Research Network for Metals in Medicine



Dr Garry Foran

BSc(Hons), PhD(USyd)

Position: Senior Research Scientist, Bragg Institute
Scientific Manager, Australian Synchrotron Research Program

Affiliation: Bragg Institute, ANSTO

Postal Address:
Bragg Institute, ANSTO
PMB 1, Menai
NSW 2234

Phone: +61 (02) 9717 9012
Fax: +61 (02) 9717 3145

Research Profile

In my position as Staff Scientist at the Australian National Beamline Facility, I have operated, maintained, developed and managed the ANBF at the Photon Factory synchrotron light source in Tsukuba, Japan since construction began in 1992. I am now Senior Research Scientist within ANSTO and Scientific manager at the ANBF responsible for operations in Japan.

My research interests and current collaborations focus on the application of X-ray absorption spectroscopy to the study of advanced materials and biologically important systems and the structural study of organic thin films using X-ray reflectometry, XAS and grazing-incidence X-ray diffraction.

Approximately 50% of experiments carried out at the ANBF employ X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). Throughout my tenure at the ANBF I have been primarily responsible for the upkeep and development of XAS instrumentation as well as for ensuring successful XAS experimental outcomes. I have long experience in beamline optics and instrumentation – in particular with the operation of advanced XAS detectors and X-ray monochromators suitable for XAS measurements. I have extensive experience carrying out XAS experiments at other SR facilities around the world, am a recognized Australian authority on XAS and co-author of a book chapter on the application of the technique to the study of surfaces and thin films.

Selected Publications

  1. Weder, J. E.; Hambley, T. W.; Kennedy, B. J.; Lay, P. A.; Foran, G. J.; Rich, A. M. "Determination of the Structures of Antiinflammatory Copper(II) Dimers of Indomethacin by Multiple-Scattering Analyses of X-ray Absorption Fine Structure Data" Inorg. Chem., 2001, 40, 1295-1302.
  2. Azevedo, G. de M.; Ridgway, M. C.; Glover, C. J.; Yu, K. M.; Foran, G. J. "Structural characterisation of amorphised InAs with synchrotron radiation" Nucl. Instrum. and Meth. in Phys. Res. , 2002, B190, 851-855.
  3. Bondin, M. J.; Foran, G. J.; Best, S. P. "Electrosynthesis Cell for X-Ray AbsorptionFine Structure Measurement: Reduction of Air-Sensitive Iron-Sulfur Compounds" Aust. J. Chem., 2001, 54, 705-509.
  4. ODriscoll, B. M. D.; Ruggles, J. L.; Foran, G. J.; Lin, B.; Gentle, I. R. “Conformational changes in monolayers of a cationic amphiphilic porphyrin on saline subphases” Journal of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines, 2002, 6, 806-811.
  5. Glover, C. J.; Foran, G. J.; Ridgway, M. C. “Structure of amorphous silicon investigated by EXAFS” Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B, 2003, 199, 195-199.
  6. Ridgway, M. C.; Azevedo, G. d. M.; Glover, C. J.; Yu, K. M.; Foran, G. J. “Common structure in amorphised compound semiconductors” Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, 2003, 199, 235-239.
  7. Azevedo, G. d. M.; Ridgway, M. C.; Betlehem, J.; Yu, K. M.; Glover, C. J.; Foran, G. J. “EXAFS measurements of metal-decorated nanocavities in Si” Nuclear Instrumeants and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, 2003, 199, 179-184.
  8. Berry, A. J.; Shelley, J. M. G.; Foran, G. J.; O Neill, H. S. C.; Scott, D. R. “A furnace design for XANES spectroscopy of silicate melts under controlled oxygen fugacities and temperatures to 1773 K” Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, 2003, 10, 332-336.
  9. Berry, A. J.; O Neill; Jayasuriya, K. D.; Campbell, S. J.; Foran, G. J. “XANES Calibration s for the oxidation state of iron is silicate glass” American Mineralogist, 2003, 88, 967-977.
  10. Peng, J. B.; Foran, G. J.; Barnes, G. T.; Gentle, I. R. “ Multiple Ordered Phases in Langmuir-Blodgett Films of Cadmium Arachidate at Elevated Temperatures ; Langmuir, 2003, 19, 4701-4706.
  11. Hall, M. D.; Foran, G. J.; Zhang, M.; Beale, P. J.; Hambley, T. W. “XANES Determination of the Platinum Oxidation State Distribution in Cancer Cells Treated with Platinum(IV) Anticancer Agents” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2003, 125, 7524-7525.
  12. Levina, A.; Foran, G. J.; Pattison, D. I.; Lay, P. A. "X-ray Absorption Spectroscopic and Electrochemical Studies of Tris(catecholato(2-))chromate(V/IV/III) Complexes” Agnew. Chem., Int. Ed. Engl., 2004, 43, 462-465.
  13. Levina, A.; Codd, R.; Foran, G. J.; Hambley, T. W.; Maschmeyer, T.; Masters, A. F.; Lay, P. A. “X-ray Absorption Spectroscopic Studies of Chromium(V/IV/III) 2-Ethyl-2-hydroxybutanoato(2/1) Complexes” Inorg. Chem., 2004, 43, 1046-1055.


I am responsible for and operate a synchrotron radiation beamline at the Photon Factory in Japan. The facility is optimised for high-resolution powder diffraction and X-ray absorption spectroscopy measurements. The latter, in particular, has been heavily utilised by members of the proposed network to elucidate the atomic scale structure and speciation of a variety of metals in biological systems including Cu and Ni ions in pharmaceutical preparations and Cr, Cu and Pt in cell cultures and in complexes with polypeptides. The usefulness of the ANBF facilities to the study of metals in medicine will be greatly enhanced within the coming year by the arrival of a new fluorescence detector system that has been acquired with ARC LIEF Grant funding and optics upgrade program funded by the Major National Research Facilities Scheme of the Federal government. The two major developments will greatly improve the performance of the ANBF for studying ultra-dilute systems such as those commonly found in biological and medical applications.

International Linkages

By its very nature, synchrotron radiation science is an international field and after 12 years in the business, I have developed an extensive network of international links and collaborators.

Apart from the obvious linkages at my base facility in Tsukuba, I have an ongoing research collaboration into the structure of thin films studied by surface XAS with the group of Prof. I. Watanabe of Osaka Womens University and Dr. H. Tanida at Spring-8. Similarly I have a strong connection with the surface analysis group based at ChemMat CARS at the Advanced Photon Source in Chicago and have professional association with members of staff at Daresbury, Stanford, ESRF, Swiss Light Source, APS and other SR facilities.