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Brain Health Research Centre news & events

Karere me ngā mahi

Trial of world-first gene therapy for Batten disease

Tuesday, 2 August 2022 4:03pm

A University of Otago researcher is involved in a breakthrough trial which could improve the quality of life for children diagnosed with Batten disease.

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Research shared and celebrated at Brain Health Research Centre annual conference

Friday, 29 July 2022 12:20pm

The Brain Health Research Centre Hui-ā-Tau annual conference took place from 6–7 July in Ōtepoti Dunedin, with over 60 BHRC members converging to share, connect and discuss exciting research updates under the theme of Te Haerenga O Te Tangata, Lifespan.

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Register to attend or present at the BHRC Hui ā Tau annual conference

Thursday, 9 June 2022 9:36am

Registration and abstract submission is now open for the BHRC annual conference on 7 July 2022.

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Early detection of Alzheimer’s possible – research

Thursday, 19 May 2022 8:57am

University of Otago researchers have discovered molecules in the blood that could assist with early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. 

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Māori and Pasifika specific gene provides clues for diabetes prevention

Friday, 6 May 2022 8:45am

A summer internship student at Otago has been exploring the potential of a genetic variant associated with pacific peoples that has shown to be protective against gestational and Type II diabetes.

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BHRC Pitopito Kōrero – April 2022

Wednesday, 20 April 2022 2:20pm

In the new Pitopito Kōrero series our BHRC Director, Associate Professor Steph Hughes, will share short updates from the BHRC across the year.

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Moving to treat neurological disease – 2022 BHRC Scholarship

Wednesday, 23 March 2022 11:42am

Emma Deeney, a researcher in the University of Otago Hughes and Empson Labs, is the recipient of the 2022 Brain Health Research Centre Scholarship.

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New hope for people living with seizures

Friday, 18 March 2022 11:39am

A research collaboration involving the University of Otago could change the lives of people living with seizures.

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Tinnitus: When silence is deafening

Monday, 22 November 2021 4:33pm

BHRC researcher and Associate Professor Yiwen Zheng (Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology) received funding from the Neurological Foundation for a project that sets out to explore this curious, relatively common condition.

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Poipoia te kākano kia puawai | Nurture the seed and it will grow

Thursday, 11 November 2021 9:25am

The inaugural 2021 recipients of the Early Career Accelerator Grant were Drs Joon Kim, Teodora Georgescu, Conor Underwood and Elodie Desroziers.

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Beautiful Minds Art-Sci competition – entries open!

Tuesday, 19 October 2021 2:27pm

 Get your entries in for the ‘Beautiful Minds’ mixed media competition, where art and neuroscience collide.

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Otago projects receive $1.64m Health Research Council funding

Monday, 31 May 2021 3:33pm

Better outcomes for women suffering from New Zealand’s most common gynaecological cancer and a bioactive toothpaste that will mean fewer visits to the dentist are just two University of Otago projects funded by the Health Research Council this week.

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What do frogs have to do with it?

Thursday, 4 March 2021 12:21pm

With funding from the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand, Associate Professor Caroline Beck (Department of Zoology) is using her expertise in frogs to study epilepsy.

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High-flying BHRC student receives prestigious PhD Scholarship

Monday, 1 March 2021 11:09am

Jennifer Palmer (Department of Biochemistry) has been awarded the coveted Cambridge-Rutherford Memorial PhD Scholarship to do her PhD at Cambridge University in the UK.

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Unusual suspects: Glia as a regulator of fertility

Thursday, 25 February 2021 10:53am

Supported by an HRC Sir Charles Hercus Fellowship, new BHRC PI, Dr. Elodie Desroziers (Department of Physiology) studies the role that glial cells play in fertility.

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Google-glass-like electrical stimulator to zap Alzheimer’s Disease

Tuesday, 22 December 2020 11:39am

Stimulating humans’ sense of smell to prevent conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease is the focus of international research led by the University of Otago.

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Why this neuron and not that one?

