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News archive: Otago Department of Biochemistry

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The current year's news stories are below:

2020 Christmas party and art competition

Tuesday, 22 December 2020 10:30am

The annual Otago Biochemistry Department Christmas party, this year held in the bright new ground floor seminar room, gave the department a chance to stop and reflect on a memorable year.

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An incredible journey just begun for Cambridge-bound graduate

Monday, 21 December 2020 2:06pm

Curious child, decorated student, cancer survivor, marathon runner, volunteer and soon-to-be Cambridge University PhD student. Sometimes people’s stories leave us with gaping jaws.

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Kids, peas and elephant toothpaste: biochemistry outreach at primary schools

Wednesday, 16 December 2020 12:24pm

Students at Maori Hill and Fairfield schools were treated to some bonus biochemistry lessons in the past few weeks.

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Grant awarded for Otago Biochemistry research into breast cancer therapies

Tuesday, 15 December 2020 10:38am

Otago Biochemistry’s Dr Anita Dunbier has just been awarded a Cancer Research Trust project grant so that she and her research team can find better ways of treating metastatic breast cancer.

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Iran to Otago – PhD journey traverses academic and personal challenges

Monday, 14 December 2020 1:23pm

Dr Golnoush Madani's achievement to collect her PhD, goes well beyond meeting the challenges of academic research.

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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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Collaboration between NZ and Chinese scientists boosts fight against antibiotic resistance

Friday, 4 December 2020 11:03am

A New Zealand–Chinese collaboration researching the treatment of bacterial infections with new combinations of old antibiotic drugs is to be funded by the Health Research Council.

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Research support prizes for Biochemistry staff

Friday, 27 November 2020 1:32pm

Robyn Lee and Dr Rob Day won awards for their outstanding research support at Wednesday's School of Biomedical Sciences annual prize giving ceremony.

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Stellar student Jennifer Palmer awarded a Cambridge-Rutherford Memorial PhD Scholarship

Thursday, 19 November 2020 2:36pm

Jennifer Palmer has won a prestigious Cambridge-Rutherford Memorial PhD Scholarship, which will support her study into neurodegenerative diseases at Cambridge University in the UK.

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Marsden Fund supports research into how plants make pollen

Tuesday, 17 November 2020 10:48am

Dr Lynette Brownfield’s research into how plants make pollen received a boost last week – a prestigious Marsden Fund grant.

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Richard Macknight gives Inaugural Professorial Lecture

Tuesday, 17 November 2020 8:55am

On the 16th November, newly promoted Professor Richard Macknight gave his inaugural lecture - a fascinating overview of 30 years of research, mainly on the control of flowering time in plants.

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Samoan researcher awarded grant to share research findings with Pasefika community

Wednesday, 11 November 2020 2:31pm

Jaye Moors has been working hard to reveal some of the underpinning genetics of cardio-metabolic disease in Māori and Pasefika, and now a recently-announced HRC Pacific Health Knowledge Translation Grant will help Jaye to tell people about her research findings.

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Otago researchers secure $17.5m in Marsden funding

Tuesday, 10 November 2020 10:41am

University of Otago researchers have secured $17.5 million in Marsden funding for 30 world-class research projects.

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Rutherford Discovery award to research resilience in kuku

Thursday, 5 November 2020 11:45am

Dr Nathan Kenny (Ngāi Tahu, Te Ātiawa) is “over the moon” to be coming home to take up a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship at Otago.

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Otago Biochemistry master’s degree presentations 2020

Wednesday, 4 November 2020 12:06pm

Four of our students studying for their masters’ degrees presented their research to the rest of the department on Tuesday.

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Ties between biomedical research and Te Ao Māori strengthened by HRC PhD award

Monday, 2 November 2020 10:34am

Jordon Lima is a woman on a mission. She has just been awarded a prestigious HRC Māori Health Research Career Development Award that will fund her PhD research for the next three years, and as she describes her plans, her eyes shine and her excitement is palpable.

