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News and events

Students get 'hands-on' experience

Monday, 22 January 2018 3:09pm

The Department recently hosted eight enthusiastic Year 12 and 13 students as part of the 'Hands-on at Otago' programme.  They spent the week learning all about the knee -  its structures and movement, the mechanics of how the knee works, and how easily it can be damaged through sporting activity or old age.

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Ancient DNA provides evidence of integration and mobility in Phoenician societies

Thursday, 11 January 2018 11:14am

Important new clues about population mobility in the Mediterranean between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE have been uncovered by an international team of researchers, co-led by a University of Otago academic.

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University academics receive Fulbright Scholar awards 

Tuesday, 9 January 2018 11:19am

Two University of Otago academics have received Fulbright New Zealand Scholar Awards to undertake research in the United States.

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Anatomy success at BMS awards

Thursday, 21 December 2017 9:48am

Congratulations to our seven staff members who received School of Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Awards for their outstanding contribution to research and teaching throughout 2017. 

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Graduation day the beginning of new lives

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 11:15am

The sun shone brightly upon thirty-nine Anatomy students as they graduated with their degrees at the weekend.  Many of them, along with their friends and family, gathered in the Department beforehand to mark the special occasion.

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Spreading the joy of Christmas

Friday, 15 December 2017 11:18am

The spirit of Christmas is alive and well in the Department this season.  Staff and postgraduate students have donated a fabulous selection of toys and wrapping paper to the Santa’s Little Helper fundraiser, run by Santa’s very-own little helper, Shane Waldron. 

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Peter Hurst Scholarship awarded

Friday, 1 December 2017 1:15pm

Third year medical student Brennan Carne is the first recipient of the Peter Hurst Summer Studentship Scholarship.  Brennan is undertaking a summer research project in the Department of Anatomy with Associate Professor George Dias.  The Scholarship will provide him with financial support while he undertakes his research over the summer.

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Sneaky males adopt ‘female-like’ brains to fool big brutes

Wednesday, 29 November 2017 2:13pm

In the ever-competitive mating scene, new University of Otago research has revealed how males of some species revert to deception and disguise in order to lure females.

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A face from the past

Friday, 24 November 2017 2:10pm

The facial approximation of Otago Museum’s Egyptian mummy by Dr Louisa Baillie has brought to life the presence of a woman who lived over 2400 years ago. She is believed to have come from the ancient city of Thebes, now modern-day Luxor. Mummification was a common burial method for people living in Egypt at that time.

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Consequences of gene drive technologies for ecosystems

Friday, 17 November 2017 11:44am

Scientists working in the vanguard of new genetic technologies have issued a call to ensure that possible applications in conservation will only affect local populations.

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Postgrad receives appreciation award

Thursday, 16 November 2017 4:06pm

Congratulations to postgraduate student Anu Kaw who has received a University of Otago Disability Information and Support Appreciation Award for providing first-class tutoring support to students with a disability.

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Anatomy neuroscience researchers receive funding

Monday, 13 November 2017 2:57pm

Over $800,000 from Brain Research New Zealand (BRNZ) Rangahau Roro Aotearoa has been awarded to four researchers in the Department.  The five Project and Explorer grants will support and help develop new research in the Department in the areas of brain stimulation, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

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PhD candidate awarded best paper prize

Friday, 10 November 2017 4:21pm

A paper written by PhD candidate Vivek Perumal, as lead author, has been judged the best research paper published by an enrolled Anatomy postgraduate student in 2017.   The paper, published in Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy, looks at the fovea capitis on the head of the femur, an attachment site of the ligament of the head of femur (LHF/ligamentum teres of the hip).

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Outstanding research projects attract Marsden funding

Monday, 6 November 2017 2:05pm

Five researchers in the Department of Anatomy have attracted $3.3m in funding from the latest Marsden Fund round.  Head of Department Professor Neil Gemmell said he was delighted the excellent research undertaken in the Department has been recognised with this prestigious funding, and he was especially thrilled for the two early career researchers who have received Fast Start grants.

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Marsden Fund backs Otago’s research in best ever round

Friday, 3 November 2017 10:04am

University of Otago researchers have gained around $24m for 33 world-class research projects in the latest Marsden Fund annual round – the University’s most successful round ever.

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Researcher awarded Hercus Fellowship

Friday, 3 November 2017 12:44pm

Congratulations to Dr Mike Pankhurst who has received a Hercus Fellowship from the Health Research Council.  Dr Pankhurst says the four-year fellowship will enable him to pursue new directions in his investigations into how anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) signalling operates in the ovary.

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Research Fellow gains Rutherford Fellowship

Thursday, 2 November 2017 10:34am

Congratulations to Dr Erica Todd who has been awarded a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship by the Royal Society Te Apārangi Rutherford Foundation Trust.  

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Reproductive race: Males rapidly adjust sperm speed to beat rivals

Monday, 30 October 2017 8:22am

Joint research by the University of Otago and University of Canterbury has revealed that male salmon can adjust their sperm’s swimming speed if competing with a rival to reproduce.

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Students present 400-level research projects

Monday, 30 October 2017 4:02pm

Congratulations to all our 400-level postgraduate students who took part in the Department’s 400-level Poster Day.  The event was an opportunity for them to present and discuss their research with their fellow students and staff of the Department.

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Otago researchers hope to study life and health of Chinese gold miners

Friday, 27 October 2017 11:52am

University of Otago bioarchaeology researchers are hoping to undertake a new project to study the lives of members of the Otago Goldfields Chinese community, many of whom were miners, by examining their burial remains in the Lawrence Cemetery.