Friday, 11 December 2020 9:58am

Dr Indranil Basak (Department of Biochemistry) has secured funding from the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand to learn why some neurons are protected from death in Parkinson’s disease.

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Finding elusive mutations

Friday, 4 December 2020 1:40pm

Dr Louise Bicknell (Department of Pathology) has secured multiple grants to find mutations in the human genome that cause rare developmental disorders.

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Getting a handle on childhood absence seizures

Monday, 30 November 2020 9:35am

Supported by the Roche Hanns Möhler Doctoral Scholarship, PhD student Sandesh Panthi (Department of Anatomy) studies the mechanisms behind childhood absence seizures.

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The 2020 Brain Health Research Centre Lecture and Poster Session – Lecture recording available

Friday, 27 November 2020 9:17am

Emeritus Professor Warren Tate (Department of Biochemistry) explained how ME/CFS is a debilitating and serious disease that is not simply “psychological”. BHRC members also presented their research in a lively poster session.

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Switching gears from the heart to the brain

Monday, 23 November 2020 11:56am

Associate Professor Pete Jones (Department of Physiology) may be known for studying the heart, but new funding from the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand and the HRC brings together a stellar team to study the ryanodine receptor in the brain.

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Small changes that boost memories

Wednesday, 18 November 2020 4:53pm

Supported by the Helen Rosa Thacker Scholarship in Neurological Research, PhD student Rhys Livingstone (Department of Anatomy) studies the molecular changes that help to improve our memories. 

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The Hunt for Superhero Genes

Monday, 16 November 2020 11:20am

Associate Professor Stephanie Hughes (Director of BHRC, Department of Biochemistry) has secured funding from the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand to study the superhero genes that protect us from disease.

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Early Career Accelerator Grants for four BHRC researchers

Friday, 13 November 2020 12:34pm

The BHRC and CNE teamed up to fund new grants for early career scientists, accelerating their path to independence. 

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Biochemistry’s Associate Professor Stephanie Hughes takes over as Director of the Brain Health Research Centre.

Monday, 9 March 2020 1:14pm

Associate Professor Steph Hughes undertook her first task as the new Director of the Brain Health Research Centre last week: chairing the Centre's launch of 2020’s Brain Awareness Week.

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Study links body clock to obesity and diabetes

Wednesday, 28 August 2019 11:50am

Does skipping a meal at particular times of day reduce your chances of developing obesity or diabetes? Are the street lights outside making you fat?

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BHRC holds 13th annual conference

Friday, 7 June 2019 11:00am

The Brain Health Research Centre held its 13th annual conference at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery this week, with the theme Women's Brain Health.

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BHRC researcher wins top Health Research Excellence Award

Tuesday, 4 June 2019 2:51pm

Neurosurgeon Professor Dirk De Ridder has been awarded the prestigious Dean's Medal at the annual Health Research Excellence Awards, for his work on neuromodulation to treat brain conditions ranging from addiction to Parkinson's Disease.

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Public talk on metabolic disease and brain health

Monday, 27 May 2019 9:58am

Monash University researcher Dr Belinda Henry will give a free public talk on why women are protected against metabolic disease.


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Brain Awareness Week 2019 Programme

Monday, 25 February 2019 8:56am

We have a wonderful week of brain-related talks and activities coming during the international Brain Awareness Week 2019.
Download the exciting programme for Dunedin's events from Monday 11 March to Sunday 17 March.

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Clues in Otago research as to changes in babies’ brain formation in obese mothers

Monday, 18 February 2019 9:54am

University of Otago researchers have discovered a clue as to why there are changes in the way babies’ brains are formed in mothers who are obese during pregnancy, which can potentially lead to an elevated risk of mental illness, including autism spectrum disorders.

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Coming Soon: Brain Awareness Week 2019!

Thursday, 7 February 2019 10:58am

Brain Awareness Week 2019 will be held in Dunedin from 11 -17 March. Talks during the week include your brain’s ability to learn and adapt to change by reorganising itself, and the history of your brain from single cell to brain death.