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Exceptional PhD theses in the Division of Health Sciences

 

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% 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 2019

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

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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

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Exceptional PhD theses awarded in 2018

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

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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

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Exceptional PhD theses awarded in 2017

Dr Daniel Barth (Department of Physiology)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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

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Exceptional PhD theses awarded in 2016

Dr Laura Boddington (Department of Anatomy)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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

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Exceptional PhD theses awarded in 2015

Dr Pauline Campos (Department of Physiology)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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)

Thesis title: 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

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Exceptional PhD theses from 2007–2014