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Dunedin School of Medicine news archive

Otago health researchers honoured by HRC

Thursday, 9 June 2016 10:07am

A world-renowned New Zealand longitudinal study researcher; a molecular biology pioneer and mentor; and two talented up-and-coming researchers from the University of Otago have received Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) awards for an outstanding contribution to health research excellence, leadership, and impact last evening.

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Garry Nixon rewarded for Dunstan Hospital, rural health work

Monday, 6 June 2016 4:30pm

Dr Garry Nixon has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to health in the Queen's Birthday Honours List

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Māori health expert tops list

Monday, 6 June 2016 4:01pm

Professor John Broughton has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to Māori health, theatre, and the community in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

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High level of HIV diagnoses in New Zealand persists in 2015

Tuesday, 24 May 2016 9:23am

224 people were diagnosed with HIV in New Zealand in 2015 — a similarly high figure to last year — according to data released today by the AIDS Epidemiology Group based at the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine at the University of Otago.

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Otago studies supported by Health Research Council

Wednesday, 11 May 2016 8:58pm

Health Research Council ‘Emerging Researcher First Grants’ have been won by two up-and-coming University of Otago, Christchurch researchers.

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Sun protection poor for NZ secondary school students: Otago research

Thursday, 31 March 2016 9:25am

A University of Otago study that involved unobtrusively observing the sun-protective practices of students and staff at the sports days of 10 Dunedin secondary schools last summer has found them sorely lacking.

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Medical centre in Michigan offers exercise program developed at Dunedin School of Medicine

Tuesday, 15 March 2016 10:42am

Thirty people improved their health and well-being this past year by participating in Otago, a simple, individually tailored, home-based exercise program to improve strength and balance that was offered by Cuyuna Regional Medical Centre (CRMC) in Crosby [Michigan].

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Caution urged over planned introduction of new cervical screening test

Friday, 11 March 2016 11:13am

The Minister of Health’s announcement of the introduction within two years of a new test for cervical cancer to replace the current screening method poses a risk to “our well-established, high-quality” screening programme, say leading New Zealand experts and researchers in the New Zealand Medical Journal (NZMJ) this week.

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Vaccine cuts rate of major disease in African children in half

Monday, 7 March 2016 12:20pm

A vaccine against pneumococcal disease, which is a major killer of children in Africa, has cut the disease rate by more than half, new research has found.

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New Zealand children’s cycle safety scrutinised

Thursday, 25 February 2016 11:11am

A new University of Otago study of 8–12-year-old New Zealand children’s bicycle safety has found that many children aged under 11 are unable to safely complete a practical cycling skills assessment.

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Sigmoidoscopy bowel-screening method urged for New Zealand

Friday, 19 February 2016 12:29pm

An effective national bowel screening programme involving a single test, a sigmoidoscopy, could be introduced in New Zealand within 12 months.

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Otago and Queen’s University to collaborate on veterans’ health research

Thursday, 17 December 2015 12:20pm

The University of Otago is joining forces with Queen’s University in Canada to collaborate in research aimed at enhancing veterans’ health.

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NZ Vietnam War vets’ health scrutinised

Thursday, 10 December 2015 12:08pm

New Zealand’s Vietnam War veterans are more likely to suffer chronic renal failure (CRF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than their non-serving peers, according to new University of Otago research.

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Otago Pacific health researchers scoop HRC Career Development Awards

Tuesday, 8 December 2015 12:18pm

Twenty of the 36 budding Pacific health researchers funded in the Health Research Council’s (HRC) latest Pacific Career Development Awards programme are based at the University of Otago.

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HRC Career Development Awards announced

Tuesday, 8 December 2015 12:22pm

A University of Otago brain cancer researcher has gained a prestigious Sir Charles Hercus fellowship in the Health Research Council’s (HRC) latest Career Development Awards.

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New Healthier Lives Challenge takes aim at NZ’s major killers

Friday, 4 December 2015 11:31am

Innovative research aimed at significantly reducing the death and disease burden of some of New Zealand’s leading health problems will be pursued through the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge launched by the Hon Steven Joyce at Ōtākou Marae on the Otago Peninsula today.

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Infertility a common problem for Otago-Southland women

Friday, 20 November 2015 10:23am

Infertility is common amongst women aged 25–50 years in the south of New Zealand and significant health resources go towards helping them become mothers, new University of Otago research suggests.

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Zebrafish study sheds new light on human heart defects

Friday, 16 October 2015 9:38am

University of Otago researchers working with zebrafish have published a study providing new insights into the causes of the congenital heart defects associated with a rare developmental disorder.

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Salmonella unmasked as major killer of young children in Africa

Thursday, 8 October 2015 5:01pm

Invasive Salmonella infections in sub-Saharan Africa are a major cause of child illness and deaths, a new body of research into this usually overlooked infectious disease has revealed.

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Otago researchers evaluate The Salvation Army’s Bridge Programme

Friday, 25 September 2015 12:34pm

A twelve-month University of Otago evaluation study of people being treated for alcohol and drug dependency at The Salvation Army Bridge Treatment Programme reports that client recovery outcomes match leading treatment programmes internationally.

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Otago health researchers awarded prestigious fellowships

Thursday, 17 September 2015 9:43am

Two University of Otago health sciences researchers have gained prestigious Royal Society of New Zealand fellowships, it was announced today.

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Otago study shows clear link to worse learning outcomes in child snorers

Monday, 7 September 2015 4:04pm

A comprehensive University of Otago-led study of data from 12 countries has found that children with sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), including snoring, are clearly associated with poorer academic performance.

