Who we are

Mater Pathology is the only not-for-profit private pathology laboratory in Brisbane. We are also 100% Australian owned and operated.

Servicing the Queensland people for over 100 years, Mater Pathology was initially established and supervised by the Sisters of Mercy and has grown into a multi-faceted and technologically advanced laboratory offering comprehensive, complex, high quality testing for the Brisbane community.

All of our profits are reinvested into advancing treatment options and improving care and outcomes for patients through health, education and research.

In 2016, Mater Pathology opened its newly refurbished, state of the art laboratory at South Brisbane.
 

Our history

Beginning in 1914, Mater Pathology’s first ‘biological room’ was built at Mater, but it was not until 1919 when the first laboratory led by Dr Duihug and Sr Mary Chanel England was established. The laboratory was a small room under the stairs of Ward One (men’s surgical) in the old public hospital. It then expanded over the site throughout 1920-1930.

It was in December 1941 when the laboratory moved to the ground floor of the theatre wing of the original Mater Adult Hospital and played an important role during WWII, providing much need blood supplies to Papua New Guinea. The Sisters expanded their scientific knowledge with the Americans here during WWII and many new departments were added over the next 40 years. There were up to seven different locations throughout Mater and in 1982 the laboratory was repositioned bringing all areas together on Level 6 of Mater Hospital Brisbane under the direction of Dr John Bell. 

Since then our laboratory has been modernised and now offers a state of art pathology testing facility. Although pathology services remain challenging—as healthcare and research continue to evolve—there is one element of our history which resonates; the Sisters built Mater Pathology through dedication, hard work and an absolute commitment to patients, community and the church.  

Mater Pathology has a significant history and our staff today continue to support patients, medical practitioners and our community with the same dedication.  

Key milestones:

  • 1963: Sr Regis Mary established the first Cytogenetics department including the first genetic counselling service.
  • 1991: Dr Robyn Rodwell discovered a breakthrough in early detection of sepsis—a bacterial infection that is potentially fatal for newborn and high risk babies.
  • 1993: Mater Pathology was the only public hospital offering FISH testing on a routine basis.
  • 2000: the Queensland Placental Cord Blood Bank opened.
  • 2006: Mater Pathology was the first laboratory in Queensland to perform HPV screening on site to improve cervical cancer detection.
  • 2009: Mater Pathology was the first laboratory in Queensland to offer high resolution micro-arrays as a diagnostic tool in genetics.
  • 2015: Mater Pathology worked with Prof Paul Dawson and Dr Hurrion to validate a test to measure sulphate and determine low levels in infants born very preterm (less than 32 weeks). Prof Dawson identified that these babies rapidly become sulphate deficient and this testing (which was a first in the world) helps preterm infants live full lives.
  • 2016: A unique rapid testing of resistant organisms was developed and validated allowing for up to 24 hours earlier notification to infection control.
  • 2019: Mater Pathology is the only pathology service offering EGFR/BRAF testing for cancer patients within 2 hours—this allows early commencement for the treatment of lung cancer.
  • 2019: Mater Pathology's Medical Director, Dr Cameron Snell, was named The University of Queensland’s Faculty of Medicine's Innovator of the Year.

Mater Pathology continues to honor the memories of our Sisters through a continuation of their commitment to our patients, community and the Church.

 

Image: Mater Pathology Laboratory 1920

What we do differently

Being part of Mater Health and its vast network of hospitals, we have sought-after experience in highly complex pathology. This has led to Mater Pathology cultivating and attracting experienced pathologists that are readily available for consultation and advice.
 

Where we are located

Mater Pathology has over 25 collection centres located throughout Brisbane and its surrounding communities. 

Additionally, a 24 hour collection service is available for outpatients through Mater Hospital Brisbane Adult Emergency and Mater Private Emergency Care Centre. After 5 pm, patients can visit either of these locations and a phlebotomist will be contacted. We also have laboratories located in Mater Hospital Brisbane, Mater Private Hospital Springfield and St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Northside. 

Commercial testing

Mater Pathology offers comprehensive testing for all phases of clinical research covering pharmaceutical-sponsored drug trials, grant-funded research and locally based specialist and GP studies.

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Clinical trials

Our clinical trials team is both highly innovative and experienced, and has the ability to deliver seamless, competitive and quality clinical trial solutions that are both flexible and personalised to meet our client’s requirements.

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Meet our team

Committed to excellence in diagnostic and consultative services, our pathologists—along with their scientific and technical staff—are highly skilled with a broad spectrum of unique pathology expertise, so you can be confident that you are receiving exceptional care.

 

Consultant Pathologists

Professional development opportunities

Mater Education, in association with Mater Pathology, is proud to offer the only Registered Training Organisation (RTO) accredited hospital-based phlebotomy training in Queensland, with our Certificate III in Pathology Collection.

Mater Education

Working with us

With more than 100 years of experience, Mater Pathology is at the forefront of innovation providing a broad spectrum of unique pathology expertise through its highly skilled cohesive team of pathologists and scientific, technical and administration staff.
As a not-for-profit organisation we are able to offer a number of exceptional benefits.

Mater careers

Laboratory 

Mater Pathology operates a state of the art laboratory at South Brisbane. We also operate a stat laboratory at Mater Private Hospital Springfield and St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Northside for quality outcomes to the medical practitioners at these locations.

These laboratories contain advanced technology and dynamic processes to facilitate the most accurate and sensitive results, whilst maintaining expediency. Enabling rapid and responsive detection of results leads to improved patient outcomes.

Our laboratories at South Brisbane and St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Northside operate 24 hours, seven days a week and are outfitted to service patients of all ages and requirements. 
 

Quality assurance

As a leading tertiary referral centre, we are committed to:

  • the delivery of pathology services of excellence in diagnosis and consultation, and
  • the advancement of scientific knowledge through research and education.

Mater Pathology recognises this responsibility as a provider of quality analytical, interpretive, advisory and educational services. We operate a fully accredited facility meeting all the legislative and regulatory requirements of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australia (RCPA) and the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) and are committed to maintaining the highest standards of professional and technical excellence. The site also complies with the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration Australian Code of Good Manufacturing Practice for human blood and blood components, human tissues and human cellular therapy products 2013. Mater Pathology is a TGA licensed facility for testing services for donor testing services for the Queensland Cord Blood Bank at Mater.

A quality management system has been developed and documented to better satisfy the needs of our clients and to improve management of our service. It relates to the full range of Mater Pathology activities.
 

Quality policy

Mater Pathology is committed to the provision of analytical, interpretive, advisory and educational services which will meet or exceed the requirements of patients and clinicians.

We will achieve this through the operation of a quality management system incorporating employee participation, continuous improvement and regular review of our plans and objectives.

We will respond quickly, courteously and effectively in the spirit of professionalism consistent with the Values of Mater.