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News and events

High-intensity exercise may restore heart function in people with type 2 diabetes

Thursday, 23 May 2019 4:43pm

University of Otago researchers have discovered that high-intensity exercise can reduce or reverse the loss in heart function caused by type 2 diabetes.

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Number of poisoning-related deaths in New Zealand remain high

Tuesday, 12 March 2019 11:05am

While there has been a decline in carbon monoxide deaths in New Zealand, the number of deaths relating to poisoning remain high with new research revealing a surprising number of deaths involving two prescription medicines, zopiclone and clozapine.

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Otago academics find euthanasia debate will challenge decision-makers

Tuesday, 5 March 2019 9:54am

Presenting the highly polarising issue of euthanasia/assisted dying as a simple case of “oppose” or “support” does not tell the whole story, a University of Otago study of social media shows.

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Otago research highlights need to improve access to healthcare for high-needs patients

Friday, 22 February 2019 12:57pm

University of Otago researchers have highlighted the need to improve access to primary health care services for high-needs populations with their recent study of high-needs patients using a free health clinic finding significant health problems.

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Otago academics question whether it is timely to salary GPs and abolish patient fees

Friday, 1 February 2019 9:39am

University of Otago academic health and business leaders consider it timely for a debate about funding primary healthcare services including the possibility of the Government salarying all GPs and abolishing patient fees.

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Otago academic offers new explanation for Alexander the Great’s death

Tuesday, 22 January 2019 9:09am

It may have happened more than 2300 years ago, but the mystery of Alexander the Great’s death could finally be solved, thanks to a University of Otago academic.

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University of Otago to study the impacts of mycoplasma bovis on farmers and their communities

Wednesday, 16 January 2019 10:45am

The University of Otago will carry out a study on the emotional, social and psychological impacts of mycoplasma bovis on Southern farmers and farming communities.

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High intake of dietary fibre and whole grain foods reduces risk of non-communicable diseases

Friday, 11 January 2019 12:39pm

University of Otago researchers have found a link between higher intakes of dietary fibre and whole grain foods and a reduction in the risk of a wide range of non-communicable diseases and their risk factors.

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Otago invention helps patients manage Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Friday, 23 November 2018 9:20am


As increasing numbers of New Zealanders are being diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), University of Otago researchers have developed a smartphone application (app) proven to be as effective as clinical care in helping patients manage their disease.

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Boost in training health professionals rurally under ‘virtual’ school proposal

Friday, 9 November 2018 4:14pm

The National Interprofessional School of Rural Health that has been proposed recently is not a separate education provider, but rather an “enabling body” that would lever off the expertise of the existing tertiary institutions to undertake more teaching and research in rural communities, working in partnership with local health services.

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Study investigates link between loneliness and age in elderly New Zealanders

Monday, 29 October 2018 11:35am

Loneliness is associated with reduced quality of life and morbidity and mortality and typically worsens with aging. Loneliness may be considered a public health hazard because of its association with a wide range of conditions, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, Alzheimer disease, depression and insomnia.

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Otago scientists secure almost $1.6 million for heart research

Monday, 17 September 2018 12:20pm

Otago scientists secure almost $1.6 million for heart research

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Tackling diet-related disease in New Zealand

Monday, 3 September 2018 9:54am

Unhealthy diet is the leading preventable risk for poor health in New Zealand. Diet-related diseases (and how we manage them) is becoming a pressing issue for the country.

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Brief sleep intervention works long-term to prevent child obesity – Otago discovers

Monday, 3 September 2018 9:39am

When it comes to obesity prevention, sleep is not usually something that springs to mind, but a University of Otago research team has found we should not underestimate its importance.

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Mongrel Mob open up to Otago researchers for the good of their health

Wednesday, 29 August 2018 10:02am

Studying the liver health of a high-risk, hard-to-reach gang population certainly came with challenges and a few surprises, a University of Otago academic says.

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Otago demonstrates its commitment to rural health with new ‘virtual campus’

Tuesday, 7 August 2018 11:32am

The University of Otago has reiterated its commitment to training and education in rural health with the establishment of a new Section of Rural Health, believed to be the first dedicated rural health unit currently operating within a New Zealand tertiary institution.