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HPV infection of placentas linked to pregnancy complications

Wednesday, 26 August 2015 10:24am

In a landmark study, University of Otago researchers have found that human papilloma virus (HPV) can infect the placenta and is linked to several pregnancy complications, including the potentially fatal disorder pre-eclampsia.

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Alcohol and adverse sexual health outcomes tracked into late thirties

Thursday, 13 August 2015 1:37pm

Mixing alcohol and sex then regretting the consequences sounds like young people’s behaviour. However, a new study from the University of Otago shows that drinking alcohol before sex is still common as people approach middle age, and it still has an impact on their health and wellbeing.

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Young social smokers more likely to become adult daily smokers

Thursday, 6 August 2015 1:59pm

Young people who have a cigarette occasionally—even just at weekends— have almost four times the odds of becoming a daily smoker by their late 30s compared to their non-smoking peers, according to new University of Otago research.

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Time-discounts on restricted driver licences linked to later traffic offending

Tuesday, 4 August 2015 3:39pm

Young New Zealand drivers who gain a time discount on their restricted licences for taking a defensive driving course (DDC) are more likely to be caught committing traffic offences once they are fully licensed, according to new University of Otago research.

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Study of tobacco company RRPs reveals tax increases applied unequally

Monday, 6 July 2015 2:37pm

New Zealand’s largest tobacco company is not keeping the recommended retail pricing for its leading budget brand in line with tobacco excise tax increases, according to a new University of Otago study.

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Long-acting reversible contraceptives for adolescents advocated

Tuesday, 30 June 2015 2:38pm

Senior lecturers in bioethics, and obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Otago have called for a free, universal LARC (long-acting reversible contraceptive) programme to be made available to teens before they become sexually active.

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NZ children still suffer rickets from lack of Vitamin D

Tuesday, 30 June 2015 9:14am

Vitamin D deficiency continues to cause rickets in young New Zealanders, new University of Otago research has found. The researchers say that their finding suggests that at-risk mothers and children should be better targeted for Vitamin D supplementation.

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Smoking cannabis linked to respiratory problems: Otago research

Tuesday, 19 May 2015 2:27pm

People who smoke cannabis as little as once a week are more likely to suffer respiratory symptoms such as morning cough, bringing up phlegm, and wheezing, according to University of Otago research.

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Endemic zoonoses in the tropics overlooked

Monday, 11 May 2015 5:25pm

Zoonoses - infectious diseases that can be passed between animals and humans - can have a substantial effect on both human and animal health, and yet the health burden due to these conditions in the tropics is often overlooked

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Otago Professor elected to International Society of Nephrology

Thursday, 7 May 2015 1:49pm

Otago’s Professor Rob Walker hopes his new position on the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) Council will give him the opportunity to support programmes in the Pacific Islands where up to half of the population of some countries have kidney disease.

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Rejecting Vitamin K at birth predicts child vaccination refusal

Thursday, 16 April 2015 10:54am

New Zealand parents who turn down vitamin K for their newborns are more than 14 times more likely to not get their children immunised, a new University of Otago study has found.

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Otago scientist gains grant for innovative gout research

Monday, 13 April 2015 7:57am

A University of Otago pathology researcher has gained a Health Research Council Explorer Grant to identify new drug targets to combat gout, a severely painful and debilitating condition caused by high blood levels of uric acid.

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Lecturer honoured at the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network annual conference

Friday, 27 March 2015 4:15pm

Dr Katharina Blattner, Senior Lecturer in the Dean's Department, Dunedin School of Medicine has been awarded the 2015 Peter Snow Memorial Award.

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Edible gardens in New Zealand schools providing food for thought

Tuesday, 24 March 2015 8:50am

Edible gardens are taking off in New Zealand primary and secondary schools, presenting important new opportunities to promote fruit and vegetable consumption, new University of Otago research has found.

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Rural patients in the South receive fewer CT scans

Monday, 9 March 2015 12:08pm

Rural patients in southern New Zealand are much less likely to receive computed tomography (CT) scans than their city-dwelling counterparts, according to University of Otago research that is the first to compare such scanning rates.

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Otago receives grant to track true toll of neglected deadly disease

Friday, 6 March 2015 1:25pm

The University of Otago announced today that it has received around NZD$320,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to coordinate efforts in determining the disease burden of typhoidal and non-typhoidal Salmonella disease, which are major causes of child death in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Waiting to start a family could be more problematic than thought: Otago study

Monday, 23 February 2015 9:16am

More than a quarter of women and a fifth of men experience fertility difficulties by their late thirties – figures which are considerably higher than traditionally reported, newly published information from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study shows.

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Smokefree tertiary institutions point the way

Tuesday, 17 February 2015 10:39am

The progress public tertiary education institutions (TEIs) have made towards becoming completely smokefree should encourage other New Zealand workplaces and institutions to follow suit, new University of Otago research suggests.

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Clinical research scholarship awarded

Thursday, 4 December 2014 2:24pm

Dr Anel Reyneke awarded the 2015 Dunedin School of Medicine Clinical Research Scholarship

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Health issues highlighted in Child Poverty Monitor

Tuesday, 2 December 2014 8:28am

Although the just released second annual Child Poverty Monitor has revealed a small decrease in the number of New Zealand children living in income poverty, researchers involved in its preparation say there is still much to address in terms of health impacts.

