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2019/2020 Summer Studentship research projects

Clinical projects

Breast Cancer ImageManagement of metastatic and locally advanced breast cancer in Christchurch

  • Student: Ella Robertson
  • Supervisors: Bridget Robinson, Dr Jenny Mclachlan, Dr Hilde Wolzac, Dr Matthew Strother
  • Sponsor: Breast Cancer Foundation NZ

Cancer Society Logo with translation - colour imageDoes chemotherapy affect the vitamin C status of cancer patients?

  • Student: Rebecca van Berkel and Maria Nonis
  • Supervisors: Associate Professor Gabi Dachs, Professor Bridget Robinson, CDHB; Professor Margreet Vissers, UOC
  • Sponsor: Cancer Society of New Zealand, Canterbury-West Coast Division, and Cancer Society Rangiora and Hokitika Groups

Canterbury Medical Research Foundation logoCan we predict recovery trajectories from initial assessment information and early engagement in those enrolled in opioid replacement therapy for the first time?

  • Student: Cassian Duthie
  • Supervisors: Dr Jennifer Jordan, Dr Katharine Shaw, Dr Carmen Lowe, Mike Donaldson, Tony Harley, Pam Dimond
  • Sponsor: Canterbury Medical Research Foundation

University of Otago Christchurch imagePerpetrators of pharmacokinetic drug–drug interactions: criteria-based assessment of medicines registered since 2011

  • Student: Rutvi Soni
  • Supervisors: Associate Professor Matt Doogue, Dr Paul Chin (UOC), Dr Tom Polasek (Flinders University)
  • Sponsor: University of Otago, Christchurch

Cancer Society Logo with translation - colour imageClinical determinants of survival in New Zealand women with ovarian cancer

  • Student: Grace Sullivan
  • Supervisors: Associate Professor Peter Sykes, Dr Bryony Simcock, Dr Carrie Innes, Dr Simone Petrich (Duneidin), Dr Parick Keating (Wellington)
  • Sponsor: Estate of Maree Elizabeth Britten (via the Cancer Society of New Zealand, Canterbury-West Coast Division Inc.)

Canterbury-District-Health_Board ImageUnderstanding Antimicrobial Prescribing – Can we replace manual surveys with eMeds data?

  • Student: Sam Cody'mandell
  • Supervisors: Dr Heather Isenman, Associate Professor Matt Doogue, Dr Sharon Gardiner, Dr Sarah Metcalf
  • Sponsor: Canterbury District Health Board, Departmient of Clinical Pharmacology

How effective is radiation in controlling skin cancer metastatic to nodes?

  • Student: George McCook
  • Supervisors: Melissa James (Radiation Oncologist)
  • Sponsor: Canterbury Medical research Foundation

Cancer Society Logo with translation - colour imageDetermining the sensitivity of pleural fluid cytology for the diagnosis of pleural malignancy at Christchurch Hospital

  • Student: Lorna Pairman
  • Supervisors: Dr Michael Maze, Profesosr Lutz Beckert, Department of Medicine, UOC; Dr Mark Dagger, Department of Pathology, CDHB
  • Sponsor: Cancer Society Cheviot, Westport and Ellesmere Groups

Canterbury-Urology-Research-Trust-Logo-ImageThe use of the bladder scanner in the Older Person’s Health inpatient setting: does it help or hinder management?

  • Student: Kelly Stewart
  • Supervisors: Dr Emma Losco, Mr Giovanni Losco
  • Sponsor: Canterbury Urology Research Trust


Cure Kids ImageConsistency between child and parental reports of current symptoms in a cohort of children diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • Student: Emma Rouse
  • Supervisors: Professor Andrew Day, Angharad Hurley, Post-Doctoral Researcher, Paediatrics UOC
  • Sponsor: Cure Kids and The Department of Paediatrics, UOC

Diabetes Image 2Assessing hyperglycaemia in patients with chronic liver disease: HbA1c versus interstitial glucose

  • Student: Cicely Barron
  • Supervisors: Professor Helen Lunt, Dr Jeffery Ngu, Gastroenterologist; Dr Huan Chan, Endocrinologist; Helen Heenan, Diabetes research nurse; Judith McLaughlin, Gastroenterology research nurse
  • Sponsor: Diabetes Christchurch Inc & the Diabetes Training and Research Trust

Impact of an intercalated research degree on long-term academic success

  • Student: William Ju
  • Supervisors: Dr Ibrahim S. Al-Busaidi, Dr Yassar Alamri; Professor Tim J Wilkinson
  • Sponsor: Gulf Medical Education Summer Research Scholarship

Fertility Discussions with adolescents and young adult cancer patients – do they occur in a timely & equitable manner?

