JTCC: Visualising bio-imaging and data in 3D Virtual Reality (VR)
Signature Project

Project Leaders

Associate Professor John McGhee, Professor Tom Davis


Dr Andrew Lilja, Dr John Bailey, Mr Campbell Strong

The Project

This project will explore how design-led 3D virtual reality (VR) immersive techniques can be used to visualise the dynamics process within a cancer cell. The research also intends to conduct user testing of the VR content with students and scientific communities.

The goal of this research is to establish whether VR immersive data interaction provides benefits as an educational tool. We also intend to investigate whether 3D VR visualisations of laboratory data can facilitate and enhance the scientific discovery process. As part of this evaluation, we will be developing a VR platform to ‘share’ content. The goal is to connect VR 3D cellular data between multiple users and sites across the CBNS nodes simultaneously on a collaborative VR platform, to be termed the ‘VR Cell Arena System’.


  1. 3D Visualisation of Cancer Cell Data – UNSW, UQ and Monash
  2. 3D VR in vivo Nanoparticles Dynamics Data – UNSW and UQ
  3. Nanoscapes: Interactive Real-Time Cellular Landscape Exploration – UNSW, UQ, Monash
  4. MultiUser VR of High-Resolution Cellular Dynamics Data – UNSW, CCIA
  5. Pain App – UNSW, Monash


The development of effective VR tools and immersive narratives for communication in education, about nanoparticle drug delivery, will allow a new type of aesthetic for the public to view and experience nanoparticle science in VR. This will lead to a better understanding of alternative modes to visualise nanostructures in both education and science discovery settings.

The Big Questions

  • Can the use of data-driven 3D computer visualisation provide greater insight into the mechanisms of internalisation of a drug delivery system?
  • Can design-led VR through the use of Head Mounted Displays (HMDs), provide improved modes of interaction and education of the scientific data?


  • Nanoscape – peer review high impact Non-Traditional Outputs (NTRO) – VR Film and interactive environment
  • VR interactive platform for importing and realising visualisation of nanoparticles in vivo
  • A knowledge base on interactive VR uses in education, science discovery and public engagement and nanoparticles in vivo
  • 3D interactive Vox-Cell Volumetric Data Visualisation viewer


For more details on outcomes please contact the project leaders Associate Professor John McGhee