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Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health

Tuesday, 18 November 2014 10:00am

A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s health status, too, according to latest research out of the University of Otago.

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Conference explores integrated ‘One Health’ approach to infectious diseases

Tuesday, 11 November 2014 2:58pm

Infectious diseases and other health concerns arising at the interface between people, animals, and the environment, are the focus of the 7th annual conference of the Otago International Health Research Network (OIHRN) that begins tomorrow.

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Otago commentary in The Lancet warns saturated fat is still the enemy

Tuesday, 28 October 2014 2:18pm

A group of University of Otago researchers is warning that the promotion of low carb/high fat diets risks harming public health.

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Prestigious Rutherford Fellowships won by Otago researchers

Wednesday, 1 October 2014 10:49am

Two talented early to mid-career scientists will return to the University of Otago after gaining highly sought-after Rutherford Discovery Fellowships, which are valued at up to $800,000 each over five years.

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Cannabis smoking may increase risk of lung cancer

Friday, 19 September 2014 12:57pm

University of Otago researchers have contributed to evidence that cannabis smoking may increase the risk of lung cancer in heavy users.

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TransTasman collaboration leads to new rotavirus vaccine

Thursday, 4 September 2014 11:15am

A new rotavirus vaccine that has the potential to save over half a million lives worldwide each year has reached a pivotal milestone after clinical trials results found the vaccine provided a strong immune response in over 90 per cent of babies that received a course of the vaccine.

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Tobacco display bans protect youth and quitters: Otago research

Tuesday, 2 September 2014 12:39pm

Ending the display and promotion of cigarettes and tobacco in retail shops helps prevent young people taking up smoking and keeps quitters on track, according to new University of Otago research.

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Hand sanitiser use doesn't prevent school absences

Monday, 18 August 2014 11:36am

A randomised controlled trial conducted by staff at the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine failed to show any effect of hand sanitiser use on school sick days.

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Harkness Fellowship applications now open

Friday, 15 August 2014 9:38am

Promising mid-career professionals are invited to apply for an opportunity to spend up to 12 months in the United States as a Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice.

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Video learning tool wins award

Monday, 28 July 2014 12:17pm

An online video-based system that allows students and tutors to separately critique a patient interview won the second annual CALT awards held recently.

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NZ schoolchildren not disadvantaged by part-time work: Otago research

Thursday, 24 July 2014 4:19pm

Schoolchildren who combine schoolwork with a part-time job do not appear to suffer from any long-term disadvantage, University of Otago research suggests.

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UK primary care expert takes up Elaine Gurr Chair in General Practice

Tuesday, 15 July 2014 10:00am

A leading UK academic general practitioner, Professor Tim Stokes, has this month taken up the Elaine Gurr Chair of General Practice at the University of Otago’s Dunedin School of Medicine.

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Prestigious award for rising Otago researchers

Friday, 4 July 2014 10:25am

University of Otago’s Carl Smith Medal and Rowheath Trust Award have been awarded this year to two early career researchers who have already made important international contributions to their disciplines.

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Study analyses NZ newspapers’ coverage of tobacco control issues

Wednesday, 2 July 2014 9:16am

University of Otago researchers’ analysis of 12 months of coverage of tobacco-control issues in New Zealand newspapers has found that these media outlets use a positive tone when covering actions to reduce smoking.

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Otago researcher in top one percent most-cited in world

Friday, 20 June 2014 3:52pm

A University of Otago researcher, along with only three other New Zealand scientists, has been included in a new list of the top 1% most-cited researchers in science around the globe.

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Reducing the alcohol minimum purchasing age increased assaults of young males

Thursday, 19 June 2014 8:46am

New research from the University of Otago shows that reducing the minimum alcohol purchasing age to 18 in December 1999, was associated with an increase in assaults of 15-19 year-old males in New Zealand.

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Funding granted to study New Zealand’s new alcohol laws

Monday, 9 June 2014 2:15pm

Researchers from the University of Otago have been awarded $1.19 million by the Health Research Council (HRC) of New Zealand to study the effects of the country’s new alcohol legislation.

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BMJ urged to widen its approach to transparency

Wednesday, 4 June 2014 5:00pm

A group of University of Otago health policy researchers, based in Dunedin and Christchurch, has called on the leading medical journal BMJ to be much more even handed in scrutinising the transparency of what it publishes.

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Research raises questions about physiotherapy for hip osteoarthritis

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 12:38pm

A new study co-authored by a University of Otago researcher has found that combining several physiotherapy treatments does not produce greater improvements in pain or function than inactive ‘sham’ treatments among adults with hip osteoarthritis.

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International research coalition secures major funding for ‘One Health’ approach tackling animal-human disease spread

Thursday, 22 May 2014 3:25pm

A coalition of researchers working in northern Tanzania, including leading University of Otago and Massey University experts, has been awarded three grants collectively worth around NZ$8.8 million to study zoonotic infectious diseases among poor livestock keepers.

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2014 Health Research Excellence Awards

Tuesday, 20 May 2014 4:59pm

Professor Barry Taylor of the Dunedin School of Medicine and Carole Heatly of the Southern District Health Board together with the Health Research South Board would like to congratulate recipients of the 2014 Health Research Excellence Awards.

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Fluoridating water does not lower IQ: Otago research

Monday, 19 May 2014 2:10pm

New University of Otago research out of the world-renowned Dunedin Multidisciplinary Study does not support claims that fluoridating water adversely affects children’s mental development and adult IQ.