  • Student: Sophie Westgarth
  • Supervisors: Louise Sue – Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Nurse Specialist CDHB, Val Waugh – Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Nurse Specialist Southern DHB, Dr Kate Gardner – Onoclogist CDHB. Louise Bremmer – Oncologist Southern DHB
  • Sponsor: Ruth Spearing Trust

Canterbury-Urology-Research-Trust-Logo-ImageComparison of prostate cancer treatment options and waiting times in the public and private sectors

  • Student: Tom Botting
  • Supervisors: Mr Nicholas Buchan
  • Sponsor: Canterbury Urology Research Trust

Canterbury Medical Research Foundation logoAcute kidney injury from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: a novel pharmacovigilance strategy

  • Student: Hayley Nehoff
  • Supervisors: Dr Richard McNeill, Dr Paul Chin (UOC), Dr Matt Doogue (CDHB)
  • Sponsor: Canterbury Medical Research Foundation

Leukaemia ImageAn ethnic comparison of incidence, cytogenetic risk, and survival for NZ children and AYA diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia

  • Student: Olivia Gray
  • Supervisors: Dr Siobhan Cross, Mrs Kirsten Ballantine, Research Manager, National Child Cancer Network, Christchurch, Dr Lochie Teague, Paediatric Haematologist, Starship Blood & Cancer Centre
  • Sponsor: Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand

Adverse effects and duration of treatment for tuberculosis at Christchurch Hospital

  • Student: Nisal Kuruppu
  • Supervisors: Dr Simon Dalton, Dr Michael Maze, Senior Lecturer, Department of Medicine, UOC & Specialist Physician, Respiratory Department, Canterbury District Health Board
  • Sponsor: Travis Trust

Canterbury-District-Health_Board ImageA 10 year descriptive audit of spinal infections managed at Christchurch Hospital

  • Student: Danielle Bucknall
  • Supervisors: Dr Sarah Mpreetcalf, Dr Simon Dalton, Dr Alan Pithie, Prof Steve Chambers, Kate Gallagher
  • Sponsor: Canterbury District health Board, Department of Infectious Diseases

Canterbury Medical Research Foundation logoUtility of a brief computerized cognitive battery for people with concussion: a preliminary qualitative study

  • Student: Clare Macleod
  • Supervisors: Dr Deborah Snell, Associate Professor Lois Surgenor (UOC), Dr Jonathan Williman (UOC), Professor William Levack (UOW), Professor Richard Siegert (AUT), Associate Professor Alice Theadom (AUT), Dr Noah Silverberg (UBC), Dr Jono Hackney (CDHB)
  • Sponsor: Canterbury Medical Research Foundation

Cancer Society Logo with translation - colour imageClinical-pathological correlates to response to immune checkpoint inhibitors in metastatic melanoma

  • Student: Tim Bridgeman
  • Supervisors: R. Matthew Strother, MD, FRACP, Professor Bridget Robinson, Associate Professor Margaret Currie, Barry Hock (Scientific Officer & Honorary Research Fellow)
  • Sponsor: Cancer Society Ashburton Group

Canterbury Medical Research Foundation logoThe Epidemiology of Viral Meningitis in New Zealand Children from 1991–2019

  • Student: Michelia McBride
  • Supervisors: Dr Natalie Martin, Paediatrician, Dr Jonathan Williman, Statistician
  • Sponsor: Canterbury Medical Research Foundation

Patients view on informed consent for teaching medical students

  • Student: Fraser McKenzie
  • Supervisors: Dr Niki Newman, Associate Professor Matt Doogue and Professor Lutz Beckert, Department of Medicine, University of Otago
    John Dean, Lecturer, Simulation Centre, Deans Department UOC
  • Sponsor: TBC

Canterbury Medical Research Foundation logoWith a most constant heart”: an electrocardiographic study of the heart before and after it breaks

  • Student: Isla Evison
  • Supervisors: Dr Paul Bridgman, Consultant Cardiologist, Mr George Watson
  • Sponsor: Canterbury Medical Research Foundation

University of Otago Christchurch imageDistractions in the operating theatre

  • Student: Emilie Roberts
  • Supervisors: Dr Spencer Beasley, Dr Phil Hider
  • Sponsor: Maurice and Phyllis Paykel Trust

Laboratory projects

Breast Cancer ImageCharacterization of gene-modified breast cancer cells for MARS imaging

  • Student: Jaya Montecillo
  • Supervisors: Dr Aamir Raja, Associate Professor Gabi Dachs
  • Sponsor: Breast Cancer Foundation NZ

Cancer Society Logo with translation - colour imageCan exercise improve the effect of immune checkpoint inhibitors for cancer therapy?