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DSM's palliative care education in the spotlight

Tuesday, 3 July 2018 2:48pm

Lis Latta

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Importance of physical activity in preschoolers highlighted by Otago researcher

Wednesday, 28 March 2018 12:47pm

The journey to obesity can start as young as age one so increased physical activity should be established and encouraged early, University of Otago researchers say.

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Teachers suffer post-traumatic stress following ‘quakes – Otago research highlights

Thursday, 1 March 2018 2:56pm

School teachers were among the majority of frontline workers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the Christchurch earthquakes, new University of Otago research shows.

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Chronic lung disease treatment in New Zealand often not consistent with international guidelines

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 10:53am

University of Otago researchers have found that the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in New Zealand frequently does not conform to international guidelines.

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Guidelines needed around searching for patient information on the internet

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 10:36am

Medical professionals have a range of tools at their disposal to care for patients. New University of Otago research delves into the ethical dilemma of adding the internet to their choices.

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2017 Graduates' Oath Reading Ceremony

Tuesday, 12 December 2017 1:52pm

Otago Medical School graduates undertook their oath on 9 December 2017 as part of their graduation ceremonies.

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Workplace interventions required to keep rapidly expanding aging workforce safe

Friday, 17 November 2017 3:49pm

With the burden of work-related injuries in older employees only set to increase, more needs to be done to keep them safe, a University of Otago study has found.

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Otago research aims to fill gap in views on assisted dying

Wednesday, 8 November 2017 2:24pm

A researcher at the University of Otago is hoping to ascertain, for the first time, the collective views about assisted dying from people who are terminally ill and nearing the end of their lives.

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Otago health researchers gain career development awards

Tuesday, 31 October 2017 11:53am

Four up–and–coming University of Otago researchers have each been awarded around $500,000 from the Health Research Council (HRC) to pursue world-class projects aimed at improving New Zealander’s health and wellbeing and contributing to international progress in these areas.

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Modified baby-led weaning shows benefits for infants – Otago research

Tuesday, 11 July 2017 12:11pm

Babies who feed themselves as soon as they have started eating solids appear to be less fussy eaters, new University of Otago research has found.

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Being overweight or obese in childhood closely linked to heart health risk in middle age: Otago research

Wednesday, 7 June 2017 8:47am

Being overweight or obese from as early as three years of age is associated with measures of cardiovascular risk in early midlife, according to new findings from the world-renowned Dunedin Study.

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Major support for Otago health research provided through latest lottery grants

Thursday, 9 March 2017 1:57pm

University of Otago researchers have gained more than $2.6m in funding from the Lottery Grants Board to support studies aimed at improving the health status of New Zealanders.

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Otago research suggests child obesity can be tackled by simple sleep interventions

Tuesday, 7 March 2017 12:34pm

Families who receive brief interventions about how to improve their children’s sleep have infants who are much less likely to be overweight, a University of Otago study has found.

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Pat Farry Trust Rural Health Education Travelling Scholarships for 2016/17

Thursday, 17 November 2016 11:39am

Ursula Poole and Jordan Gibbs are the recipients of the Pat Farry Trust Rural Health Education Travelling Scholarships for 2016/17

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Northernmost medical school meets southernmost medical school

Tuesday, 1 November 2016 4:03pm

Dr May-Lill Johansen, from the northernmost medical school in the world, is spending her sabbatical in the deep south.

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Visiting Scholar at Robert Graham Center

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 1:01pm

Dr Fiona Doolan-Noble is spending a month at the Robert Graham Center in Washing DC on a Larry Green Visiting Scholar Programme.

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Otago heart researchers gain funding

Thursday, 25 August 2016 12:42pm

University of Otago scientists have been awarded nearly $572,000 in research funding in the National Heart Foundation’s latest funding round.

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Otago studies supported by Health Research Council

Wednesday, 11 May 2016 8:58pm

Health Research Council ‘Emerging Researcher First Grants’ have been won by two up-and-coming University of Otago, Christchurch researchers.

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A new take on supporting very large patients

Monday, 7 March 2016 12:52pm

Devising ways to better support very large patients is the focus of a collaboration between researchers at the University of Otago's Wellington campus, Victoria University and the health care industry.

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Clinical Research PhD Prize for 2015

Wednesday, 24 February 2016 4:52pm

Dr Fiona Doolan-Noble's PhD thesis has been awarded the 2015 Clinical Research PhD Prize

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GP awarded 2016 Health Research Council Foxley Fellowship

Tuesday, 16 February 2016 1:48pm

Dr Atmore will be based in the Department of General Practice and Rural Health on a Health Research Council funded project ‘Exploring and improving hospital care quality for New Zealand rural communities’.