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Serious muscle damage risk from widely used cholesterol lowering drug very low in general population: Otago research

Friday, 16 May 2014 3:25pm

New Zealanders taking a higher dose of simvastatin, one of the statin drugs used to prevent heart attacks and strokes, have a greater risk of rhabdomyolysis than people taking a lower dose according to new University of Otago research.

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Innovative Otago health research gains funding

Monday, 12 May 2014 11:16am

Four University of Otago researchers have gained a total of around $550,000 to support their innovative studies in the latest funding announcement by the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC).

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Accurate height and weight measurement necessary to reduce risk for pregnant women

Friday, 11 April 2014 1:38pm

A study by the University of Otago shows there are inaccuracies being made in the documented height and weight of pregnant women at the time of their 12-week scan, which could change clinical risk assessments for women.

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Postcard from the Gambia

Thursday, 10 April 2014 4:46pm

Working with children in the Gambia, Dr Uzochukwu Egere is doing what he loves: caring for children and easing “the intolerable burden of disease” around him.

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Otago healthcare systems expert awarded UK visiting professorship

Thursday, 27 March 2014 11:28am

Robin Gauld, Professor of Health Policy and director of the Centre for Health Systems at the University of Otago, has been named the 2014 NZ-UK Link Foundation Visiting Professor.

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Web-based alcohol intervention programme has limited effect on consumption

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 3:25pm

New research from the University of Otago shows that a web-based self-assessment and feedback programme for students who drink hazardously produced only a modest reduction in alcohol consumption.

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Widely used heartburn and peptic ulcer medicines increase risk of rare kidney disease: Otago research

Monday, 24 March 2014 3:25pm

New Zealanders taking a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), a type of medicine used to treat gastric acid reflux disorders and peptic ulcer disease, are at an increased risk of a rare kidney disease, according to new findings by University of Otago researchers.

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Otago’s collaboration with Myanmar university moves into TB research

Friday, 21 March 2014 3:24pm

An international partnership forged by the University of Otago and University of Medicine (1) in Myanmar (also known as Burma) in late 2012 is moving ahead in several directions, including research into the genetics of tuberculosis drug resistance.

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Pathology staff shave for a cure

Tuesday, 18 March 2014 9:19am

Janine Neill and Justine Farquar today participated in the Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand's Shave for a Cure fundraiser.

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Health researchers supported by lottery grants

Tuesday, 11 March 2014 4:47pm

Dunedin School of Medicine researchers have gained over NZ$500,000 in funding from the Lottery Grants Board to support studies aimed at improving the health status of New Zealanders.

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A 'tsunami' of knee replacements predicted

Sunday, 9 March 2014 9:38am

New Zealand faces a "tsunami of knee replacements" in the coming years, placing even more pressure on health services, a Dunedin School of Medicine academic says.

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Education and persuasion strategies fail to address alcohol problems

Thursday, 30 January 2014 8:46am

In an article published today in the Otago Daily Times, Professor Jennie Connor explains that education and persuasian strategies are popular but ineffective ways to address alcohol problems.

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Department of Pathology academic wins Fulbright award

Monday, 27 January 2014 4:46pm

Fulbright New Zealand Scholar Award winner Dr Sarah Young is keen to make use of the travelling opportunity the award brings.

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Quitting smoking unlikely to cause long-term weight gain: Otago research

Monday, 27 January 2014 11:46am

Smokers wanting to kick the habit needn’t be too worried about gaining a lot of weight after quitting, according to newly published University of Otago research.

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One-off screening could slash NZ bowel cancer rates: Otago expert

Thursday, 23 January 2014 2:48pm

Introducing a highly effective one-off bowel cancer screening test could reduce rates of the deadly disease and alleviate the current over-supply of nursing graduates in New Zealand, according to a University of Otago researcher.

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Triple theme research meeting jointly hosted by kidney, gut health, and arthritis research themes

Friday, 13 December 2013 3:35pm

Medical researchers involved in three different study areas joined forces at a University of Otago research meeting yesterday to explore new ways of tackling several important challenges, including treating gout and kidney disease.

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New Zealand Child Poverty Monitor released

Monday, 9 December 2013 8:25am

Today’s release of the first annual monitor of child poverty puts a spotlight on the thousands of Kiwi children who are not getting the start to life they deserve.

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Otago to honour distinguished graduate Sir Peter Gluckman

Wednesday, 4 December 2013 11:28am

The University of Otago will this weekend confer an honorary doctor of science degree on one of its most distinguished graduates, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman.

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Otago research reveals tobacco’s toll on women’s placentas

Wednesday, 4 December 2013 10:06am

Smoking while pregnant causes severe DNA damage to cells in the placenta and significantly impairs its function, new University of Otago research suggests.

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Master's and PhD scholarships for science and medical graduates

Friday, 22 November 2013 12:21pm

The Department of Medicine is offering multiple scholarships to science and medical graduates at master's, PhD, and registrar level.

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Department of Pathology researcher elected as Royal Society Fellow

Thursday, 21 November 2013 3:43pm

Professor Antony Braithwaite is among the 13 leading New Zealand researchers and scholars who are newly elected as Fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

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Researchers walk the talk for diabetes control

Monday, 18 November 2013 9:41am

Dr Coppell, Professor Jim Mann and colleagues from the University’s Edgar National Centre for Diabetes and Obesity Research have found that by following a better diet, people with pre-diabetes are much less likely to go on to develop the disease, and people who already have diabetes will have better control of their disease, preventing the onset and progression of complications.

