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

Exceptional PhD theses in the Division of Health Sciences

Tuhinga whakapae kāirangi whakaharahara ki te Wāhanga o Mātau Hauora

 

The University of Otago's Division of Health Sciences celebrates excellence at every level. The Division takes great pleasure in announcing the following PhD candidates have presented a thesis of exceptional quality.

A thesis is of exceptional quality when all three examiners of a candidate's thesis agree that the thesis is among the top 10 per cent of theses examined, and is of an exceptional standard in the following areas:

  • Research content
  • Originality
  • Quality of expression
  • Accuracy of presentation

Exceptional PhD theses awarded in 2022

Bishal Raj Adhikari (School of Pharmacy)

Co-amorphous spray-dried microparticles for pulmonary drug delivery to treat lung infections
Primary Supervisor: Associate Professor Shyamal Das

For more information on Bishal's work, please contact the School of Pharmacy by email at pharmacy@otago.ac.nz

Jodie Sarah Chandler (Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, UOW)

The role of Th2 effector cell subsets in Type 2 immunity
Primary Supervisor: Professor Brett Delahunt

For more information on Jodie’s work, please contact the Pathology and Molecular Medicine, UOW Department by email at pathology.ouw@otago.ac.nz

Tracy Nicola Haitana (UOC – Dean's Department)

Kōrero o te Tāniko: Māori experiences of healthcare for bipolar disorder in Aotearoa. A kaupapa Māori clinical, structural, and organisational critique
Primary Supervisor: Associate Professor Cameron Lacey

For more information on Tracy's work, please contact the UOC - Dean's Department by email at deptdean.uoc@otago.ac.nz

William Jeffrey Jowsey (Department of Microbiology and Immunology)

Characterisation of the novel DUF2285 containing transcriptional activator FseA
Primary Supervisor: Professor Clive Ronson

For more information on Williams’s work, please contact the Microbiology and Immunology Department by email at microbiology@otago.ac.nz

Robyn Theresa Kramer (Department of Anatomy)

Human mobility in Aotearoa New Zealand and the Solomon Islands: application of strontium isotope and geospatial analyses in the South Pacific
Primary Supervisor: Dr Charlotte King

For more information on Robyn’s work, please contact the Anatomy Department by email at anatomy@otago.ac.nz

Jingyun Li (School of Pharmacy)

Pharmacometric methods in clinical toxicology: an application to paracetamol overdose
Primary Supervisor: Professor Stephen Duffull

For more information on Jingyun’s work, please contact the School of Pharmacy by email at pharmacy@otago.ac.nz

Amber Raschel Logan (Department of Public Health UOW)

Housing and health for whānau Māori
Primary Supervisor: Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman

For more information on Amber Raschel Logan's work, please contact the Public Health UOW Department by email at publichealth.uow@otago.ac.nz

Susannah Clare Lumsden (Anatomy)

Neuromodulation of the pineal gland and sleep via non-invasive electrostimulation with frequency and dermatome-specific effects
Primary Supervisor: Associate Professor Yusuf Cakmak

For more information on Susannah’s work, please contact the Anatomy Department by email at anatomy@otago.ac.nz

Tessa Maree McBride (Microbiology and Immunology)

Prokaryotic defence: the type I-D CRISPR-Cas system
Primary Supervisor: Professor Peter Fineran

For more information on Tessa's work, please contact the Microbiology and Immunology Department by email at microbiology@otago.ac.nz

Thomas John Nicholson (Biochemistry)

Sequence classification problems in prokaryotes
Primary Supervisor: Associate Professor Paul Gardner

For more information on Thomas’s work, please contact the Biochemistry Department by email at biochemistry@otago.ac.nz

Ayesha Nisar Qureshi (School of Physiotherapy)

Strengths-based resilience intervention for informal carers of stroke survivors
Primary Supervisor: Professor Leigh Hale

For more information on Ayesha’s work, please contact the School of Physiotherapy by email at physiotherapy@otago.ac.nz

Nicholas James Shields (Department of Pathology)

Tumour lysate-based immunotherapy for colorectal cancer
Primary Supervisor: Professor Sarah Young

For more information on Nicholas’ work, please contact the Department of Pathology by email at pathology@otago.ac.nz

Bram George Soliman (Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Medicine, UOC)

Micro and macroscale spatiotemporal patterning of physical cues in cell-laden hydrogels for tissue engineering applications
Primary Supervisor: Associate Professor Khoon Lim

For more information on Bram's work, please contact the Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Medicine, UOC Department by email at orthopaedics.uoc@otago.ac.nz

Exceptional PhD theses awarded in 2021

Nils Birkholz (Department of Microbiology and Immunology)

Diverse regulation strategies govern phage defence and counter-defence in Pectobacterium carotovorum
Primary Supervisor: Professor Peter Fineran

For more information on Nils’ work, please contact the Department of Microbiology and Immunology by email at microbiology@otago.ac.nz.