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Up-and-coming Otago scientists gain prestigious Rutherford Trust awards

Wednesday, 25 October 2017 3:27pm

Otago’s Ms Charlotte Steel and Dr Erica Todd are among seven highly promising researchers at an early stage of their career to be awarded Rutherford fellowships and scholarships, the Royal Society Te Apārangi announced today.

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Mental Health Series: Making mental health a workplace priority

Wednesday, 11 October 2017 11:28am

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, staff members from across the University have kindly agreed to share their own mental health stories. In the final installment of this three-part series we hear from Anatomy Manager Rachel Kinnaird, who makes the mental health of her team a priority.

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Lactation hormone also helps a mother’s brain: Otago research

Tuesday, 26 September 2017 12:11pm

The same hormone that stimulates milk production for lactation, also acts in the brain to help establish the nurturing link between mother and baby, University of Otago researchers have revealed for the first time.

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Clocktower event honours teaching award recipients

Thursday, 21 September 2017 9:30pm

Three Otago academics were honoured for receiving national sustained excellence awards at a ceremony with the Vice-Chancellor this week.

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Otago scientists awarded major funding for innovative research

Tuesday, 19 September 2017 9:14pm

Nearly $18m in new funding was recently gained by Otago researchers under the Government’s Endeavour Fund, which looks for transformative research initiatives and have strong potential to improve a range of outcomes for New Zealand.

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Dawn of agriculture linked with poor start to life in ancient Atacama, Chile

Monday, 11 September 2017 9:29am

Learning to cultivate crops and other agricultural food – rather than relying on hunter-gathering – is often thought of as a key milestone in the history of humanity.

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Otago researchers investigate new stroke treatment

Friday, 8 September 2017 1:56pm

New Zealand stroke survivors are being sought by University of Otago researchers for an innovative study that holds promise for restoring their arm and hand function.

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Science-inspired exhibition impresses

Thursday, 31 August 2017 10:01pm

Seeing their research interpreted by artists has given researchers in the University’s Genetics Otago Research Centre a new way to view their own work.

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Otago brain health researchers delve into dopamine

Friday, 25 August 2017 4:03pm

University of Otago researchers studying learning processes affected in brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have made new discoveries about how nerve impulses form memories, findings which have implications for developing new therapies for these conditions.

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Otago teachers thrilled with national awards

Thursday, 10 August 2017 10:44am

Three Otago teachers who received national Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards at an event at Parliament this week say they are humbled and honoured to be recognised in this way.

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National excellence of Otago University teachers recognised

Wednesday, 9 August 2017 4:05pm

The sustained contributions of three leading University of Otago staff were recognised in the annual national Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards held last night.

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Secrets of ancient Irish funeral practices revealed

Friday, 4 August 2017 12:17pm

New insights into the lifeways – and death rites – of the ancient people of Ireland are being provided through funerary studies led by a researcher at the University of Otago’s Department of Anatomy.

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Fussy fish use genetic compatibility to pick partners from afar

Thursday, 27 July 2017 11:17am

When salmon spawn, the sperm of competing males are in an all-or-nothing race to be the first to reach and fertilise the eggs.

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Otago cemetery research reveals insights into lives of early settlers

Monday, 24 July 2017 4:58pm

In the first research of its kind in New Zealand, University of Otago researchers are gaining fresh insights into the quality of life and identity of Otago’s early European settlers and farmers through excavating and analysing skeletons from unmarked graves in St. John’s Burial Ground, in Tokoiti, Milton.

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HRC funding to aid deep brain stimulation technology

Wednesday, 28 June 2017 9:47am

Dr Louise Parr-Brownlie has received $1.1M funding from the Health Research Council of New Zealand for a 3 year project grant which aims to improve the quality of life for Parkinson’s disease patients by developing the next generation of deep brain stimulation technology which has greater target specificity and reduced stimulation side effects.

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The fine line between playing God and saving species

Friday, 23 June 2017 12:57pm

New Zealand conservation workers are keen on gene-editing to eradicate pests but would rather avoid “playing God” with native species, a University of Otago study suggests.

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Stomach cancer programme part of HRC funding haul

Wednesday, 21 June 2017 9:57am

A five-year programme to examine ways of reducing the burden of stomach cancer in New Zealand has received support in the latest Health Research Council (HRC) funding round announced last week, along with 18 other Otago projects.

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May graduation a day to remember

Wednesday, 21 June 2017 4:17pm

The Department shared in the celebrations of its graduates at the recent University of Otago May graduation ceremony.  It was a small but excited group of Anatomy graduands who gathered in the Department to mark the occasion.

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The amazing muscle-man a hit at open day

Wednesday, 21 June 2017 4:25pm

PhD student Josh Houlton, aka 'the amazing painted muscle-man' was a hit at the recent University of Otago Tertiary Information Day. 

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Virtual reality a reality for anatomy dental students

Tuesday, 20 June 2017 4:08pm

Second year Dental students taking the first semester Anatomy paper have been using 3D virtual reality (VR) technology to reinforce their knowledge and understanding of the neuronal pathways of the head and neck.

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Teaching anatomy in Samoa

Tuesday, 20 June 2017 11:30am

Associate Professor George Dias recently spent two weeks at the National University of Samoa (NUS) teaching anatomy.  His visit was part of the ongoing development of the undergraduate medical programme at the University.

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‘Trojan’ females may hold key to pest control

Friday, 16 June 2017 1:54pm

Pests like mice and wasps may one day be eradicated using a new technique which scientists have just proven in the laboratory on fruit flies.