  • Student: Thomas Williams
  • Supervisors: Dr Abel Ang, Linda Buss, Associate Professor Gabi Dachs
  • Sponsor: Cancer Society Diamond Harbour, Kaikoura and Rangiora Groups

Cancer Society Logo with translation - colour imageOxidative stress in metastatic melanoma cells

  • Student: Christopher Kaldor
  • Supervisors: Dr Martina Paumann-Page, Professor Mark Hampton
  • Sponsor: Cancer Society Malvern Group

Diabetes Image 2The incidence of type 1 diabetes in Canterbury for the last 50 years (1970 – 2019)

  • Student: Caitlyn Cunningham-Tisdall
  • Supervisors: Dr Martin de Bock, Dr Craig Jefferies
  • Sponsor: New Zealand Society for the Study of Diabetes

Cure Kids ImageStability and reliability of a fecal marker of gut inflammation (Chitinase-3-like-1) in health and disease

  • Student: Jessica Permain
  • Supervisors: Associate Professor Jacqui Keenan, Laura Appleton, Professor Andrew Day, Dr. Shaun Ho
  • Sponsor: Cure Kids and The Department of Paediatrics, UOC

Community Projects

University of Otago Christchurch imageContinuation of the transitions to Menopause Project

  • Student: Jacqui-Lyn Welch
  • Supervisors: Associate Professor Joseph Boden, Dr Geri McLeod
  • Sponsor: University of Otago, Christchurch – Department of Psychological Medicine

University of Otago Christchurch imageExperiences of the Master of Nursing Science programme and transition to practice

  • Student: Anna Rumbold
  • Supervisors: Associate Professor Lee Thompson, Associate Professor Philippa Seaton
  • Sponsor: University of Otago, Christchurch – Department of Population Health

Pegasus-logo-Image‘Vape to quit’ – one year on

  • Student: Toriana Murray
  • Supervisors: Professor Lutz Becker, Mr Jonathan Amos, Service Development Manager, Planning and Funding; CDHB / Mr Hector Matthews, Executive Director of Māori and Pacific Health, CDHB
  • Sponsor: Pegasus Health Charitable Limited

Mackenzie Charitable Foundation ImageManagement of appendicitis in rural New Zealand – a multicentre study of provincial South Island hospitals

  • Student: Nicole Withers
  • Supervisors: Mr Tim Eglinton, Head of Department of Surgery, University of Otago, Christchurch Hospital, Dr Magda Sakowska, General Surgeon, Timaru Hospital, South Canterbury DHB
  • Sponsor: McKenzie Charitable Foundation

Descriptive analysis of community nursing service data from a large home support provider’s client relationship system (CRM)

  • Student: Gundu Kawale
  • Supervisors: Associate Professor Philippa Seaton, Gill Coe, NZICHC Research Officer, Nurse Maude
  • Sponsor: Nurse Maude Foundation

University of Otago Christchurch imageDescriptive analysis of homecare service data from a large home support provider’s client relationship system (CRM)

  • Student: Vagmi Nanda
  • Supervisors: Associate Professor Philippa Seaton, Gill Coe, NZICHC Research Officer, Nurse Maude
  • Sponsor: Nurse Maude Foundation & the Centre of Postgraduate Nursing, UOC

Pilot Study of global health classroom collaboration between Otago Medical School and School of Medicine Tecnológico de Monterrey, México

  • Student: Aniruddh Kirtikar
  • Supervisors: Dr Andrew Miller, Associate Professor Tony Walls, Paediatric Department UOC, Mr Roshit Bothara, 5th year medical student UOC
  • Sponsor: University of Otago, Christchurch

A snapshot of the use of aids in smoking cessation in different populations

  • Student: Chloe Fuge
  • Supervisors: Jonathon Amos, Associate Professor Suzanne Pitama, Māori Indigenous Health Institute (MIHI), Professor Lutz Beckert, Department of Medicine
  • Sponsor: Māori/Indigenous Health Institute (MIHI)

Pegasus-logo-ImageCan better breathing ‘Taster Sessions’ improve health outcomes and community support group engagement

Student: Noelle Farrell
Supervisors: Dr Michael Maze, David Chen (Community respiratory physiotherapist)
Sponsor: Pegasus Health Charitable Limited

University of Otago Christchurch imageA scoping study of support needs for older people who hoard in Canterbury

  • Student: Otis Williams
  • Supervisors: Dr Susan Gee, Ms Tracey Hawkes, Dr Matthew Croucher, Ms Anna Williams
  • Sponsor: University of Otago, Division of Health Sciences

Pegasus-logo-ImageUnderstanding the impact of pharmacist lead medication reviews on prescribing, in primary care

  • Student: Rebecca Beasley
  • Supervisors: Dr Ben Hudson, Gareth Frew Clinical Leader Canterbury Community Pharmacy Group
  • Sponsor: Pegasus Health Charitable Limited

Research Priorities in Parkinson’s disease

  • Student: Joshua Wensley
  • Supervisors: Dr Toni Pitcher, Dr Michael MacAskill, Professor Marie Crowe, Professor Tim Anderson
  • Sponsor: Canterbury Medical Research Foundation