Paula King (Department of Public Health, UOW)

Oranga Mokopuna: Ethical co-designing for the pluriverse
Primary Supervisor: Dr Donna Cormack

For more information on Paula’s work, please contact the Department of Public Health, UOW by email at publichealth.uow@otago.ac.nz.

Christina McKerchar (Department of Public Health, UOW)

Food availability for tamariki a rights-based approach
Primary Supervisor: Professor Louise Signal

For more information on Christina’s work, please contact the Department of Public Health, UOW by email at publichealth.uow@otago.ac.nz.

Amélie Poilliot (Department of Anatomy)

The obscure joint: A translational approach applied to clinical practice on sacroiliac joint morphology and biomechanics
Primary Supervisor: Associate Professor Niels Hammer

For more information on Amélie’s work, please contact the Department of Anatomy by email at anatomy@otago.ac.nz.

Isobel Ross (Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice, UOW)

"We need to discuss surgery": A multimodal conversation analytic study of intersubjectivity during surgeons' information provision to patients
Primary Supervisor: Associate Professor Maria Stubbe

For more information on Isobel’s work, please contact the Department of Primary Health Care & General Practice by email at primarycare.uow@otago.ac.nz.

Andrea Teng (Department of Public Health, UOW)

What is the impact of sugar-sweetened beverage taxes? A focus on the Pacific
Primary Supervisor: Professor Nick Wilson

For more information on Andrea’s work, please contact the Public Health UOW Department by email at publichealth.uow@otago.ac.nz.

Sailakshmi Velamoor (Department of Microbiology and Immunology)

A combination of microscopic techniques to assess the self-assembly of keratins in a developing wool fibre
Primary Supervisor: Dr Mihnea Bostina

For more information on Sailakshmi’s work, please contact the Department of Microbiology and Immunology by email at microbiology@otago.ac.nz.

Samuel Taylor Wardell (Department of Biochemistry)

Evolution of antibiotic resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Primary Supervisor: Professor Iain Lamont

For more information on Samuel’s work, please contact the Biochemistry Department by email at biochemistry@otago.ac.nz.

^ Top of page

Exceptional PhD theses awarded in 2020

Rachael Dixon (Department of Population Health, UOC)

Exploring senior secondary health education in Aotearoa New Zealand: A cabinet of curiosities
Primary supervisor: Professor Gillian Abel

For more information on Rachael’s work, please contact the Department of Population Health, UOC by email at publichealth.uoc@otago.ac.nz.

Ali Hosseini Rad (Department of Microbiology and Immunology)

Enhancing the persistence and memory of CAR T cells
Primary Supervisor: Professor Alexander McLellan

For more information on Ali’s work, please contact the Microbiology and Immunology Department by email at microbiology@otago.ac.nz.

Nadishka Jayawardena (Department of Microbiology and Immunology)

Structural insights into oncolytic Seneca Valley Virus capsid and receptor interactions
Primary supervisor: Dr Mihnea Bostina

For more information on Nadishka’s work, please contact the Microbiology and Immunology Department by email at microbiology@otago.ac.nz.

Joshua Lange (Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, UOW)

Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells as cellular adjuvants for cancer immunotherapy
Primary supervisor: Professor Brett Delahunt

For more information on Joshua’s work, please contact the Pathology and Molecular Medicine Department by email at pathology.uow@otago.ac.nz.

Bronwen McNoe (Department of Preventive and Social Medicine)

Sun protection for adolescents at school in Aotearoa/New Zealand
Primary Supervisor: Dr. Kate Morgaine

For more information on Bronwen’s work, please contact the Preventive and Social Medicine Department by email at preventive-medicine@otago.ac.nz.

Lucía Malone (Department of Microbiology and Immunology)

Phage interactions with CRISPR-Cas systems in Serratia sp. ATCC 39006
Primary supervisor: Professor Peter Fineran

For more information on Lucía’s work, please contact the Microbiology and Immunology Department by email at microbiology@otago.ac.nz.

Javier Jimenez Martin (Department of Physiology)

Cholinergic modulation of cortical sensory-evoked responses
Primary supervisor: Professor Ruth Empson

For more information on Javier’s work, please contact the Physiology Department by email at physiology@otago.ac.nz.