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Department of General Practice and Rural Health celebrates 30 years

Wednesday, 13 November 2013 12:23pm

Thirty years may not seem much when put in the context of the nearly 150-year history of the University of Otago, but for the University’s General Practice and Rural Health department, the milestone was well worth commemorating.

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Researchers call for dietary changes to prevent diabetes epidemic

Tuesday, 12 November 2013 1:22pm

University of Otago researchers say that helping people with pre-diabetes and diabetes to follow a healthier diet will significantly improve their blood sugar levels, and they are calling on smaller portion sizes to be offered at cafés and eateries to support this cause.

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Research vital part of vaccination projects

Saturday, 9 November 2013 3:21pm

Professor Kim Mulholland says Western governments and other organisations that are supporting vaccination programmes in developing countries should also ensure some key related research is undertaken.

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PhD student wins new writing competition

Friday, 8 November 2013 3:08pm

Sophia Cameron-Christie, of the Department of Women's and Children's Health, has won an inaugural writing competition run by the Otago Medical School Research Society.

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Experts caution on dietary advice purporting to show fat is good

Thursday, 31 October 2013 1:24pm

The international media response to a BMJ opinion piece claiming to debunk the “myth” of saturated fat as a cause of coronary heart disease could undermine public confidence in lifestyle changes that have resulted in appreciable health benefits, say a group of experts in public health and nutrition representing a number of New Zealand health-related organisations.

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Teaching Award winners announced

Monday, 21 October 2013 9:33am

Top medical teachers were recognised last week at the annual Dunedin School of Medicine Teaching Awards.

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Otago-led research reveals gene ‘language’ critical in infant brain development

Monday, 14 October 2013 3:25pm


In what they’re calling a ‘biological surprise’, a team of expert international geneticists led by a University of Otago researcher have discovered a key piece of information about how the human brain is put together and how such a complex piece of wiring assembles itself in utero.

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Research partnership to tackle sudden unexpected death in infants

Thursday, 3 October 2013 11:15am

A new Dunedin School of Medicine project aimed at reducing sudden unexpected death in infants has been funded by the Health Research Council.

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Dreams can unlock ways to cure

Wednesday, 25 September 2013 3:48pm

Dreams can unlock ways of curing both phantom pain and tinnitus, the head of Dunedin School of Medicine's neurosurgery research unit says.

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75 years on—the future of the New Zealand health system

Monday, 23 September 2013 12:06pm

What is the future of New Zealand health’s system, and how can it meet the needs of the public in the 21st century?

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Internet may be tool to improve veterans' health

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 4:30pm

The internet could become a useful tool to improve the mental health and wellbeing of some New Zealand veterans after military service abroad, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine researcher Dr Shyamala Nada-Raja believes.

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Leukaemia rates significantly higher in NZ Vietnam vets

Monday, 2 September 2013 4:26pm

Vietnam veterans who served from 1962-1971 have double the rate of chronic lymphatic leukaemia compared to the general population according to a new study by the University of Otago’s Department of Preventive and Social Medicine.

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Horrific war injuries spawn radical plastic surgery techniques

Thursday, 8 August 2013 3:25pm

Reconstructing Faces: The Art and Wartime Surgery of Gillies, Pickerill, McIndoe and Mowlem tells the story of the four pioneering surgeons involved in ground-breaking work in facial reconstruction during the two world wars.

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Injuries for Māori result in considerable disability

Friday, 2 August 2013 3:25pm

Researchers at the University of Otago have found that many Māori are experiencing adverse outcomes three months after being injured.

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Tougher laws no silver bullet for cyclist and pedestrian accidents

Wednesday, 31 July 2013 2:08pm

A leading University of Otago injury prevention researcher’s policy brief is casting doubt on increased penalties as the answer to reducing careless driving causing injury to vulnerable road users** (VRU) such as cyclists and pedestrians.

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Osteoarthritis improved by extra physiotherapy programmes

Wednesday, 24 July 2013 3:25pm

Manual physiotherapy or regular exercise programmes make a significant difference for people with painful osteoarthritis in the knee and hip joints, and are cost-effective, new research from the University of Otago shows.

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Best to be straightforward with parents of overweight and obese kids: Otago research

Monday, 22 July 2013 1:29pm

University of Otago research into how best to engage parents of overweight and obese children has found motivational interviewing (MI) offers no real advantages over usual care — that of simply giving feedback in a straightforward and non-judgemental way.

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African fever patients commonly over-diagnosed with malaria

Friday, 19 July 2013 3:25pm

People hospitalised with fever in Africa are most likely to be treated for malaria but, in some areas, nearly all of these patients are ill from a different infection, a new collaborative study led by a University of Otago researcher suggests.

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Neurosurgeon studying brain's role in obesity

Monday, 15 July 2013 4:39pm

The Dunedin School of Medicine's Neurosurgery research unit is looking at differences in how the brain ''rewards'' eating, in the hope it leads to new weight-loss treatments for obese people.

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Breast cancer leading cause of alcohol-attributable death in New Zealand women: Otago research

Monday, 15 July 2013 12:49pm

Alcohol is responsible for more than one-in-twenty deaths of New Zealanders aged under 80, new University of Otago research suggests.

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Study into fluoride and children

Tuesday, 9 July 2013 3:47pm

Dunedin School of Medicine child health researcher Professor Barry Taylor said yesterday he was organising a multidisciplinary team for a descriptive study using data from the B4 School Check, which checks the health and development of Kiwi 4-year-olds.

