About MARS Bioimaging Ltd

MARS Bioimaging Ltd (MBI) is an award winning manufacturer of small bore spectral CT scanners for pre-clinical medical research. The company was formed in 2007 to commercialize the ground-breaking MARS technology. MBI brings together an interdisciplinary R&D team of physicists, radiologists, engineers, computer scientists, orthopaedic and other surgeons, mathematicians, biologists, and cancer researchers.

The MARS system is based on the next generation of x-ray detectors (Medipix3RX) developed in collaboration with CERN, University of Canterbury, University of Otago, and other partners. MBI has established itself as the world’s leading research and development group in spectral molecular imaging and to-date has delivered the world’s first commercial pre-clinical small bore spectral scanner. 

The MARS small bore scanner enables customers to conduct experiments in a system that is directly translatable to human imaging. MBI works closely with customers to provide a wide range of spectral imaging solutions for applications ranging from cancer detection to development of novel contrast agents.  

Contact us to find out how MARS spectral imaging can improve your research.

Chief Executive Officer

Professor Phil Butler has founded two companies including MARS Bioimaging Ltd and three not-for-profit businesses. He was successful in developing and commercialising a novel laser treatment for port wine stain birthmarks. He has a wide range of research interests including condensed matter physics, quantum mechanics, theoretical chemistry and medical physics. He is an internationally respected mathematical physicist. He served as Head of the Physics and Astronomy Department for 8 years and was Pro-Vice Chancellor of UC for 3 years. He is the Chair of the Board of Science Alive! – a community science museum in Christchurch – set up in 1990. He is a Fellow of NZ Institute of Physics and has published over 116 publications during his 40 years as a researcher. He currently holds the highest h-index ranking at UC. He has an excellent international reputation as a medical physics researcher having published on clinical radiation dosimetry and the medical uses of lasers. He serves as a Member of CERN and the UC leader for participation in the Medipix3 Collaboration. Prof. Butler has been recognized for his work in the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Chief Medical Officer

Professor Anthony Butler is a radiologist with an interest in developing new imaging technologies. He is a founder of MARS Bioimaging Ltd. Prof. Butler has more than 150 scientific publications. He has won more than 10 awards for his research including awards from the Royal Society of NZ and the Royal Australian College of Radiologists. He is the lead investigator on over $12m of NZ government research grants, and co-investigator on more than $30m of other grants. At Canterbury District Health Board, he works as a clinical radiologist. At the University of Otago, Christchurch, he is head of the Department of Radiology and director of the Centre for Bioengineering. At CERN, he is a member of the Medipix3, Medipix4, and CMS collaborations. At the University of Canterbury, he is a researcher in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.


MBChB – Medicine 1998 – University of Otago GradDipSc -Physics 2006, University of Canterbury FRANZCR -Radiology 2005, The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists PhD – Engineering 2007, University of Canterbury


Colin Dawson is a member of the Boards of MARS Bioimaging, The NZ Institute for Plant and Food Research and the NZ Institute for Minerals to Materials Research and chairs the Boards of Tiro Medical, CertusBio and Upstream Medical Technologies. Following 10 years in veterinary clinical practice Colin held a number of senior executive positions in the health care sector. Recent executive roles have included CEO of Integrated Care IT company HSAGlobal, CEO of Otago Innovation, and Executive Director- Group Strategy of healthcare REIT The Calan Group. Colin was a founding partner in health consulting and investment banking services firm Medicus Capital. Colin is a former director of the NZX-listed companies BLIS Technologies and Pacific Edge, and former Trustee of the Upstart Business Incubator. He is a Past President of The Dunedin Club, a Chartered Fellow of the NZ Institute of Directors and an SEP alumnus of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. A graduate of the University of Auckland’s Business School, Colin serves on the University’s Return on Science Biotech & Life Sciences Investment Committee. His interests are the commercialisation of Intellectual Property and the effective governance of technology-based businesses and companies where disruptive technology is bringing change to the existing competitive landscape.

Commercial Manager

Stuart Lansley is experienced in technology commercialisation and investment, having previously been involved in the commercialisation of university intellectual property at Powerhouse Ventures.  Prior to this, he was a lecturer in Electrical Engineering and researcher in Medical Physics at the University of Canterbury, during which he became involved in the MARS Programme. Stuart has an MEng in Engineering & Materials Science from the University of Oxford and a PhD in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from University College London.  As Commercial Manager, Stuart leads many of the commercial and operational activities of MBI.

Business Development Manager

Vivek Nair is a management graduate with 18 years’ experience in business development. He has previously worked with top multinational corporations in the medical and commercial banking sectors. He also was instrumental in commercial development of several start-ups. Vivek leads the development of strategic alliances, including international bilateral partnerships, as well as leading the sales and marketing of our commercial products.


Finalist in Best Hardware Product category – NZ Hi-Tech Awards 2018 

Winner of Best Emerging New Zealand Innovation – New Zealand Innovation Awards 2017

Winner of Best Innovation in Health and Science – New Zealand Innovation Awards 2017

Winner of the Supreme Award (Small Enterprise) – Champion Canterbury Business Awards 2017 

Winner of Champion Innovation – Champion Canterbury Business Awards 2017 

Winner of Champion Producer/Manufacturer (Small Enterprise) – Champion Canterbury Business Awards 2017