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Anthony Butler thumbProfessor Anthony Butler

The MARS group (Medipix All Resolution System), is a world leader in spectral x-ray technology for molecular imaging of pre-clinical models of disease. The goal of our research is to work with industrial partners to develop a commercial spectral scanner for molecular imaging.

External funding is from a 6-year MBIE (Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment) contract ("Taking MARS Spectral CT to Human Imaging"), and a parallel contract with MARS Bioimaging Ltd (MBI). A number health related and collaboration grants provide additional funding to the project. These include the National Health Foundation, the NZ Arthritis Foundation, the New Zealand Royal Society, and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.


Professor Anthony Butler
Tel +64 3 378 6359
Mob +64 21 0272 0806

Visit our Partnerships page for more about our partnerships and collaborations.


MARS Spectral Molecular Imaging

MARS spectral molecular imaging is a new 3D quantitative colour imaging modality. This technology is based on x-ray transmission and has the potential to advance diagnosis and treatment of major health diseases in new ways. The novel features of this scanner are an ability to differentiate and quantify simultaneously several targeted cell types, biomarkers, and drug delivery at the target tissue. It provides molecular imaging at the histological scale by measuring x-ray attenuation of the tissues at different energies (also known as wavelength or colour).

Our people

Imaging research leader

Professor Anthony Butler, bioengineering and radiology

The team consists of engineers, physicists, computer scientists, biologist, radiologists, and surgeons spread across four universities and several local companies:

  • University of Canterbury (Canterbury)
  • University of Otago (Otago)
  • University of Auckland (Auckland)
  • Lincoln University (Lincoln)
  • MARS Bioimaging Ltd
  • Shamrock Industries
  • Interlink Research Ltd

Lead investigators

  • Dr Christoph Bartneck (HITLab NZ, Canterbury)
  • Dr Stephen Bell (MARS Bioimaging Ltd)
  • Professor Anthony Butler (Bioengineering, Otago, Project leader)
  • Professor Phil Butler (Physics and Astronomy, Canterbury, Project leader)
  • Dr Robert Doesburg (MARS Bioimaging Ltd)
  • Associate Professor Steven Gieseg (Biological Sciences, Canterbury)
  • Mr Brian Goulter (MARS Bioimaging Ltd)
  • Dr Joe Healy (MARS Bioimaging Ltd)
  • Dr David Krofcheck (Physics, Auckland)
  • Dr Stuart Lansley (MARS Bioimaging Ltd)
  • Dr Nanette Schleich (Radiation Therapy, Otago)
  • Dr Michael Walsh (MARS Bioimaging Ltd)
  • Associate Professor Tim Woodfield (Bioengineering, Otago)

Current and recent postdoctoral researchers

  • Dr Marzieh Anjomrouz (MBI, Otago)
  • Dr Ali Atharifard (MBI, Otago)
  • Dr Chris Bateman (Radiology, Otago)
  • Dr Alex Chernoglazov (MBI, Canterbury)
  • Dr Joe Healy (Biological Sciences)
  • Dr Harish Mandalika (MBI, Canterbury)
  • Dr Nadia Mitchell (Radiology, Otago)
  • Dr Mahdieh Moghiseh (Bioengineering Otago)
  • Dr Judy Mohr (Bioengineering, Otago)
  • Dr Raj Panta (Bioengineering Otago)
  • Dr Hannah Prebble (MBI, Canterbury)
  • Dr Aamir Raja (Bioengineering, Otago)
  • Dr Niels de Ruiter (Bioengineering Otago and HITLab Canterbury)

A large number of postgraduate students have worked alongside Imaging researchers to achieve their qualifications.
Visit our Imaging students page


A carotid plaque
A carotid plaque where iron (in blue) has been separated from calcium (white). Iron deposits are thought to be intraplaque haemorrhage, a possible cause of stroke.

A human wrist with a watch
A human wrist with a watch.

MARS CT scanner thumb
MARS-CT Scanner.

A mouse containing several contrast agents. Gadolinium (green) in in the intestines, gold (yellow) is in the lungs, and iodine (red) is in the bladder and kidneys.

Research collaborators

MARS Bioimaging LtdBaker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute 186Canterburt District Health Board 186Joint Institute for Nuclear Research 186

Oregon Health & Science University 186Unversity of Canterbury logo 186University of Otago logo 186Virginia Tech - Center for Biomedical Imaging 186


Phillips, R., Dittmer, K., Smith, R., Baer, K., & Butler, A. (2023). Aligning bone tumour radiology and histology data: How could we close the loop? In D. Bailey, A. Punchihewa & A. Paturkar (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th International Conference on Image and Vision Computing New Zealand (IVCNZ). IEEE. doi: 10.1109/IVCNZ61134.2023.10344091 Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

Butler, A. (2023, November-December). Spectral photon counting for accurate anatomical imaging. Plenary presentation at the 10th Asia Pacific International Congress of Anatomists (APICA) and the 20th Australian & New Zealand Association of Clinical Anatomists (ANZACA) Conference: Reconnect, Ka Mua, Ka Muri, Dunedin, New Zealand. Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Clark, J. A., Chapagain, K. M., Amma, M. R., Moghiseh, M., Lowe, C., & Butler, A. P. H. (2023). MARS for Orthopaedic Pathology. In S. Hsieh & K. Iniewski (Eds.), Photon counting computed tomography: Clinical applications, image reconstruction and material discrimination. (pp. 39-61). Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature. doi: 10.1007/978-3-031-26062-9_3 Chapter in Book - Research

Liu, D., Cao, F., Xu, Z., Zhao, C., Liu, Z., Pang, J., … Moghiseh, M., Butler, A., … Yang, J. (2023). Selective organ-targeting hafnium oxide nanoparticles with multienzyme-mimetic activities attenuate radiation-induced tissue damage. Advanced Materials, 2308098. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/adma.202308098 Journal - Research Article

Lee, R. M., Shoorangiz, R., Foulds, J. A., Almuqbel, M. M., Le Heron, C., Cleland, L., Keenan, R. J., Mulder, R., Porter, R. J., Newton-Howes, G., Douglas, K. M., Butler, A. P. H., Boden, J. M., & Melzer, T. R. (2023). Long-term impacts of cannabis on resting state functional networks: Are there any? In K.-L. Horne (Ed.), Proceedings of the 39th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research (AWCBR). (pp. 57). Retrieved from Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

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