Katharine (Kate) Roberts (Primary Health Care and General Practice, UOW)

Communication and collaboration between general practitioners and acupuncturists in New Zealand: A case study of integrated mental health care
Primary supervisor: Professor Tony Dowell

For more information on Kate’s work, please contact the Primary Health Care and General Practice, UOW Department by email at primarycare.wsmhs@otago.ac.nz.

Saurab Sharma (Department of Surgical Sciences)

Improving pain assessment, management, and research in low-income countries: An example of Nepal
Primary supervisor: Professor Haxby Abbott

For more information on Saurab’s work, please contact the Surgical Sciences Department by email at surgicalsciences.admin@otago.ac.nz.

Leah Smith (Department of Microbiology and Immunology)

A genome-wide approach identifying regulators of CRISPR-Cas immunity in Serratia
Primary supervisor: Professor Peter Fineran

For more information on Leah’s work, please contact the Microbiology and Immunology Department by email at microbiology@otago.ac.nz

Megan Stark (Department of Medicine, UOC)

Cognitive impairment and conversion to dementia in Parkinson's disease: an imaging study of amyloid PET and diffusion MRI
Primary supervisor: Dr Tracy Melzer

For more information on Megan’s work, please contact the Medicine Department, UOC by email at deptmed@chmeds.ac.nz

Melandri Vlok (Department of Anatomy)

Implications of human interaction for health of past populations in Asia
Primary supervisor: Professor Hallie Buckley

For more information on Melandri’s work, please contact the Anatomy Department by email at anatomy@otago.ac.nz

^ Top of page

Exceptional PhD theses awarded in 2019

Chidimma Aham-Chiabuotu (Department of Population Health, UOC)

Suffering, solidarity and spirituality: The lived experiences of internally displaced women in Northern Nigeria
Primary supervisor: Associate Professor Gillian Abel

For more information on Chidimma’s work, please contact the Population Health, UOC Department by email at publichealth.uoc@otago.ac.nz.

Judith Ball (Department of Public Health, UOW)

Sex, drugs, smokes and booze: What's driving teen trends? Describing and explaining trends in adolescent sexual behaviour, cannabis use, smoking and alcohol use in the early 21st century
Primary supervisor: Professor Richard Edwards

For more information on Judith’s work, please contact the Public Health Department UOW by email at publichealth.uow@otago.ac.nz

Susanna Every-Palmer (Department of Psychological Medicine, UOW)

Clozapine and the gastrointestinal tract
Primary supervisor: Emeritus Professor Peter Ellis

For more information on Susanna’s work, please contact the Psychological Medicine Department by email at kristy.wilson@otago.ac.nz

Dr Michael Maze (Department of Preventive and Social Medicine)

The impact of leptospirosis in northern Tanzania
Supervisor: Professor John Crump

For more information on Michael's work, please contact the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine by emailing preventive-medicine@otago.ac.nz

Oscar Ortega Recalde (Department of Anatomy)

DNA methylation memory: Understanding epigenetic reprogramming in vertebrates
Primary supervisor: Dr Tim Hore

For more information on Oscar’s work, please contact the Anatomy Department by email at anatomy@otago.ac.nz

^ Top of page

Exceptional PhD theses awarded in 2018

Dr Mustafa Almuqbel (Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch)

Longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging of cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease
Primary supervisor: Dr Tracy Melzer

For more information on Mustafa’s work, please contact the Department of Medicine, UOC by emailing deptmed.uoc@otago.ac.nz

Dr Michelle Barr (Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington)

Quantifying children's exposure to outdoor food advertising
Primary supervisor: Professor Louise Signal

For more information on Michelle’s work, please contact the Department of Public Health, UOW, by emailing publichealth.uow@otago.ac.nz

Dr Anna Cooper (School of Pharmacy)

Development of fluorescent ligands for CB2 receptor
Primary supervisor: Dr Andrea Vernall

For more information on Anna's work, please contact the School of Pharmacy by emailing pharmacy@otago.ac.nz

Dr Hannah Hampton (Department of Microbiology and Immunology)

Genome defence mechanisms in Serratia species ATCC 39006
Primary supervisor: Associate Professor Peter Fineran

For more information on Hannah’s work, please contact the Department of Microbiology and Immunology by emailing microbiology@otago.ac.nz

Dr Amanda Kvalsvig (Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington)

Pre-hospital antibiotics in meningococcal disease
Primary supervisor: Professor Michael Baker

For more information on Amanda's work, please contact the Department of Public Health, UOW, by emailing publichealth.uow@otago.ac.nz

