, it's what you do every day that matters. After completing one year of Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science (Nuclear Medicine) he was able to successfully enter the Joint Medical Program at the University of Newcastle in 2024 to become a doctor of medicine. He hopes to return to his corner of the world, his hometown of Moree, to address inequality within a rural health setting.
Jai's involvement in the "Seeds of growth and healing: Exploring the healing properties of Indigenous native plants" project has been both groundbreaking and instrumental. Recently, he undertook a significant task of transporting samples of Kangaroo Apple (Solanum aviculare), a native fruit known for its nutritious and medicinal benefits, to the University of Western Sydney for advanced imaging studies. Using high-field T11.7 and T14.1 MRI scanners, Jai has been at the forefront of exploring the intricate structural, metabolic, and relaxometry changes that occur during the ripening process of these fruits. This innovative approach aims not only to document the unique properties of the Kangaroo Apple but also to contribute to a more integrative method of plant characterisation within our research.

The detailed imaging process Jai helped facilitate includes acquiring high-resolution structural MRI data, which is pivotal for creating an opening picture in any future scholarly article. His efforts will enable the team to generate a 3D dataset desirable for multiplanar reconstruction (MPR), allowing for the production of 2D slices of arbitrary thickness at any angle. This precise imaging technique, focusing on good resolution thin slices, isotropic voxel, and over-contiguous (overlapping) slices, is critical for the thorough examination and documentation of the plant's characteristics.

Jai's proactive coordination for the MRI sequences on both the 11.7 and 14.1 magnets showcases his commitment to the project and his capacity to lead innovative research methods. His work is a testament to the project's goal of leveraging modern technology to preserve the knowledge and cultural heritage associated with Indigenous plants. Through Jai's contributions, the project not only moves closer to identifying new medicinal compounds in Indigenous plants but also exemplifies the fusion of traditional knowledge and contemporary scientific practices. The entire team is eagerly anticipating the insights that will emerge from this pioneering work, underlining our dedication to uncovering the healing properties of Indigenous native plants.

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