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Our main area of research interest is the immunobiology of cancer and leukaemia. Our long term aim is to develop better methods for the diagnosis and treatment of malignant disease.

The Haematology Research Group is located within the Pathology Department at the University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand. We are situated adjacent to Christchurch Hospital, and only 5 minutes walk to the city centre.

The Haematology Research Group was established in 1981 within the Haematology Department at Christchurch Hospital in order to provide research and development expertise for the department.

Dr Judith McKenzie has been with the group since it's inception, and Dr Barry Hock since 1989. Both are employed by the CDHB, but have Honorary University positions within the Pathology Department. Dr Sean MacPherson is an Academic Haematologist with a joint CDHB/University appointment. Technical support is provided by Liping Goddard.

Current projects

  • Analysis of myeloid derived suppressor cell numbers and function in patients with cancer
  • Investigation of mechanisms of immunosuppression by leukaemic cells


The group has considerable experience in cell biology methodology including flow cytometry, magnetic bead technology, T cell proliferation assays, cytotoxicity assays, ELISAs, cell membrane biochemistry, preparation of cell suspensions from solid tissues, dendritic cell purification, immunohistochemistry and mammalian cell tissue culture.


We gratefully acknowledge the ongoing support of our research over the years by Mrs Allison Nicol and the trustees of the Bone Marrow Cancer Trust

Staff are employed by both the University of Otago and Canterbury District Health Board.

Our research has been supported by:

logo - Canterbury District Health Board

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