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Otago teacher wins Prime Minister’s prize

Tuesday, 9 July 2013 12:13pm

Associate Professor Gordon Sanderson, an ophthalmologist from Otago’s School of Medicine, has been awarded the Prime Minister’s Supreme Award for Tertiary Teaching Excellence.

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Rethinking the role of the modern doctor

Monday, 1 July 2013 4:58pm

University of Otago lecturers Hamish Wilson and Wayne Cunningham present a fresh approach to medical practice in their new book released this week.

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Study reveals genetic testing's promise for predicting which children will grow out of asthma

Friday, 28 June 2013 11:36am

Genetic risk assessments could be used to predict which children with asthma are likely to grow out of the condition, and which will continue having symptoms as they grow older, new research emerging from the University of Otago’s world-renowned Dunedin Multidisciplinary Study suggests.

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University of Otago Teaching Excellence Awards reward inspiring lecturers

Wednesday, 26 June 2013 3:46pm

Associate Professor Gordon Sanderson, of the Department of Medicine, is one of three University of Otago staff who have received Teaching Excellence Awards this year.

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Researchers investigate Population Based Funding Formula (PBFF)

Wednesday, 26 June 2013 4:07pm

New Zealand is out of step with other countries in a lack of transparency about how some $9 billion of health funding is distributed each year, Centre for Health Systems researchers suggest.

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New Dean for Dunedin School of Medicine

Monday, 24 June 2013 3:25pm

A distinguished researcher who has dedicated his career to improving the health and wellbeing of children in New Zealand and around the world has been appointed to the position of Dean at the Dunedin School of Medicine.

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Otago Innovation Limited wins national commercialisation award

Friday, 21 June 2013 1:09am

The University of Otago’s commercialisation arm, Otago Innovation Limited, has won a national award for its commercialisation of the National Poison Centre’s database, TOXINZ.

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University receives neurosurgery funds

Tuesday, 11 June 2013 3:56pm

The University of Otago is the grateful recipient of $3m from the high-profile community campaign to allow the University to keep neurosurgery in Dunedin.

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Otago honours leading physician-scientist Professor Helen Heslop

Friday, 24 May 2013 3:25pm

The University of Otago will this weekend confer the honorary degree of Doctor of Science on Professor Helen Heslop, an Otago graduate who has forged an outstanding medical and research career overseas.

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University of Otago receives grant for groundbreaking research in global health and development

Wednesday, 22 May 2013 2:20pm

The University of Otago announced today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr Stephen Sowerby will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled "Portable soil-transmitted helminth monitoring to combat gastrointestinal parasites".

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2013 Health Research Excellence Awards

Tuesday, 21 May 2013 1:00pm

Dr John Adams, Dean of the Dunedin School of Medicine, and Carole Heatly, Chief Executive Officer of the Southern District Health Board—together with the Health Research South Board—congratulate the winners of the recent Health Research Excellence Awards.

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Otago cancer researcher gains HRC Explorer Grant

Monday, 13 May 2013 10:26am

A leading University of Otago researcher has gained Health Research Council (HRC) funding to investigate a new way to measure the aggressiveness of cancer cells using circular polarised light.

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Medal mystery solved after 60 years' detective work

Friday, 3 May 2013 4:09pm

Jeanette Waters is “absolutely delighted” to have solved a mystery that has haunted her for 60 years, ever since she found a gold medal in an Auckland street as a 5-year-old, in her first week at school.

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NZ outdoor workers poorly protected from the sun: Otago research

Tuesday, 23 April 2013 8:50am

New Zealand outdoor workers are generally poorly protected from solar UV radiation, with only around one-third wearing sunscreen or a suitably protective hat, according to a University of Otago study published in the latest issue of the international Journal of Occupational Health.

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Dunedin School of Medicine research supported by Lottery grants

Tuesday, 16 April 2013 11:52am

Dunedin School of Medicine researchers have gained $335,600 in new funding from the Lottery Grants Board to pursue research aimed at improving the health status of New Zealanders.

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Researchers helping uncover sports drug cheats

Friday, 12 April 2013 11:54am

Researchers from the Dunedin School of Medicine and the University of Otago, Christchurch are collaborating to develop a new test to assist the World Anti-Doping Agency uncover drug cheats in sport.

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'So-called health foods' called into question

Sunday, 24 March 2013 11:11am

University of Otago professor Jim Mann, an internationally respected researcher in human nutrition, has criticised ''so-called health foods'' that were actually ''not healthy'' and urged big reforms in supermarket food labelling.

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Better outcomes for injured New Zealanders than ill ones

Monday, 18 March 2013 9:13am

New Zealanders who fall ill experience significantly worse financial and work outcomes than those with a comparable injury, according to new University of Otago research. Dr Sue McAllister of the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine led the research for her PhD, conducting a comparative study of 109 people under the age of 65 years who had a stroke and compared their outcomes with 429 people who had a similarly debilitating injury.

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District health boards faced challenges prior to Christchurch quakes

Friday, 15 March 2013 9:04am

Before the Christchurch earthquakes, emergency preparedness at district health board-level in New Zealand faced challenges that they needed to overcome, suggests a University of Otago study published in the New Zealand Medical Journal today. However, the study – the first to address the issue of strategic healthcare emergency preparedness in New Zealand - found that disaster preparedness was adequate to deal with a major emergency– as occurred in Christchurch.