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HRC funded study to examine the delivery of COPD care in the southern region

Tuesday, 1 December 2015 11:15am

Professor Tim Stokes has been awarded a Health Research Council New Zealand Health Delivery Research Partnership Grant with the Southern District Health Board to undertake a
research project that aims to improve the health care of people with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

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Stroke/TIA tool developed for primary care

Monday, 27 July 2015 2:43pm

A electronic decision support tool has been developed for primary care to help diagnose and manage TIA or stroke.

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Editorship role for Professor of General Practice

Thursday, 28 May 2015 11:45am

An Otago Professor of General Practice says New Zealand’s primary healthcare system will undergo huge changes over the next 20 years, which will require a strong underpinning of scientific research.

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Study to examine New Zealanders’ expectations of death

Wednesday, 27 May 2015 11:29pm

Participants are being sought for a University of Otago study looking at New Zealanders’ expectations of how long they will live and what they will die from, and how that might impact their health behaviours.

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Welcome Dr Maeve O'Beirne, sabbatical visitor

Monday, 16 March 2015 1:32pm

We are excited to be hosting Dr Maeve O’Beirne, a Sabbatical Visitor from University of Calgary in the Department of General Practice and Rural Health.

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Rural patients in the South receive fewer CT scans

Monday, 9 March 2015 12:08pm

Rural patients in southern New Zealand are much less likely to receive computed tomography (CT) scans than their city-dwelling counterparts, according to University of Otago research that is the first to compare such scanning rates.

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Delivering better primary health care to people with multimorbidity in Otago: Qualitative study

Wednesday, 7 January 2015 1:18pm

Professor Tim Stokes, Dr Fiona Doolan-Noble, and Professor Robin Gauld have been awarded a Health Care Otago Charitable Trust grant to look at how GPs and practice nurses currently provide care for people with multimorbidity. The intention of the study is to use the findings to inform better local health care delivery and integration of care between primary care and hospitals and community services.

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Clinical research scholarship awarded

Thursday, 4 December 2014 2:24pm

Dr Anel Reyneke awarded the 2015 Dunedin School of Medicine Clinical Research Scholarship

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Otago commentary in The Lancet warns saturated fat is still the enemy

Tuesday, 28 October 2014 2:18pm

A group of University of Otago researchers is warning that the promotion of low carb/high fat diets risks harming public health.

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UK primary care expert takes up Elaine Gurr Chair in General Practice

Tuesday, 15 July 2014 10:00am

A leading UK academic general practitioner, Professor Tim Stokes, has this month taken up the Elaine Gurr Chair of General Practice at the University of Otago’s Dunedin School of Medicine.

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Patient harms in New Zealand general practices: Records review study

Monday, 9 June 2014 1:40pm

Health Research Council funding has been awarded to Professor Susan Dovey and colleagues to review general practice patient records for harms.

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Health Research Excellence Awards

Tuesday, 20 May 2014 2:16pm

Professor Barry Taylor of the Dunedin School of Medicine and Carole Heatly of the Southern District Health Board together with the Health Research South Board would like to congratulate recipients of the 2014 Health Research Excellence Awards.

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Health researchers supported by lottery grants

Tuesday, 11 March 2014 4:47pm

Dunedin School of Medicine researchers have gained over NZ$500,000 in funding from the Lottery Grants Board to support studies aimed at improving the health status of New Zealanders.

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Triple theme research meeting jointly hosted by kidney, gut health, and arthritis research themes

Friday, 13 December 2013 3:35pm

Medical researchers involved in three different study areas joined forces at a University of Otago research meeting yesterday to explore new ways of tackling several important challenges, including treating gout and kidney disease.

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Master's and PhD scholarships for science and medical graduates

Friday, 22 November 2013 12:21pm

The Department of Medicine is offering multiple scholarships to science and medical graduates at master's, PhD, and registrar level.

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Researchers walk the talk for diabetes control

Monday, 18 November 2013 9:41am

Dr Coppell, Professor Jim Mann and colleagues from the University’s Edgar National Centre for Diabetes and Obesity Research have found that by following a better diet, people with pre-diabetes are much less likely to go on to develop the disease, and people who already have diabetes will have better control of their disease, preventing the onset and progression of complications.

