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Contact Details

Honorary Senior Lecturer
Bioethics Centre
BSc(High Hons) MB ChB PhD
Research summary
Bioethics, health policy, general medicine, and geriatrics
Specialist Advisory Committee for Geriatrics, Royal Australasian College of Physicians
Internal medicine and geriatrics


My research interests are broad. My PhD analysed the scientific, ethical and regulatory issues pertaining to stem cell research and resulted in 3 publications.

I have co-authored a paper on the prevalence of walking to school with reference to childhood obesity and also published a critique of Don Brash's original and highly controversial Orewa Speech. We argue that it was misleading and risked further undermining Maori Health.

In terms of medicine I have co-authored a case report on New Zealand's first case of extensively drug resistant Tuberculosis and am the primary investigator for the Dunedin site of the ISOPP study – an international study examining differences in prescribing practices for pain in medical in-patients.

I have just finished a paper, co-authored with Professor Dave Gerrard, on blood doping which is under review with an Australian journal.


Kristono, G. A., Searle, L., & Towns, C. (2024). Preimplantation diagnosis and embryo selection in a patient with severe hereditary coproporphyria. New Zealand Medical Journal/Te ara tika o te hauora hapori, 137(1594), 79-83. Retrieved from Journal - Research Other

Towns, C., & Ballantyne, A. (2023). Blowing the whistle on mixed gender hospital rooms in Australia and New Zealand: A human rights issue. Journal of Medical Ethics. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1136/jme-2023-109080 Journal - Research Article

Towns, C., Balakrishnan, S., Florkowski, C., Davies, A., & Barrington-Ward, E. (2022). High penetrance, recurrent attacks and thrombus formation in a family with hereditary coproporphyria. JIMD Reports, 63, 211-215. doi: 10.1002/jmd2.12281 Journal - Research Other

Towns, C. R., Rowley, N., & Woods, L. (2022). Mixed gender accommodation: Prevalence, trend over time and vulnerability of older adults. Internal Medicine Journal, 52, 474-478. doi: 10.1111/imj.15712 Journal - Research Other

Lakshman, P., Zhang, C., Balm, M., Morice, Y., & Towns, C. (2020). Blood brothers: Tattoo sepsis in two Samoan men. New Zealand Medical Journal, 133(1526), 102-104. Retrieved from Journal - Research Other

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