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A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


Close date
Saturday, 28 January 2023
Academic background
Health Sciences
Host campus
Pathology and Biomedical Science (Christchurch)
Research Professor Anitra Carr, Dr Emma Vlasiuk


Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is an increasingly prevalent condition that comprises a group of risk factors, including abdominal obesity, insulin resistance (pre-diabetes), hypertension and hyperlipidemia, which together significantly increase the risk of type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Chronic low-grade inflammation and oxidative stress are thought to contribute to the insulin resistance and vascular dysfunction observed in MetS. Targeting these pathways in MetS may help attenuate progression to the more severe cardiometabolic diseases.

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties and is depleted in people with MetS. Therefore, we are carrying out a randomised controlled trial (RCT) comprising vitamin C supplementation of people with MetS to determine effects on inflammation, oxidative stress and other objective and subjective health measures.

Objectives of BBioMedSc(Hons) project:

  • You will assist with participant recruitment and participant clinic visits (e.g. anthropometric measures, questionnaires, biological sample collection)
  • You will process biological samples for biomarker analyses
  • You will analyse relevant biomarkers using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs)

Benefits of this project:

  • You will learn about a number of relevant inflammatory and oxidative stress biomarkers
  • You will learn a number of important laboratory analytical techniques, e.g. HPLC and ELISA
  • You will learn about RCT design and implementation, e.g. participant recruitment, clinic visits, biological sample collection
  • You will learn how to relate the biomarker data to the clinical data using appropriate statistical analyses and graphical outputs

Preferred student expertise:

  • Biochemistry and/or physiology, laboratory experience

Further information:

This is one of a number of projects on offer for the 2023 intake of BBiomedSc(Hons) at the University of Otago, Christchurch campus.

UOC Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences with Honours
Research Professor Anitra Carr's profile
Centre for Free Radical Research website
Department of Pathology and Biomedical Science website


Anitra Carr
Tel +64 3 364 0649

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