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Healthcare system not 'what most NZers want today'

Wednesday, 13 March 2013 4:19pm

The private healthcare system relies on the public system when things go wrong, and should be more transparent about its fees, Prof Robin Gauld said in a lecture in Dunedin last night.

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Car crashes overlooked killer of unborn babies in NZ

Tuesday, 12 March 2013 10:04am

Motor vehicle crashes involving mothers-to-be account for more than half of all New Zealand’s foetal deaths due to maternal injury, new University of Otago research reveals. In the first-ever study to describe foetal mortality due to vehicle crashes in this country, an Otago injury prevention researcher shows that of the 41 foetal and newborn deaths due to maternal injury between 1997 and 2008, 21 involved motor vehicle collisions, according to narrative data on the foetal death certificate.

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Excessive TV in childhood linked to long-term antisocial behaviour

Tuesday, 19 February 2013 9:52am

Children and adolescents who watch a lot of television are more likely to manifest antisocial and criminal behaviour when they become adults, according to a new University of Otago study published online in the US journal Pediatrics.

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Having multiple sex partners linked to later drug and alcohol problems

Friday, 15 February 2013 3:25pm

The more sex partners young adults have the more likely they are to go on to develop alcohol or cannabis dependence disorders in young adulthood, according to new University of Otago research.

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Otago researchers create online injured cyclist-door crash map

Thursday, 7 February 2013 9:48am

A searchable online map showing where in New Zealand cyclists have been injured as a result of car doors opening has been created by University of Otago injury prevention researchers.

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Otago researchers in major new study of TB and diabetes epidemics

Monday, 3 December 2012 2:48pm

University of Otago expertise is set to play a key role in European Commission (EC) funded research into links between infectious and non-communicable diseases – in this case tuberculosis (TB) and type 2 diabetes.

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Otago study highlights how little is known about baby weaning method

Tuesday, 27 November 2012 11:56am

Starting babies on solids by letting them feed themselves pieces of food is a growing trend – yet there is scarce scientific research about the practice, putting healthcare professionals in a difficult position when giving advice, new University of Otago research suggests.

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Sexual Health and Rugby World Cup 2011

Tuesday, 16 October 2012 3:25pm

A new in-depth analysis of sexual health clinic attendance and diagnoses during last year’s Rugby World Cup (RWC) reveals increased risk and harm for attendees who had sex related to this sporting event.

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Serious assaults in NZ disturbingly high: Otago research

Friday, 12 October 2012 8:34am

University of Otago researchers have found that serious assaults in New Zealand have been steadily rising and are now at disturbingly high levels, especially among young males, Maori and Pacific people, and those from deprived neighbourhoods.

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Otago student gains Woolf Fisher Scholarship to Cambridge University

Tuesday, 9 October 2012 11:32am

A top Otago medical student has gained a prestigious Woolf Fisher Scholarship to support Cambridge University PhD study on blood flow regulation in brain-injured patients.

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NZ’s shameful alcohol injury toll put under spotlight at major conference

Friday, 5 October 2012 1:43pm

Around one-quarter of injury deaths in New Zealand could be prevented if alcohol use was removed from the combination of factors causing these injuries, a University of Otago researcher told the 11th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion held in Wellington this week.

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Interventions can reduce falls in over-65s who live at home

Wednesday, 12 September 2012 11:46am

There is now strong evidence that some interventions can prevent falls in people over the age of 65 who are living in their own homes, according to a comprehensive University of Otago-led review of research in the area.

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Micronutrient powder effective in combating anaemia: Otago research

Wednesday, 18 July 2012 2:04pm

Mixing micronutrient powder into infants’ complementary food reduces rates of anaemia beyond what nutrition education alone can achieve, according to University of Otago-led research involving more than 3000 Cambodian under two year olds.

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Otago appoints inaugural chair in neurosurgery

Saturday, 16 June 2012 12:01am

A leading Belgian neurosurgeon and brain researcher has been appointed as the inaugural Neurological Foundation Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Otago. An ongoing campaign led by the Foundation is seeking to ensure that this professorial position can be funded in perpetuity.

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First symposium for Gut Health Network

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 4:32pm

A variety of medical disorders which all appear to originate in the gut will be the focus of the first annual symposium of the recently formed Gut Health Network which take places at the University of Otago this Friday.

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Greater blood clot risk for heavier middle-aged women, especially after surgery

Wednesday, 18 April 2012 3:25pm

A major study by researchers from the Universities of Otago and Oxford has found that overweight and obese middle-aged women are at much higher risk of developing potentially fatal blood clots than women who are a healthy weight.

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Otago plays major role in development of new oral rotavirus vaccine

Monday, 26 March 2012 11:26am

The University of Otago is playing a major role in the international development of a new low-cost oral vaccine to protect newborn babies against rotavirus.

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Many NZ primary schools need to be ‘sun smarter’: Otago research

Friday, 10 February 2012 9:18am

While New Zealand primary school students are benefiting from improved sun protection efforts over recent years, our schools still lag behind those of Australia in the ‘sun smart’ stakes, according to latest University of Otago research.

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Low influence of playgrounds on child activity: Otago study

Wednesday, 21 December 2011 4:30pm

Upgrading playgrounds does not appear to be sufficient to help children become more active.

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Otago research reveals most Kiwis eating too much salt

Friday, 2 December 2011 1:35pm

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of adult New Zealanders are consuming more sodium than current nutrition guidelines recommend, according to analysis of urine samples taken from 3000 people who took part in the latest New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey.

