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Jaye Moors profile

PhD candidate studying genetic and environmental causes of metabolic disease in Māori and Pacific populations

Jaye Moors

Jaye was born in New Zealand and raised in Samoa. She holds a BSc and a PGDipSci in anatomy and structural biology and is a recipient of the Full Circle Theme: Genetics of Māori and Pacific Health Summer Scholarship.

She completed her master's in biochemistry that investigated the genetic, biochemical, and environmental risk factors influencing the metabolic health, particularly obesity and diabetes, of Pacific adolescents.

Jaye has continued to further enrich her knowledge and passion by securing a NZ Health Research Council PhD scholarship that has funded her PhD studies.

Health outcomes for Māori and Pacific are poor compared to Europeans in New Zealand. Dyslipidaemia, a key component of the metabolic syndrome, is commonly observed in gout patients. The presence of gout has consistently been observed with elevated levels of triglyceride, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B, all well-established risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Gout is also associated with lowering of HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein A-1 levels, both having a protective role in development of CVD, and there seems to be a genetic difference in control between different Polynesian populations.

Jaye’s PhD evaluates the genetic and environmental causes of serum lipid profiles, and by extension, metabolic disease in Polynesians. This research could make a valuable contribution to Pacific health by identifying pathways that could be targeted in treating and preventing metabolic disorders to which Polynesians are more susceptible.

Professor Tony Merriman, Biochemistry, and Dr Mele Taumoepeau, Psychology, supervise Jaye.


Moors, J. (2016). A Metabolic Health Study of Pacific Adolescents: Investigating the metabolic health of Pacific adolescents in New Zealand: Environmental and genetic risk factors. (Thesis, Master of Science). University of Otago. Retrieved from


Jaye's Otago profile