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Health Sciences news


Public lecture: Pain in children and young people (11 July)


Pain@Otago will be hosting a Public lecture/Panel discussion on Persistent pain in children and adolescents. The event will be on Wednesday 11th July, 6pm, St David Lecture Theatre. 
Persistent pain in children and adolescents is common, affecting their participation in schooling, and sport/leisure activities. Join leading scientist, Dr Steven Kamper, and pain specialists as they give their insights about pain in children and young people.

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Dahlia based diabetes drug developed by Physiology researcher ready for human trials


In partnership with Plant and Food Research, researchers will soon begin human trials of a drug made from dahlias.

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Dr Andrew Bahn awarded Arthritis NZ Project Grant


Congratulations to Dr Bahn who has been awarded a $60K grant for his project “Identification of oxypurinol transporters to decipher drug-drug interactions in gout treatment”.

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MB ChB Oath Reading Ceremony


2018 oath reading ceremony outline and video link

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Pain and Older Adults Symposium: Save the Date 28 June


University of Otago Research Themes, Pain@Otago and CARE will be jointly hosting a research symposium on pain in older adults. 

Pain is a highly prevalent health condition among older adults. The purpose of this symposium to discuss research in pain among older adults: Understanding pain in older adults; pharmacological and pyscho-social-behavioural-cultural frameworks of pain management including innovative models of care.
The outcomes of this event is to develop an inter-disciplinary and multi-institutional research platform on pain in older adults.

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Zeiss On Your Campus (ZOYC) Seminars and Workshops

Tuesday, 23 July 2019 10:38am

Otago Micro and Nanoscale Imaging Zeiss on your campus (ZOYC) Seminars and Workshops, 27–29 August 2019. In conjunction with Carl Zeiss (NZ) Ltd, no cost to attend.

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Pulse 72: June / July 2019

Tuesday, 23 July 2019 2:43pm

Pulse 72: June / July 2019 provides an overview of achievements, initiatives and research success in the Division of Health Sciences at the University of Otago.

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Old vaccine brings new surprises

Friday, 19 July 2019 9:23am

New research about an old vaccine – one that has been in use for nearly 100 years – has not only shown how effective it is but also suggests it improves our immune response to a wider range of bacteria than originally intended.

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Massive potential health gains in switching to active transport – Otago study

Thursday, 18 July 2019 12:24pm

Swapping short car trips for walking or biking could achieve as much health gain as ongoing tobacco tax increases, according to a study from the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Educational tool developed at Otago makes international launch

Wednesday, 17 July 2019 2:56pm

Real-time decision making equals empowered students. That is the essence of SimPHARM™, a state of the art simulation tool developed at the University of Otago and now commercially licensed by a United States-based company to help pharmacy students learn via a realistic clinical experience.

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Otago researchers call for gender binary in elite sports to be abandoned to cater for trans-athletes

Wednesday, 17 July 2019 10:50am

Existing gender categories in sport should perhaps be abandoned in favour of a more 'nuanced' approach in the new transgender era, University of Otago researchers say.

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National Bowel Screening age limit harms Māori - Dr Sue Crengle talks to the ODT

Wednesday, 17 July 2019 1:50pm

National Bowel Screening age limit harms Māori - Dr Sue Crengle talks to the ODT

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Dentistry building gets Ministerial stamp of approval

Tuesday, 16 July 2019 9:33pm

Education Minister Chris Hipkins declared Kiwi’s teeth to be in good hands at Otago's Faculty of Dentistry, following a tour of the new Clinical Services Building last week.

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Dental research could mean big savings

Tuesday, 16 July 2019 3:29pm

A fourth-year undergraduate dental student has already made a mark in the world of dental research – and her findings could bring future savings to New Zealand’s dental practices.

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New Zealanders involved in global study showing genetic predisposition for anorexia

Tuesday, 16 July 2019 12:23pm

University of Otago, Christchurch researchers played a key role in new global research showing the causes of the eating disorder anorexia are likely metabolic as well as psychological.

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New data on e-cigarette use among New Zealand adults

Monday, 15 July 2019 12:59pm

Around one in six New Zealand adults have tried e-cigarettes but only 2 per cent are using them currently, a national survey has found.

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Profile: Carrie Falling

Monday, 15 July 2019 9:03am

Carrie Falling, PhD candidate, talks about her research on chronic musculoskeletal pain in people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

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Otago experts concerned lost opportunity to curb excessive drinking and reduce harm

Friday, 12 July 2019 9:14am

University of Otago mental health experts are upset another Government has missed an opportunity to curb excessive drinking and reduce harm, by taking a recommendation from the recent Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction off the agenda.

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New virtual lab ‘game-changer’ for Otago’s School of Pharmacy

Friday, 12 July 2019 8:57am

A freshly-completed laboratory at the University of Otago’s School of Pharmacy will enable pharmacy students to practice vital skills they will need on a daily basis when dealing with patients.

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Otago study unlocks secrets of sex change in fish

Thursday, 11 July 2019 2:11pm

A University of Otago-led study is heralding advances in our understanding of one of the most startling transformations in the natural world – the complete reversal of sex that occurs in about 500 species of fish.

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Register now for the Evidence to Everyday symposium

Wednesday, 10 July 2019 11:48am

"From Evidence to Everyday: Translating nutrition research for a healthy Aotearoa", a symposium organised by the Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research Centre, will be held on Friday 20 September, 2019, at the Nordmeyer Lecture Theatre, University of Otago, Wellington.

