Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

News from Dunedin School of Medicine

Otago global health researchers to tackle tuberculosis in Indonesia

Wednesday, 17 April 2019 2:33pm

Researchers from the Otago Global Health Institute have secured funding from the e-Asia Joint Research Programme and the Health Research Council of New Zealand to help improve the management of tuberculosis (TB) in Indonesia.

^ Top of Page

Discovery of oral cancer biomarkers could save thousands of lives

Tuesday, 16 April 2019 10:33am

Oral cancer is known for its high mortality rate in developing countries, but an international team of scientists hope its latest discovery will change that.

^ Top of Page

Otago research shows alcohol consultation failing Māori communities

Tuesday, 26 March 2019 12:28pm

Local governments are failing to consult meaningfully with Māori when it comes to liquor licensing legislation, new research from the University of Otago has found.

^ Top of Page

New pharmacy clinic aims to optimise pharmacotherapy and improve patients’ health

Friday, 22 March 2019 10:52am

A new outpatient clinic in Dunedin to help patients manage multiple medications and improve their health – a joint venture between the University of Otago’s School of Pharmacy and Southern District Health Board – is believed to be the first of its kind in Australasia.

^ Top of Page

Otago bioethicist adds voice to global plea for moratorium on heritable genome editing

Thursday, 14 March 2019 9:24am

A University of Otago bioethicist has added his voice to a global plea for a moratorium on heritable genome editing from a group of international scientists and ethicists in the wake of the recent Chinese experiment aiming to produce HIV immune children.

^ Top of Page

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.

^ Top of Page

Sniffing out prostate cancer in New Zealand

Monday, 4 March 2019 9:47am

The University of Otago and K9 Medical Detection NZ are working together to investigate using dogs as a diagnostic tool to sniff out prostate cancer.

^ Top of Page

Otago research reveals need to ensure drug trials for anxiety are carried out on appropriate patients

Tuesday, 12 February 2019 1:26pm

University of Otago psychiatry experts are concerned some medications used to treat anxiety may appear ineffective because they are not being tested in appropriate patients.

^ Top of Page

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.

^ Top of Page

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.

^ Top of Page

Kiwi teens have little knowledge of most effective contraceptives, Otago research reveals

Friday, 18 January 2019 10:11am

New Zealand adolescents have little knowledge of the most effective form of contraceptives, like implants and IUDs, and support the concept of an education programme about these long-acting reversible contraceptives to help prevent unintended teen pregnancies, University of Otago research has found.

^ Top of Page

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.

^ Top of Page

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.

^ Top of Page

Otago study highlights problems predicting suicide

Friday, 21 December 2018 12:03pm

A University of Otago study examining the ability of measures to predict death-by-suicide highlights multiple problems with current mental health treatment models.

^ Top of Page

Otago graduate influential in Africa

Thursday, 13 December 2018 9:05am

The first PhD student to graduate from the University of Otago’s Centre for International Health (CIH) has been named the most influential woman in the education and training sector of business and government in part of Africa.

^ Top of Page

Study examines impact of alcohol policy change on hazardous drinking habits at Otago

Friday, 7 December 2018 11:41am

A study spanning ten years has found alcohol policy reform implemented by the University of Otago probably contributed to a change in the drinking culture of the student population.

^ Top of Page

Otago researchers discover information about a gene that helps define us as humans

Thursday, 6 December 2018 9:11am

University of Otago researchers have discovered information about a gene that sets primates – great apes and humans – apart from other mammals, through the study of a rare developmental brain disorder.

^ Top of Page

Māori health professional graduand numbers soar to new heights

Wednesday, 5 December 2018 9:08am

The number of University of Otago Māori health professional graduands has climbed to an historic high.

^ Top of Page

Pain common and increasing in prevalence in New Zealand

Friday, 30 November 2018 9:19am


Pain is an extremely common condition and increasing in prevalence in New Zealand, University of Otago researchers say.

^ Top of Page

Too many dementia patients prescribed potentially inappropriate drugs – Otago finds

Thursday, 29 November 2018 9:45am

Older adults diagnosed with dementia are frequently being prescribed potentially inappropriate medications, which leaves them at risk of delirium, worsening cognitive impairment, and increased mortality, a University of Otago study has found.

^ Top of Page

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.

^ Top of Page

True burden of rheumatic fever in NZ currently underestimated, new research reveals

Thursday, 22 November 2018 5:05pm

The true burden of rheumatic fever in New Zealand may be underestimated because serology cut-off guidelines are too high resulting in undercounting about 16 cases annually, new collaborative research has found.