Dr Kar Sheng Lew (Department of Physiology)

The effect of exercise on diabetic heart disease
Primary supervisor: Associate Professor Daryl Schwenke

For more information on Kar Sheng's work, please contact the Department of Physiology by emailing physiology@otago.ac.nz

Dr Melissa McLeod (Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington)

Making health equity count: incorporating health equity for Maori into cost-utility analyses
Primary supervisor: Professor Tony Blakely

For more information on Melissa's work, please contact the Department of Public Health by emailing publichealth.wellington@otago.ac.nz

Dr Mohammad Momin (School of Pharmacy)

Spray-dried powder particles for treating pulmonary tuberculosis
Primary supervisor: Dr Shyamal Das

For more information on Mohammad’s work, please contact the School of Pharmacy by emailing pharmacy@otago.ac.nz

Dr Sasi Bhushan Yarragudi (School of Pharmacy)

Formulation strategies to enhance nose-to-brain delivery of drugs
Primary supervisor: Dr Shakila Rizwan

For more information on Sasi Bhushan’s work, please contact the School of Pharmacy by emailing pharmacy@otago.ac.nz

^ Top of page


Exceptional PhD theses awarded in 2017

Dr Daniel Barth (Department of Physiology)

Characterising the effect of shear force on the activity of the epithelial sodium and acid sensing ion channels
Primary supervisor: Dr Martin Fronius

For more information on Daniel’s work, please contact the Department of Physiology by emailing physiology@otago.ac.nz

Dr Lorna Daniels (Department of Physiology)

The role of calcium calmodulin dependent protein kinase II in type 2 diabetic heart dysfunction
Primary supervisor: Dr Jeff Erickson

For more information on Lorna’s work, please contact the Department of Physiology by emailing physiology@otago.ac.nz

Dr Kiel Hards (Department of Microbiology and Immunology)

Fundamental and applied investigations into mycobacterial bioenergetics
Primary supervisor: Professor Gregory Cook

For more information on Kiel’s work, please contact the Department of Microbiology and Immunology by emailing microbiology@otago.ac.nz

Dr Trang Khieu (Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington)

Estimating the health burden of influenza in New Zealand.
Primary supervisor: Professor Michael Baker

For more information on Trang’s work, please contact the Department of Public Health, UOW, by emailing publichealth.uow@otago.ac.nz

Dr Silke Kuehl (Dean’s Department, University of Otago, Wellington)

Coping has limits: 'Mixed presenters' emergency department presentations for self-harm and other reasons
Primary supervisor: Professor Sunny Collings

For more information on Silke’s work, please contact the Dean’s Department, UOW, by emailing deanseauow@otago.ac.nz

Dr Siddharth Matikonda (School of Pharmacy)

Development and application of strategies in prodrug chemistry
Primary supervisor: Dr Allan Gamble

For more information on Siddharth’s work, please contact the School of Pharmacy by emailing pharmacy@otago.ac.nz.

Dr Morad Remy Muhsin (Department of Microbiology and Immunology)

Tumour extracellular vesicles in cancer metastasis & thrombosis
Primary supervisor: Associate Professor Alexander McLellan

For more information on Morad’s work, please contact the Department of Microbiology and Immunology by emailing microbiology@otago.ac.nz

Dr Adrian Patterson (Department of Microbiology and Immunology)

Multiple pathways regulate CRISPR-Cas immunity
Primary supervisor: Associate Professor Peter Fineran

For more information on Adrian’s work, please contact the Department of Microbiology and Immunology by emailing microbiology@otago.ac.nz

Dr Hazem Zohny (Bioethics Centre)

How to think about enhancement: A welfarist approach
Primary supervisor: Dr Mike King

For more information on Hazem’s work, please contact the Bioethics Centre by emailing bioethics@otago.ac.nz

^ Top of Page

Exceptional PhD theses awarded in 2016

Dr Laura Boddington (Department of Anatomy)

Effects of electrical theta burst stimulation on interhemispheric inhibition and functional recovery after stroke
Primary supervisor: Associate Professor John Reynolds

For more information on Laura's work, please contact the Department of Anatomy by emailing anatomy@otago.ac.nz

Dr Ruth Cunningham (Department of Public Health, Wellington)

Cancer in the context of severe mental illness in New Zealand
Primary supervisor: Professor Diana Sarfati

For more information on Ruth's work, please contact the Department of Public Health, Wellington, by emailing publichealth.uow@otago.ac.nz

Dr Naomi Daniels (Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Wellington)