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Department of General Practice and Rural Health celebrates 30 years

Wednesday, 13 November 2013 12:23pm

Thirty years may not seem much when put in the context of the nearly 150-year history of the University of Otago, but for the University’s General Practice and Rural Health department, the milestone was well worth commemorating.

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Researchers call for dietary changes to prevent diabetes epidemic

Tuesday, 12 November 2013 1:22pm

University of Otago researchers say that helping people with pre-diabetes and diabetes to follow a healthier diet will significantly improve their blood sugar levels, and they are calling on smaller portion sizes to be offered at cafés and eateries to support this cause.

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Experts caution on dietary advice purporting to show fat is good

Thursday, 31 October 2013 1:24pm

The international media response to a BMJ opinion piece claiming to debunk the “myth” of saturated fat as a cause of coronary heart disease could undermine public confidence in lifestyle changes that have resulted in appreciable health benefits, say a group of experts in public health and nutrition representing a number of New Zealand health-related organisations.

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Teaching Award winners announced

Monday, 21 October 2013 9:33am

Top medical teachers were recognised last week at the annual Dunedin School of Medicine Teaching Awards.

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Best to be straightforward with parents of overweight and obese kids: Otago research

Monday, 22 July 2013 1:29pm

University of Otago research into how best to engage parents of overweight and obese children has found motivational interviewing (MI) offers no real advantages over usual care — that of simply giving feedback in a straightforward and non-judgemental way.

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Neurosurgeon studying brain's role in obesity

Monday, 15 July 2013 4:39pm

The Dunedin School of Medicine's Neurosurgery research unit is looking at differences in how the brain ''rewards'' eating, in the hope it leads to new weight-loss treatments for obese people.

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Otago teacher wins Prime Minister’s prize

Tuesday, 9 July 2013 12:13pm

Associate Professor Gordon Sanderson, an ophthalmologist from Otago’s School of Medicine, has been awarded the Prime Minister’s Supreme Award for Tertiary Teaching Excellence.

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Rethinking the role of the modern doctor

Monday, 1 July 2013 4:58pm

University of Otago lecturers Hamish Wilson and Wayne Cunningham present a fresh approach to medical practice in their new book released this week.

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University of Otago Teaching Excellence Awards reward inspiring lecturers

Wednesday, 26 June 2013 3:46pm

Associate Professor Gordon Sanderson, of the Department of Medicine, is one of three University of Otago staff who have received Teaching Excellence Awards this year.

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2013 Health Research Excellence Awards

Tuesday, 21 May 2013 1:00pm

Dr John Adams, Dean of the Dunedin School of Medicine, and Carole Heatly, Chief Executive Officer of the Southern District Health Board—together with the Health Research South Board—congratulate the winners of the recent Health Research Excellence Awards.

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Dunedin School of Medicine research supported by Lottery grants

Tuesday, 16 April 2013 11:52am

Dunedin School of Medicine researchers have gained $335,600 in new funding from the Lottery Grants Board to pursue research aimed at improving the health status of New Zealanders.

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Researchers helping uncover sports drug cheats

Friday, 12 April 2013 11:54am

Researchers from the Dunedin School of Medicine and the University of Otago, Christchurch are collaborating to develop a new test to assist the World Anti-Doping Agency uncover drug cheats in sport.

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'So-called health foods' called into question

Sunday, 24 March 2013 11:11am

University of Otago professor Jim Mann, an internationally respected researcher in human nutrition, has criticised ''so-called health foods'' that were actually ''not healthy'' and urged big reforms in supermarket food labelling.

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Interventions can reduce falls in over-65s who live at home

Wednesday, 12 September 2012 11:46am

There is now strong evidence that some interventions can prevent falls in people over the age of 65 who are living in their own homes, according to a comprehensive University of Otago-led review of research in the area.

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First symposium for Gut Health Network

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 4:32pm

A variety of medical disorders which all appear to originate in the gut will be the focus of the first annual symposium of the recently formed Gut Health Network which take places at the University of Otago this Friday.

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Ethnic disparities in hospital care in New Zealand

Friday, 19 June 2009 12:12pm

Research by the University of Otago, Christchurch indicates there may be disparities in the quality of public hospital care for Māori inpatients in some clinical areas.