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Health Sciences news


Staff and students give thanks

Thursday, 19 September 2019 12:35pm

The Department of Anatomy held its annual Thanksgiving Service in Dunedin recently.  Family and friends of our donors, along with staff and students attended the service to honour and remember those generous people who have donated their body to medical science teaching and research. 

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2019 Endeavour Fund Success for Otago Biochemistry

Wednesday, 18 September 2019 9:43am

Otago Biochemistry is celebrating this week after finding out that Associate Professor Richard Macknight and Dr Lynette Brownfield have successfully won funding from the Endeavour Fund for their project to improve New Zealand’s most important source of food for cows and sheep: ryegrass.

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2019 Summer Studentship awarded to project exploring the multidimensional nature of chronic pain

Wednesday, 18 September 2019 3:54pm

The summer studentship scholarship for 2019/20 has been awarded to Julia Corfe-Tan. Julia's project will explore the multidimensional nature of chronic pain.

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Seminar: Postcolonial Tanzania, the Dar School and Afro-Futurist Geopolitical Imaginations

Wednesday, 18 September 2019 12:01pm

Seminar: Postcolonial Tanzania, the Dar School and Afro-Futurist Geopolitical Imaginations

Prof Joanne Sharp
University of St Andrews, UK

Date: Wednesday 25 September, 4PM
Venue: Richardson 5N4


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Communicating the Loch Ness study

Tuesday, 17 September 2019 9:00pm

Earlier this month Otago’s Professor Neil Gemmell travelled to Scotland to reveal the findings of his environmental DNA study of Loch Ness. Anticipating an avalanche of global media attention, Senior Communications Adviser Mark Hathaway accompanied him. He writes about the experience for the Otago Bulletin Board.

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Awards recognise integral role of Dunedin School of Medicine’s teachers

Tuesday, 17 September 2019 10:43pm

Some of the country’s best medical teaching and teachers were celebrated this week at the University's Dunedin School of Medicine 2019 Teaching Awards.

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Otago Biochemistry at Queenstown Science Extravaganza

Tuesday, 17 September 2019 9:55am

Queenstown Research Week this year was bustling with Otago Biochemistry researchers, who contributed as invited speakers, poster presenters, general delegates, and organisers. The biological science extravaganza is a cluster of meetings co-ordinated into one week, held each September. Attendees come to learn about the latest research carried out around New Zealand, do a little science networking, and enjoy the bonus of some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery.

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Awards recognise integral role of Dunedin School of Medicine’s teachers

Monday, 16 September 2019 8:36am

Some of the country’s best medical teaching and teachers were celebrated this week at the University of Otago Dunedin School of Medicine 2019 Teaching Awards.

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School of Physiotherapy encourages people to ‘Stay Fan Fit’

Monday, 16 September 2019 9:03pm

A series of four videos have been produced to promote the University of Otago’s School of Physiotherapy and coincide with the Rugby World Cup, providing key messages about keeping well and injury free, with just a touch of humour in the mix.

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Remove nicotine from cigarettes, smokers say

Monday, 16 September 2019 10:35am

New Zealand smokers overwhelmingly support removing the nicotine from cigarettes to make them less addictive, a national survey has found.

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China and University of Otago collaborations celebrated and enhanced

Thursday, 12 September 2019 9:56pm

Growing collaborations in brain research and the modernisation of traditional medicine were in the spotlight at an international forum in Queenstown last month.

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2019 Sir John Walsh Research Institute Awards presented at SJWRI Research Day

Wednesday, 11 September 2019 2:41pm

Congratulations to the recipients of Sir John Walsh Research Institute Awards for 2019, which were announced and awarded at the conclusion of SJWRI Research Day on Wednesday 11 September at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Our Institute Awards celebrate the research achievements of academic staff and postgraduate students, as well as commending the contribution of general staff to the research successes of the SJWRI and Faculty of Dentistry.

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Celebrating our research excellence: SJWRI Research Day 2019

Wednesday, 11 September 2019 2:42pm

SJWRI Research Day 2019, highlighting the research achievements of the University of Otago's Sir John Walsh Research Institute and Faculty of Dentistry, was held on Wednesday 11 September at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. The programme featured presentations from academic researchers, invited keynote speakers and postgraduate students, a research poster competition, and the presentation of the SJWRI Awards for 2019.

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Three awards for Health Sciences PVC

Wednesday, 11 September 2019 9:35pm

Three fellowships from three major international dentistry organisations have been awarded to the University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) Professor Paul Brunton in the past year.

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Samoa able to expand dental services, thanks to University’s goodwill

Wednesday, 11 September 2019 10:50pm

The University of Otago is gifting dental chairs from its Faculty of Dentistry to the Samoan Ministry of Health to assist with dental care in the Pacific nation.

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Smokers concealing cigarette packs’ graphic warnings, study finds

Tuesday, 10 September 2019 10:48am

Smokers are less likely to display packs of cigarettes and tobacco on tables at cafés and bars now that standardised packs with larger graphic health warnings have been introduced, according to a new study.

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Centre for Bioengineering & Nanomedicine Showcase announced

Monday, 9 September 2019 4:49pm

Celebrate 10 years of Bioengineering at University of Otago at our free showcase event on Wednesday 27 November on Dunedin campus.

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He Kete Kōrero – Spring 2019

Monday, 9 September 2019 4:05pm

The Spring 2019 edition of the University of Otago, Wellington newsletter

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Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori

Monday, 9 September 2019 12:02pm

I tērā wiki i whakanui mātou Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori.