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“Game-changing” laboratory celebrated at School of Pharmacy

Tuesday, 9 July 2019 8:08pm

A freshly-completed laboratory at Otago’s School of Pharmacy may be one of the nicest in the world.

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Southland study hub

Monday, 8 July 2019 1:07pm

A new $1.5 million study hub at Southland Hospital, in use since April this year, is scheduled to officially open next month, University of Otago Chief Operating Officer Stephen Willis says.

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Session on Muslim culture for mental health professionals

Friday, 5 July 2019 10:30am

The University of Otago, Christchurch recently played host to more than 200 mental health professionals keen to learn about the Muslim faith and how to better support patients.

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Science-keen secondary students visit Christchurch campus

Thursday, 4 July 2019 10:14pm

The University of Otago, Christchurch recently opened its doors to more than 200 Canterbury secondary school students to showcase the campus and options for a career in health science.

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Eliminating waiting lists for cataract surgery prevents falls and is cost effective

Thursday, 4 July 2019 11:21am

Eliminating waiting times for cataract surgery would be a cost-effective health system intervention, largely driven by the falls prevention benefits related to improved vision, a just-published New Zealand study has found.

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$1.2M Health Research Council project grant awarded to A/Prof Brian Monk of the SJWRI

Monday, 1 July 2019 2:02pm

Congratulations to A/Prof Brian Monk of the SJWRI’s Molecular Microbiology research programme on the award of a three-year Project Grant worth $1,199,967 in the 2019 Health Research Council of New Zealand annual funding round, for his project ‘Readying next-generation antifungals for drug development’. This continues a long-standing programme of Marsden Fund and HRC-supported research into antifungal drug development in A/Prof Monk’s laboratory. A/Prof Monk says, "The research will use our structure-based understanding of how existing antifungals work in order to create new broad-spectrum drugs that are more effective and inexpensive."

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NZ experts play crucial role in global fight against pneumonia

Friday, 28 June 2019 9:05am

New Zealanders played crucial roles in a global pneumonia study pinpointing the deadliest forms of viruses and bacteria, and identifying one vaccine that could save the lives of hundreds of thousands of babies and young children.

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Cycle Challenge to help Heart Foundation

Friday, 28 June 2019 9:20am

Cycling at the end of July may not be everybody's cup of tea but when you are raising money for the Heart Foundation and doing it indoors, anyone can join in – and you don't even have to wear lycra!

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Study of sexual orientation and mental health

Thursday, 27 June 2019 3:40pm

Gay, lesbian and bisexual New Zealanders are on average more than twice as likely to experience depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts as heterosexuals, new research shows.

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Otago Biochemistry receives $3.6 million for research into gout, neurodegenerative disease, and new antibiotics

Thursday, 27 June 2019 8:57am

Three projects lead by principal investigators based in Otago Biochemistry have been awarded funding of about $1.2 million each, which will push forward exciting research at the molecular level that will one day underpin improved treatments for a diverse range of diseases.

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HRC Grants of almost $35 million to Division of Health Sciences researchers

Thursday, 27 June 2019 9:40am

Beta blockers, smoking cessation, stress suppression in motherhood and synthetic cannabinoid signalling are just a few of the areas of University of Otago Division of Health Sciences research to receive a total of almost $35 million in funding this year from the Health Research Council.

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Māori-led research at Otago awarded more then $3m in HRC funding

Thursday, 27 June 2019 1:49pm

Māori researchers from the University of Otago have been granted more than $3 million in funding from the Health Research Council (HRC) to tackle a wide range of projects ranging from water safety to disability support access for Māori - including our very own Dr Emma Wyeth.

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Māori-led research at Otago awarded more than $3m in HRC funding

Wednesday, 26 June 2019 3:10pm

Māori researchers from the University of Otago have been granted more than $3 million in funding from the Health Research Council (HRC) to tackle a wide range of projects ranging from water safety to disability support access for Māori.

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HRC grants $40m to Otago research tackling issues from climate change to heart failure

Wednesday, 26 June 2019 4:06pm

Climate change and its impact on people’s health and using DNA to help predict who may suffer heart failure are just two of many University of Otago-led research projects being funded this year by the Health Research Council to the tune of more than $40 million.

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Central Otago cemetery might be next for archaeological research

Wednesday, 26 June 2019 2:34pm

With successful operations in the small Otago towns of Milton and Lawrence complete, the University of Otago’s Otago Historic Cemeteries Bioarchaeology Project is now looking to partner with the historic Drybread Cemetery, deep in the heart of Central Otago.

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Sugary drink taxes reduce consumption, major review shows

Tuesday, 25 June 2019 2:32pm

A 10 per cent tax on sugary drinks has cut the purchase and consumption of sugary drinks by an average of 10 per cent in places it has been introduced, a just published major review shows.

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New Auckland dental base on target for February

Monday, 24 June 2019 12:09pm

The concrete floor slab has been poured for the top floor of the University of Otago’s new $28.3 million dental teaching facility and patient treatment clinic beside the Manukau SuperClinic in South Auckland, the University’s Chief Operating Officer, Stephen Willis, says.

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We hosted the wonderful Dr Donna Cormack for our Matariki seminar today

Monday, 24 June 2019 1:44pm

We were so privileged to host the fantastic Dr Donna Cormack last Monday who presented about data (in)justice and Māori data sovereignty in a datafied world.

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Major donation supports research into early-stage cancer detection

Friday, 21 June 2019 12:34pm

The work of Professor Parry Guilford and his team at the University of Otago has received a major funding boost with a $50,000 donation from the Hugo Charitable Trust to support their work on circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) and cancer research.