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University of Otago research shows spirituality important in healthcare

Monday, 14 November 2011 9:29am

A University of Otago study has offered a working definition of spirituality to help healthcare professionals better understand its importance for those faced with illness and death in an age when fatal illnesses are often prolonged.

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Otago appoints Senior Lecturer in Neurosurgery

Friday, 4 November 2011 2:08pm

Mr Reuben Johnson has been appointed as a senior lecturer in neurosurgery at the Dunedin School of Medicine and consultant neurosurgeon at Dunedin Hospital, the University of Otago announced today.

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Immunising children may protect whole African villages from pneumococcal disease

Wednesday, 19 October 2011 10:43am

Vaccinating young children in Africa against pneumococcus may help protect their entire communities from deadly infections this bacterium can cause, a new study coauthored by a University of Otago researcher suggests.

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Leading Otago neuroscientist awarded Distinguished Research Medal

Friday, 30 September 2011 8:45am

An internationally eminent researcher into how the brain controls fertility, Professor Allan Herbison, is this year’s recipient of the University of Otago’s highest research honour, the Distinguished Research Medal.

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New Otago study focuses on health aspects of toxic site clean-up

Wednesday, 28 September 2011 12:11pm

University of Otago researchers have received a Health Research Council of New Zealand and Ministry of Health partnership research grant to conduct an epidemiological study of the former Fruitgrowers Chemical Company site in Mapua.

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Study researches birth satisfaction for first time mothers

Friday, 16 September 2011 10:21am

A pilot University of Otago study investigating factors that contribute to birth satisfaction for first time New Zealand mothers has led to a bigger nationwide study examining how birth preparation impacts on birth satisfaction.

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Researchers’ video urges all New Zealanders to act on obesity

Thursday, 18 August 2011 3:46pm

A video putting the spotlight on the looming health crisis threatened by our growing obesity epidemic, and how to avert it, is being launched by University of Otago researchers.

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Otago study finds older people underestimate risk of deadly melanoma

Monday, 8 August 2011 10:29am

New Zealanders aged 60 and over appear to wrongly believe they are at low risk of the fatal form of skin cancer melanoma, according to a new University of Otago study conducted for the Cancer Society of New Zealand.

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Otago Appoints Professor of Global Health

Wednesday, 20 July 2011 12:32pm

An outstanding specialist on infectious diseases has been appointed to a second endowed professorial chair in the Centre for International Health at the University of Otago. He is Associate Professor John Crump, who currently heads a research centre in Tanzania for the Duke University Medical Center and the Duke Global Health Institute.

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Novel screening method has potential to reduce lower back/limb injuries

Monday, 11 July 2011 1:31pm

A promising University of Otago student who developed an innovative screening procedure to identify New Zealand army personnel most at risk of lower leg and back injuries has been recognised with a scholarship to develop her concept further.

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Study to investigate infertility in Otago-Southland women

Wednesday, 6 July 2011 10:18am

Little is known about the number of women in New Zealand who experience infertility; their use of health services and their knowledge and attitudes towards the condition and its treatment. Now, a University of Otago PhD student is seeking to shed some light on the situation through a survey of 2000 randomly selected women in Otago and Southland.

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Acute heart drugs should be reconsidered for Maori and Pacific Islanders

Monday, 23 May 2011 9:26am

Researchers at the University of Otago say standard medication used for acute heart disease should be reconsidered for some Maori and Pacific Island patients because of drug resistance caused by high rates of Group A streptococcal infection, the same infection which leads to rheumatic fever.

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Higher density of alcohol outlets related to increased risk of binge drinking and alcohol-related harm

Monday, 1 November 2010 2:57pm

University of Otago researchers have discovered an association between the number of liquor outlets within easy walking distance of home (1km) and the level of binge drinking and alcohol related harm reported in the community.

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Researchers identify new genetic marker for aortic aneurysm risk

Monday, 12 July 2010 2:57pm

University of Otago researchers have played a major role in a multi-national collaboration identifying a new genetic marker for increased risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) and other common diseases of the arteries and veins.

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University establishes new Global Health professorial post

Monday, 19 April 2010 2:57pm

The University of Otago has established a further professorial position to advance research aimed at improving health in under-resourced countries, thanks to a generous gift by a Dunedin couple.

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New Microscope for University of Otago Zebrafish Facility

Friday, 16 April 2010 2:57pm

The KD Kirkby Trust, which is a long time benefactor of Cure Kids, has made a $45,000 grant to provide vital equipment for a world class zebrafish facility at the University of Otago, taking its support for medical research to almost $150,000.

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University appoints leading academic surgeon to new professorial chair

Tuesday, 13 April 2010 2:11pm

A leading surgeon and researcher, Professor John McCall, has become the first McKenzie Professor of Clinical Science at the University of Otago.

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Otago bioethicist elected as head of UN Committee

Monday, 7 December 2009 11:10am

University of Otago bioethicist Professor Donald Evans has been chosen to head one of the world’s most prestigious bioethics organisations.

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Injuries, fatalities remain high on NZ farms despite changes in other sectors

Thursday, 8 October 2009 2:56pm

Barriers to improved safety include economic constraints, new study reveals.

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Severity of traffic crash injuries commonly misclassified

Monday, 31 August 2009 9:05am

New Zealand's current way of counting injury severity in people hospitalised from traffic crashes has serious flaws and could be replaced by a method yielding more accurate information, according to University of Otago research being presented today.

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Time to revisit fairness in NZ health system

Wednesday, 13 May 2009 3:37pm

Private surgery system works against the poor, study shows.