^ Top of Page

Otago health researchers share more than $3.5m in Career Development Awards

Tuesday, 20 November 2018 9:19am

A University of Otago Christchurch engineer is developing  a ‘lego’ system to 3D-bioprint bone; a solution that could one day replace the billions-of-dollars-worth of ceramic and titanium implants required by New Zealand patients annually.

^ Top of Page

Otago research highlights need for spirituality to be integrated into the health system

Wednesday, 14 November 2018 4:11pm

Spiritual care must be integrated into health system care plans, policies and training in order to reflect national guidelines and strategies more effectively, according to University of Otago researchers.

^ Top of Page

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.

^ Top of Page

Driving anxiety experienced by many older adults, new research reveals

Monday, 5 November 2018 9:15am

Driving anxiety is experienced by many older adults in New Zealand, especially among women and those aged over 70, recent collaborative research shows.

^ Top of Page

Most Kiwis support some form of euthanasia or assisted dying, Otago review reveals

Thursday, 1 November 2018 9:21am

Most New Zealanders support some form of euthanasia or assisted dying, a review of 20 years’ research into Kiwis’ attitudes to euthanasia by University of Otago researchers reveals.

^ Top of Page

Cutting societal alcohol use may prevent alcohol disorders developing – Otago research reveals

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 11:14am

Society must take collective responsibility to reduce the harm caused by alcohol use disorders, a University of Otago academic says.

^ Top of Page

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.

^ Top of Page

University of Otago to develop Education Centre at Southland Hospital

Friday, 5 October 2018 4:34pm

The University of Otago is developing a new $1.5 million education and research centre at its Southland campus in Invercargill, in partnership with the Southern District Health Board.

^ Top of Page

Research reveals diagnosis delays and at risk populations for bowel cancer in NZ

Friday, 5 October 2018 12:44pm


There are often delays in diagnosis for New Zealanders with bowel cancer with people aged under 60, Māori and those with less formal education most at risk, new research reveals.

^ Top of Page

New admissions test announced for future healthcare students

Monday, 24 September 2018 3:25pm

A group of leading universities in Australia and New Zealand, including the Universities of Otago and Auckland, are embarking on an exciting new collaboration with similar universities in the United Kingdom. 

^ Top of Page

No increased risk of lung infections among infants using popular anti-reflux medicines

Tuesday, 18 September 2018 10:16am

New University of Otago research shows infants using popular anti-reflux medicines like omeprazole are not at increased risk of pneumonia or other lower respiratory tract infections, contrary to findings from other international studies.

^ Top of Page

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

^ Top of Page

Otago scientists awarded major funding for innovative research

Thursday, 13 September 2018 2:48pm

University of Otago research leader Professor Richard Blaikie has received almost $1 million in Government funding to develop a cost-effective solution for large-scale production of hydrogen gas, a potential source of energy as an alternative to fossil fuel.

^ Top of Page

Otago researchers find answers as to why some people are at risk of gout

Wednesday, 12 September 2018 11:33am

University of Otago researchers have helped characterise a genetic variant that enables new understanding of why some people are at risk of gout, a painful and debilitating arthritic disease.

^ Top of Page

Potential for less smoking with new tobacco retailer restrictions, Otago research shows

Thursday, 6 September 2018 4:02pm

Changing the way tobacco is sold is a crucial step in achieving the Government’s 2025 smokefree goal, new University of Otago research suggests.

^ Top of Page

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.

^ Top of Page

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.

^ Top of Page

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.

^ Top of Page

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.

^ Top of Page

Otago researcher claims new study a step forward in fight to eliminate tuberculosis

Thursday, 2 August 2018 9:36am

The McAuley Professor of International Health at the University of Otago is labelling the findings of new international collaborative research a step forward in the fight to eliminate the world’s top infectious disease killer, tuberculosis.

^ Top of Page

Otago researcher secures funding for therapy to help prevent disorders in preterm babies

Wednesday, 1 August 2018 10:09am

A University of Otago researcher has received funding from the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand to investigate a new therapy which could potentially prevent disorders developing in children born prematurely.

^ Top of Page

Otago researchers signal time for Government action on reducing alcohol-related harm

Friday, 27 July 2018 9:40am

University of Otago experts in addiction medicine and the health effects of alcohol are questioning what the barriers are to Government action on reducing alcohol-related harm and calling for change.