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Sir Charles Hercus Health Research Fellowship awarded to Otago Biochemist

Friday, 30 October 2020 10:18am

Hearty congratulations to Dr Adam Middleton who has won a Sir Charles Hercus Health Research Fellowship. With this funding Adam plans to figure out details of how cells break down proteins, and use this knowledge to develop new therapeutics, particularly for neurodegenerative diseases.

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Dr Nathan Kenny returns as Rutherford Fellow

Thursday, 29 October 2020 1:43pm

Next August we will see the return of Dr Nathan Kenny to take up a Rutherford Fellowship, investigating genetic methods of mitigating the effects of climate change on green-lipped mussels and other shellfish.

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Otago researchers help complete world first wasp genome project

Wednesday, 21 October 2020 4:01pm

In a world first, New Zealand researchers have sequenced the genome of three wasps, two of which are invasive wasps in New Zealand, paving the way for new methods of control for these significant pests.

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Q&A with 20Twenties Young Alumni Award winners

Tuesday, 20 October 2020 9:21am

Sophie Mathiesen, 20Twenties Young Alumni Award winner for her contribution to science communication.

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Farewell to Professor Tony Merriman

Thursday, 1 October 2020 11:41am

Yesterday Otago Biochemistry marked Professor Tony Merriman's departure from the Department with an informal morning tea. Professor Merriman is moving to a research position at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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44th Meeting of the Biochemistry Department Research Society

Tuesday, 8 September 2020 12:49pm

Last week Otago Biochemistry gathered together to listen to the fourth-year biochemistry students presenting work from their first year at the coal-face of biomedical research.

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Genetics student named Fulbright scholar  

Thursday, 27 August 2020 1:34pm

Genetics Masters student  Anežka Hoskin has been named a  Fulbright New Zealand  scholar and will start her PhD in genetics at Stanford University in September next year.  

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Outstanding Otago Biochemistry student researchers win scholarships

Wednesday, 19 August 2020 12:39pm

Two students studying at Otago Biochemistry have recently received scholarships to support their postgraduate research – one can now pursue a PhD in the USA, and the other will be supported while they add a year of research to their medical education.

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Future research in safe hands at Otago Medical School

Thursday, 13 August 2020 11:00am

A group of Otago Medical School student researchers were awarded scholarships this week, showing there’s a bright future for medical research in New Zealand.

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Research team hopes Māori lives will be saved with new testing criteria for stomach cancer

Monday, 10 August 2020 11:01am

There are likely to be several hundred Māori unaware they are at high risk of an inherited form of stomach cancer and a New Zealand research team is hopeful updated international clinical practice guidelines they helped develop will encourage these people to be tested.

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Retirement with a twist for extolled Professor

Wednesday, 29 July 2020 10:19am

Not everyone approaches retirement the same way. As Division of Health Sciences Communications Adviser Craig Borley discovers, for newly appointed Emeritus Professor Warren Tate, retirement is a term that speaks more about gradual change than an abrupt cessation of work.

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Welcome for Biochemistry Majors

Thursday, 23 July 2020 12:12pm

The Otago Biochemistry Department welcomed students starting their biochemistry journey this week with an informal lunchtime function in the newly refitted department seminar room.

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Warren Tate becomes Emeritus Professor

Wednesday, 8 July 2020 10:49am

The 1st of July 2020 marked a significant milestone in the career of Warren Tate as he took up his new position in the Department, as Emeritus Professor.

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Grant successes strengthen research into neurodegenerative diseases at Otago Biochemistry

Monday, 6 July 2020 3:04pm

Thanks to the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand, two new research projects investigating neurodegenerative diseases will go ahead this year in the Neurodegenerative and Lysosomal disease laboratory at Otago Biochemistry.

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HRC funding to help understand how our cells respond to invasion by viruses

Wednesday, 1 July 2020 10:16am

Otago Biochemists Professor Catherine Day and Dr Adam Middleton have secured $1.2 million for a new research project looking into the details of how we defend ourselves against invading viruses.

