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Centre for Translational Physiology launched at Wellington campus

Thursday, 3 August 2017 9:45pm

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Wellington campus Māori Liaison Adviser Toa Waaka leads a Māori blessing of the Centre for Translational Physiology prior to the official launch on Tuesday.

The University of Otago officially opened its Centre for Translational Physiology (CTP)/Te Whaiaroaro Whakawhiti at the Wellington campus this week – with those involved believing the facility could help Otago researchers lead the world in solving major health problems.

The CTP was officially opened by Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne, with the Minister of Science and Innovation Hon Paul Goldsmith cutting the ribbon.

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The Minister of Science and Innovation Hon Paul Goldsmith cuts the ribbon to open the facility.

Prior to the official launch there was also a Māori blessing of the facility led by Wellington campus’ Māori Liaison Adviser Toa Waaka.

The Dean of the Wellington campus, Professor Sunny Collings says the centre provides a platform to enhance collaborative research between scientists and clinical researchers, using a truly unique set of facilities to address large clinical issues.

Located on the University’s Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences campus, but also right next door to Wellington Hospital, the CTP has world-class infrastructure that allows researchers to make in-depth and precise physiological measurements on research participants.

The Centre combines a human physiology lab with a DXA scanner (that measures body composition), clinic rooms including a custom-designed children’s room and the GENESIS suite (Global Energetics and Environmental Simulation suite), which is unique in New Zealand with its temperature and altitude range.

“As part of a leading medical school in New Zealand, we need to be at the forefront of medical innovation and advances in clinical care across the full spectrum of health and basic biomedical disciplines,” Professor Collings says.

“Developing and maintaining working links with leading academics and clinicians at places like Victoria University of Wellington, Callaghan Innovation, Capital & Coast Health, and the Malaghan Institute really widens the scope of our research capability and, again, breaks away from the more traditional notions of biomedical research,” she says.

"As part of a leading medical school in New Zealand, we need to be at the forefront of medical innovation and advances in clinical care across the full spectrum of health and basic biomedical disciplines."

Professor Collings told those at the launch that the CTP was a culmination of time, teamwork and patience, and thanked those involved in its development.

Associate Professor Shieak Tzeng, Director of the CTP, says Otago’s world-class researchers now have a state-of-the-art facility to collaborate and work in.

He told those at the launch that the CTP “brings together all of the necessary ingredients to lead the world in solving major health problems.”

After the official launch, attendees were taken on a tour of the new facility and given the opportunity to try out equipment and speak to researchers.