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Otago scientist reveals Loch Ness Monster could be … a giant eel

Friday, 6 September 2019 9:49pm

An Otago scientist has cast major doubt on the existence of a monster in Scotland’s Loch Ness, suggesting instead that it might be a giant eel.

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Otago scientist fears many Kiwis unaware they have ALK positive lung cancer

Thursday, 5 September 2019 9:08am

A University of Otago scientist is concerned there could be a considerable number of Kiwis unaware they have ALK positive lung cancer as Pharmac is looking to fund Alecensa, a drug to treat this particular cancer.

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First eDNA Study Of Loch Ness Points To Something Fishy

Thursday, 5 September 2019 10:46am

University of Otago geneticist, Professor Neil Gemmell can today announce the results of investigations into the environmental DNA present in the British Isles largest and second deepest body of fresh water, Loch Ness.

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Otago researchers to compete in Falling Walls Lab

Wednesday, 4 September 2019 12:43pm

Three Otago researchers are set to compete in Falling Walls Lab New Zealand this month.

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Dental redevelopment progresses

Wednesday, 4 September 2019 12:42pm

Good progress is being made on the demolition of the old interior of the Walsh Building in preparation for a new fitout which is part of Stage 2 of the Dental School Redevelopment.

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Swedish and Otago scientists shed new light on demise of two extinct New Zealand songbirds

Wednesday, 4 September 2019 9:24am

They may not have been seen for the past 50 and 110 years, but an international study into their extinction has provided answers to how the world lost New Zealand’s South Island kōkako and huia.

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Otago academic to head new national cancer strategy

Monday, 2 September 2019 12:33pm

The new interim National Director of Cancer Control, University of Otago academic Professor Diana Sarfati, believes lives will be saved as a result of the new National Cancer Action Plan.

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SJWRI research supported by 2019 NZ Dental Research Foundation and Ministry of Health oral health funding

Monday, 2 September 2019 9:26am

The New Zealand Dental Association and Ministry of Health (MoH) are key supporters of our cutting-edge dental and oral health research, through the NZ Dental Research Foundation (NZDRF) and MoH Oral Health Research funding rounds. Funding from these grants supports the research of our academic and research staff, as well as training of our postgraduate students.
In the 2019 NZDRF funding round, a total of $142,212 in funding has been awarded for research projects led by our staff, PhD and DClinDent students. SJWRI researchers were also principal investigators on projects awarded $61,059 in targeted Ministry of Health Oral Health Research funding.
As always, we thank the NZ Dental Research Foundation and the Ministry of Health for their continued support.

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World’s largest army is brutal, but could be beneficial

Wednesday, 28 August 2019 9:01am

Is there a solution to bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics? One answer may be found by studying the world’s largest and most brutal army, new University of Otago microbiology research shows.

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Study links body clock to obesity and diabetes

Wednesday, 28 August 2019 11:50am

Does skipping a meal at particular times of day reduce your chances of developing obesity or diabetes? Are the street lights outside making you fat?

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Young people with chronic illness find health system doesn’t meet their needs – Otago study

Tuesday, 27 August 2019 8:55am

New Zealand’s adult-centred health system appears ill-equipped to meet the needs of chronically sick young people, a University of Otago study has found.

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No age limit on research for 74-year-old PhD Graduate

Thursday, 22 August 2019 10:34pm

It was quite a weekend for Dr John White who celebrated his 74th birthday last Friday and then donned cap and gown to receive his PhD at the Dunedin Town Hall on Saturday.

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Fellowship fund flies PhD students to the United States

Thursday, 22 August 2019 11:04pm

Three PhD students will be winging their way to the United States next year to study and collaborate, thanks to a University of Otago fellowship.

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Micronutrients affect gut bacteria associated with ADHD in small but promising study

Tuesday, 20 August 2019 12:14pm

Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who took micronutrients had lower levels of a bacteria linked to the psychological disorder, and a healthier range of bugs in their gut overall, new research shows.

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Otago scientist helps unlock mysteries of Laos’ megalithic jars

Tuesday, 20 August 2019 10:50am

The mysterious Plain of Jars in Laos is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks in part to work done by a University of Otago palaeopathologist.

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New research collaboration to fight cancer in New Zealand

Tuesday, 20 August 2019 8:57am

University of Otago cancer researchers are coming together in a new collaboration awarded a $2 million grant by the Cancer Society in a bid to better tackle a leading cause of death in New Zealand.

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Pacific Health Ministers welcome major report on cancer in region

Monday, 19 August 2019 10:21pm

A major research series on cancer control in small island nations led by Professor Diana Sarfati from the University of Otago, Wellington, has been welcomed at the Pacific Health Ministers Meeting in Tahiti.

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Teenagers say ‘nope’ to dope

Friday, 16 August 2019 11:18am

New research from the University of Otago, Wellington, has shed light on the declining use of cannabis use by teens.

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Secreted Amyloid Precursor Protein-Alpha Promotes Arc Protein Synthesis in Hippocampal Neurons

Friday, 16 August 2019 9:44am

View the research paper, ‘Secreted Amyloid Precursor Protein-Alpha Promotes Arc Protein Synthesis in Hippocampal Neurons’ which is published in frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience

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Dr Karl Iremonger named 2019 Rowheath Trust Award and Carl Smith Research Medal winner

Thursday, 15 August 2019 10:47am

Dunedin neuroscientist and physiologist Dr Karl Iremonger has been awarded the 2019 Rowheath Trust Award and Carl Smith Medal.

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Monkey malaria breakthrough offers cure for relapsing malaria

Thursday, 15 August 2019 2:53pm

A breakthrough in monkey malaria research by two University of Otago scientists could help scientists diagnose and treat a relapsing form of human malaria.