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No smoking signASPIRE2025 is a partnership between major New Zealand research groups carrying out research to help achieve the Government's goal of a tobacco-free Aotearoa by 2025. ASPIRE2025 brings together leading tobacco-free researchers and health service groups in New Zealand and strengthens existing collaborations. ASPIRE2025 was awarded the status of a University of Otago Research Theme in November 2011.


The Burden of Disease Epidemiology, Equity and Cost-Effectiveness Programme ( BODE3)

BODE3 researchers group thumbnailThe Burden of Disease Epidemiology, Equity and Cost-Effectiveness Programme ( BODE ³) was a Health Research Council funded research programme. It has studied the health and wider societal gains, costs, cost-effectiveness and equity impacts of health sector interventions, and has built capacity in modelling of health sector interventions.

Health Research Council funding for the BODE3 Programme officially finished in January 2022. This programme of research has produced important evidence on the health impacts and cost effectiveness of a range of policies and interventions for Aotearoa New Zealand. It has also supported many staff in developing skills in the field of epidemiological/health economic modelling. Going forward, there are a number of modelling research projects that will be continuing in the Department of Public Health and these projects will form a research network: SiHMNet: Simulation Health Modelling Network. Additional work that builds on BODE ³ tobacco modelling is being led by the University of Melbourne.


Cancer and Chronic Conditions (C3) research group

Di's research team thumbnailThe Cancer and Chronic Conditions (C3) research group is a collaborative group of researchers working at the interface between public health, health services research, and clinical medicine. Our work includes a range of projects aimed at reducing the impact of cancer and chronic conditions on population health and health inequalities through policy and health system change.


Health Inequalities Research Programme (HIRP)

hands around a globe thumbnailThe Health Inequalities Research Programme is a longstanding programme of research hosted by the Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington. HIRP encompasses a series of research projects including the New Zealand Census Mortality and CancerTrends Study (NZCMS/CT), the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge, and the Virtual Health Information Network (VHIN). The aim of HIRP is to capitalise on New Zealand's Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) to provide information to influence and support policies and programmes that will reduce inequalities in health.


Hugh Adam Cancer Epidemiology Unit

Research journal thumbnailThe Unit regularly examines trends in cancer incidence, mortality, and survival in New Zealand as well as conducting research into the causes, detection, and prevention of cancer. Collaborative studies are being, or have been, conducted of cancer of the prostate, breast, colon, rectum, cervix, skin (melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer), stomach, ovary, mouth and oral cavity, lung, head and neck, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia in New Zealand. In addition, with biomedical scientists, studies linking specific cancer risk factors with biological mechanisms of cancer  development of are being undertaken.

The Unit also specialises in the design, evaluation and monitoring of national cancer screening programmes and the calculation of an individual's risk of specific cancers. The individual risk calculator for melanoma has been accepted internationally. The Unit has numerous collaborations with national and international institutions and also represents New Zealand in the International Cancer Screening Network of the National Cancer Institute (USA) and the International Lung Cancer Consortium of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO).



Green capsules thumbnailThe School of Pharmacy has a very active research programme with disciplines ranging from science to humanities.

We have three main research areas:

  • Pharmaceutical Sciences: drug discovery, drug metabolism and drug action to extend the range of drugs available and to provide a scientific basis for the quality use of medicines and bioactive substances.
  • Clinical Pharmacy: concerned with patient care and the optimisation of medicine use in order to promote health and wellness, and prevent disease.
  • Social Pharmacy: our research focuses mainly on access to, and use of medicines.


Search the Health Sciences Expertise Database

Blue human anatomical figures thumbnailThe Division of Health Sciences benefits from its high calibre of staff and their wide range of skills and research expertise.

Our Staff Expertise Database provides details on University of Otago, Health Sciences staff. Each staff profile provides information on qualifications, current academic position, contact details, and a summary of research and publications.

You can search our database by keyword (eg cancer) or by name.

Health Sciences expertise database

Social and Behavioural Research Unit

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The Social and Behavioural Research Unit was established in 1990 with core funding from the Cancer Society of New Zealand and the support of the University of Otago. Presently it has research programmes in priority areas of tobacco control, ultraviolet radiation exposure, physical activity and nutrition, psycho-social-spiritual factors, alcohol, and Hauora Māori.

Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora A Eru Pōmare

Boat in Wellington harbour thumbnailTe Rōpū Rangahau Hauora a Eru Pōmare strives to create a Kaupapa Māori space committed to improving Māori health outcomes and eliminating inequalities through quality science and ongoing theoretical development. It takes a rights-based approach consistent with the Treaty of Waitangi, and is engaged with community through a spectrum of influence from community development, policy advocacy, research dissemination and Māori health research workforce development.


Videos and research features

Building partnerships... not silos

Better integration is one of the key issues facing health care globally, but the challenge is how to bring health professionals, researchers and the community together.

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Big data for big problems

With the ability to link health, social and economic data, the Virtual Health Information Network is helping researchers and decision-makers gain maximum benefit from the information contained within New Zealand's big data assets.

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Health gain and cost-effectiveness

Professor Tony Blakely presents research about the cost-effectiveness for New Zealand of a range of cancer strategies.

OSSCR Tony Blakely tn

Health gain and cost-effectiveness in cancer prevention and management (video approx 17 mins)
Health gain and cost-effectiveness in cancer prevention and management (PDF 2.9 MB)

Knowledge transfer

Dr Nisha Nair outlined opportunities to implement this research, and the practical tools available.

OSSCR Nisha Nair tn

Health gain and cost-effectiveness in cancer prevention and management (video approx 5 mins)

Young social smokers more likely to become adult daily smokers

Young people who have a cigarette occasionally—even just at weekends— have almost four times the odds of becoming a daily smoker.

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PhD candidate Lindsay Robertson

Inequalities in testicular cancer

Dr Jason Gurney is exploring New Zealand's unique incidence patterns of testicular cancer.

OSSCR Jason Gurney tn
Inequalities in testicular cance
r (video approx 16 mins)
Inequalities in testicular cancer (PDF 4.5MB)

Dynamic delivery

BODE3 is building capacity and producing outputs that are valued by the New Zealand health sector.

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Professor Tony Blakely, Dr Giorgi Kvizhinadze, Dr Nhung Nghiem, Dr Nisha Nair and Professor Nick Wilson.

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