Cytotoxic T cell-mediated immunotherapy of allergic airway inflammation
Primary supervisor: Professor Brett Delahunt

For more information on Naomi's work, please contact the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Wellington, by emailing pathology.wsmhs@otago.ac.nz

Dr Tanya Flynn (Department of Biochemistry)

Experiencing gout in New Zealand: The genetic and dietary influences of a complex disease.
Primary supervisor: Professor Tony Merriman

For more information on Tanya's work, please contact the Department of Biochemistry by emailing biochemistry@otago.ac.nz

Dr Anna Gosling (Department of Biochemistry)

Pacific people, metabolic disease and evolutionary processes
Primary supervisor: Professor Tony Merriman

For more information on Anna's work, please contact the Department of Biochemistry by emailing biochemistry@otago.ac.nz

Dr Papillon Gustafson (Department of Anatomy)

The role of prolactin in suppressing the maternal stress axis
Primary supervisor: Associate Professor Stephen Bunn

For more information on Papillon’s work, please contact the Department of Anatomy by emailing anatomy@otago.ac.nz

Dr Joon Kim (Department of Anatomy)

Functional analyses of the neuropeptide FF receptor system using GJ14, a potent and selective antagonist
Primary supervisor: Associate professor Greg Anderson

For more information on Joon's work, please contact the Department of Anatomy by emailing anatomy@otago.ac.nz

Dr Sarah Maessen (Department of Women's and Children's Health)

Assessing learning, breathing and treatment of respiratory obstruction during sleep in school children: The ALBATROSS Study.
Primary supervisor: Associate Professor Barbara Galland

For more information on Sarah’s work, please contact the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health by emailing wch.admin@otago.ac.nz

Dr Adam O’Neill (Department of Women’s and Children’s Health)

Rare variants in periventricular neuronal heterotopia.
Primary supervisor: Professor Stephen Robertson

For more information on Adam’s work, please contact the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health by emailing wch.admin@otago.ac.nz

Dr Kishore Rajendran (Department of Radiology, Christchurch)

MARS spectral CT technology for orthopaedic applications
Primary supervisor: Professor Anthony Butler

For more information on Kishore's work, please contact the Department of Radiology, Christchurch, by emailing radiology.uoc@otago.ac.nz

Dr Caroline Shaw (Department of Public Health, Wellington)

Known unknowns: Evidence of health co-benefits from decarbonising the transport sector
Primary supervisor: Associate Professor Simon Hales

For more information on Caroline’s work, please contact the Department of Public Health, Wellington by emailing publichealth.uow@otago.ac.nz

Dr Monica Tromp (Department of Anatomy)

Lapita plants, people and pigs
Primary supervisor: Associate Professor Hallie Buckley

For more information on Monica’s work, please contact the Department of Anatomy by emailing anatomy@otago.ac.nz

Dr Joshua Wright (Department of Biochemistry)

Ubiquitin transfer by the Arkadia and Ark2C RING domains
Primary supervisor: Professor Catherine Day

For more information on Joshua's work, please contact the Department of Biochemistry by emailing biochemistry@otago.ac.nz

^ Top of Page

Exceptional PhD theses awarded in 2015

Dr Pauline Campos (Department of Physiology)

Optogenetic activation of GnRH neurons in mice
Primary supervisor: Professor Allan Herbison

For more information on Pauline's work, please contact the Department of Physiology by emailing physiology@otago.ac.nz

Dr Simon Fisher (Department of Anatomy)

Action discovery in the basal ganglia through reinforcement of spike timing-dependent plasticity
Primary supervisor: Associate Professor John Reynolds

For more information on Simon’s work, please contact the Department of Anatomy emailing anatomy@otago.ac.nz

Dr Aleisha Moore (Department of Physiology)

Perturbation of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone neuronal network in a model of polycystic ovarian syndrome
Primary supervisor: Dr Rebecca Campbell

For more information on Aleisha's work, please contact the Department of Physiology by emailing physiology@otago.ac.nz

Dr Richard Smaill (Department of Population Health, Christchurch)

Ageing with spinal cord injury in New Zealand
Primary supervisor: Professor Philip Schluter

For more information on Richard’s work, please contact the Department of Population Health by emailing publichealth.uoc@otago.ac.nz

Dr Zhe (Joe) Zhang (Department of Physiology)

Regulation of the cardiac ryanodine receptor by proteins
Primary supervisor: Dr Peter Jones

For more information on Zhe's work, please contact the Department of Physiology by emailing physiology@otago.ac.nz

^ Top of Page

Exceptional PhD theses from 2007–2014