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Otago scientists secure more than $26m for health research

Tuesday, 30 June 2020 2:21pm

University of Otago, Wellington infectious diseases expert Professor Michael Baker has received almost $5 million from the Health Research Council for a programme investigating the connection between infectious diseases and long-term conditions, something he was planning well prior to the outbreak of Covid-19.

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Otago Biochemists investigate effects of coronavirus on brain cells

Monday, 8 June 2020 12:20pm

Some sufferers of Covid-19 are reporting symptoms related to the brain and nervous system, such as dizziness, headache, seizures, and risk of stroke; this phenomenon has motivated a trio of scientists here at Otago to investigate further.

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Health of truck drivers and evening TV binge-watchers under Otago researchers’ spotlight

Friday, 29 May 2020 10:58am

The health and safety of truck drivers and the impacts of evening television binge-watching will come under the spotlight in new University of Otago research being funded by the Health Research Council.

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Otago Biochemistry Emerging Researcher to investigate genetics of kidney disease and gout specific to Māori and Pacific people

Wednesday, 27 May 2020 10:09am

Congratulations to Otago Biochemistry Research Fellow Dr Megan Leask, who has been awarded an HRC Emerging Research First Grant to investigate genes associated with chronic kidney disease and gout in Māori and Pacific people.

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Tyler McCourt wins the 2020 Joan Mary Anderson Award

Tuesday, 28 April 2020 11:06am

Otago Biochemistry MSc student Tyler McCourt has been awarded the 2020 Joan Mary Anderson Award in Plant science.

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Science under lockdown

Monday, 6 April 2020 11:21am

Despite the lockdown and the scramble to get the Department’s teaching online, Otago Biochemistry research teams are continuing their science…

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Work continues during Covid-19 lockdown!

Wednesday, 25 March 2020 11:03am

Lectures will continue online after a one-week break, as Otago Department of Biochemistry staff work from home during the Level 4 Covid-19 alert.

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Covid-19 contingency planning

Wednesday, 18 March 2020 12:06pm

The Department of Biochemistry is busy planning for teaching to continue during any disruption of the university due to the Covid-19 outbreak. 

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More academic achievement awards for Otago Biochemistry students

Friday, 13 March 2020 12:50pm

Congratulations to the Otago Biochemistry students who received scholarships from outside the Department in recognition of their academic achievements as undergraduates last year.

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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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Brain Awareness Week begins

Friday, 6 March 2020 12:24pm

Brain Awareness Week starts this weekend. Otago’s very own Brain Health Research Centre brings research together from across departments, and during Brain Awareness Week there are many opportunities to get involved and learn more.

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Otago researchers shed light on ‘arms race’ between bacteria and viruses

Tuesday, 25 February 2020 10:41am

University of Otago researchers have contributed to an international study which helps improve the understanding of bacteria and viruses.

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Biochemistry student wins University of Otago’s top undergraduate prize

Friday, 7 February 2020 12:23pm

Jennifer Palmer, Otago Biochemistry’s top 300-level student in 2019, has also been awarded the prestigious Prince of Wales Prize.

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A new professor and two new associate professors at Otago Biochemistry

Thursday, 6 February 2020 12:06pm

As of February 1st, three lecturers at Otago Biochemistry have new titles; Richard Macknight is now a professor, and Peter Mace and Paul Gardner are now associate professors.

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The changing of the guard: a new Head for Otago Biochemistry

Wednesday, 5 February 2020 10:26am

Another chapter in the history of the Department of Biochemistry has passed, with its leadership handed over at a special dinner last Friday at Plato Restaurant.

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Academic awards for 2019 Biochemistry students

Tuesday, 28 January 2020 2:52pm

The Otago Department of Biochemistry is proud to announce the winners of the 2019 student academic awards: Jennifer Palmer (300-level Edson Prize), Helena Cooper (400-level Edson Prize), Sarah Robinson and Jasper Struwig (joint winners, Petersen Prize), Shannon White (Mervyn Smith Prize).

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High school students come face-to-face with Biochemistry

Tuesday, 28 January 2020 3:42pm

High school students from across New Zealand got to explore their own personal biochemistry last week, when they visited the Department and sampled life at Otago University.