^ Top of Page

Funding for Otago breast cancer research which aims to halt cancer spread

Wednesday, 25 July 2018 9:33am

A University of Otago researcher has been awarded $133,263 to investigate opportunities to halt the spread of cancer in women suffering breast cancer, thereby improving patient survival.

^ Top of Page

Otago research reveals alarming rise of obesity in New Zealand

Thursday, 5 July 2018 8:38am

The Body Mass Index (BMI) of New Zealanders is continuing to rise and on current trends, two million New Zealanders will be considered clinically obese by 2038 up from 1.1 million in 2015, new University of Otago research reveals.

^ Top of Page

DSM's palliative care education in the spotlight

Tuesday, 3 July 2018 2:48pm

Lis Latta

^ Top of Page

Otago scientists make breakthrough in childhood kidney cancer

Tuesday, 3 July 2018 7:44am

A world-first discovery by University of Otago scientists may change the way children suffering from a rare form of kidney cancer are treated.

^ Top of Page

Otago researchers’ discovery unlocks secrets behind cancer drug resistance

Friday, 29 June 2018 2:15pm

University of Otago research provides insights into an underlying mechanism that could explain why new cancer therapies to help treat metastatic melanoma do not always work on patients, paving the way for predicting which patients will benefit from certain drugs.

^ Top of Page

Otago researchers help find answers to growing typhoid problem in the Pacific

Tuesday, 26 June 2018 9:45am

University of Otago researchers have been key partners in a study which has found poor sanitation facilities appear to be a major source of Salmonella Typhi, the cause of typhoid fever, in Fiji.

^ Top of Page

Reduction in HIV diagnoses in New Zealand

Wednesday, 20 June 2018 10:03am

There has been a significant reduction in the number of people diagnosed with HIV in New Zealand over the past year.

^ Top of Page

$4.4 million awarded to DSM researchers in HRC funding

Monday, 18 June 2018 1:21pm

Dunedin School of Medicine warmly congratulates our outstanding researchers on their HRC funding success

^ Top of Page

Almost $19 million awarded to Otago researchers in Health Research Council funding

Monday, 18 June 2018 10:21am

A new study investigating for the first time the health of occupants of leaky homes in New Zealand is one of many University of Otago-led projects being funded this year by the Health Research Council to the tune of almost $19 million.

^ Top of Page

Unit to provide statistical support to staff, students

Tuesday, 5 June 2018 1:27pm

No statistical survey will ever be perfect, the director of the University of Otago’s biostatistics unit, Robin Turner, says.

However, health surveys carried out by Otago staff and students will hopefully be as close to perfect as they can thanks to the work of the biostatistics unit.

^ Top of Page

Father and son celebrate joint success

Friday, 1 June 2018 10:54am

Greymouth GP Greville Wood and his son shared their graduation ceremonies from Otago University last weekend

^ Top of Page

Researchers and clinicians honoured in Health Research Excellence Awards

Wednesday, 30 May 2018 8:03am

A novel idea by Dunedin Hospital clinicians to use naturalistic light to improve patients’ sleep quality, recovery and well-being received a $100,000 grant at this evening’s Health Research Excellence Awards.

^ Top of Page

Otago University-led Citizens’ Jury highlights complexity around euthanasia debate

Thursday, 24 May 2018 10:59am

A University of Otago-led Citizens’ Jury on euthanasia could not reach agreement about whether it should be legalised, highlighting complexities around the debate.

^ Top of Page

Pelvic pain a major issue for women nearing mid-life, Otago research reveals

Tuesday, 22 May 2018 10:12am

Many women nearing mid-life suffer some form of pelvic pain like period pain, or pain with sex however, pregnancy and childbirth appears to offer some protection, latest findings from the University of Otago's Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study reveal.

^ Top of Page

University of Otago welcomes selection of inner-city site for new Dunedin Hospital

Friday, 4 May 2018 1:30pm

The University of Otago is pleased Cabinet has approved an inner-city Dunedin location with close proximity to the University precinct on which to build the new Dunedin Hospital.

^ Top of Page

Prescribing guidelines not always followed for patients on cholesterol-lowering drug

Friday, 4 May 2018 10:40am

New Zealand prescribers do not always follow guidelines when prescribing other medicines to patients taking simvastatin, according to University of Otago researchers from the Pharmacoepidemiology Research Network. 

^ Top of Page

Older, injured workers lose up to one-third of income, Otago research reveals

Tuesday, 1 May 2018 9:21am

Injuries impact on the financial well-being of older workers with substantial lost earnings of between 20 and 30 per cent of their work income, new University of Otago research reveals.