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News archive

Otago graduate helps separate conjoined twins

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Friday, 16 November 2018

A mix of relief, pride and protectiveness is how paediatric surgeon and Otago graduate Dr Michael Nightingale feels after being part of the team to successfully separate conjoined twins in Melbourne last week.

UK Fleming Prize to Otago microbiologist

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Tuesday, 13 November 2018

A University of Otago molecular microbiologist, Associate Professor Peter Fineran, has been awarded the United Kingdom Microbiology Society’s 2019 Fleming Prize.

Boost in training health professionals rurally under ‘virtual’ school proposal

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Friday, 9 November 2018

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.

Sobering insights into alcohol marketing and Māori children

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Thursday, 1 November 2018

Innovative camera research has revealed that New Zealand children are exposed to alcohol marketing in their residential and school neighbourhoods. The collaborative research by the Universities of Otago and Auckland, found children’s exposure to alcohol marketing was higher in neighbourhoods with greater numbers of alcohol outlets and for Māori participants.

Professor Tony Blakely wins 2018 Chaffer Medal

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Thursday, 1 November 2018

One of the country’s leading epidemiologists and public health researchers has been awarded this year’s Chaffer Medal for distinguished performance in health research.

Otago’s NEXT magazine Woman of the Year

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Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman of the Department of Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington, stepped into a world of unaccustomed glitz and glamour when she was judged NEXT magazine’s 2018 Woman of the Year at the Cordis Hotel in Auckland earlier this month.

Study investigates link between loneliness and age in elderly New Zealanders

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Monday, 29 October 2018

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.

Portrait of Peter Crampton unveiled

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Thursday, 25 October 2018

A portrait of Professor Peter Crampton – painted to celebrate his contribution to the Otago Medical School and the Division of Health Sciences – was unveiled at a gathering at the Hunter Centre yesterday.

Flavoured capsule cigarettes pose a threat to smokefree goals

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Tuesday, 23 October 2018

New research from ASPIRE2025, a University of Otago research theme, challenges tobacco companies’ claims they are working towards a smokefree world and suggests young people are vulnerable to tobacco companies’ product innovations.

New blood test may help rule out heart attack within 15 minutes

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Thursday, 18 October 2018

A preliminary study of a new, quick and accurate, bedside blood test performed in Emergency Departments (ED) could help reduce the time it takes to rule out heart attacks. The study findings have been published this morning in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA Cardiology).

Six Otago researchers recognised in NZ research honours

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Thursday, 18 October 2018

University of Otago Research Fellow Helen Taylor’s science communication around conservation genetics and threatened species has earned her recognition at this year’s New Zealand Research Honours.

Recognition for rising research stars

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Monday, 15 October 2018

Six rising research stars at the University of Otago have been recognised through the University’s annual Early Career Awards for Distinction in Research announced today.

Otago research shows diet has little influence on precursor to gout

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Thursday, 11 October 2018

Dietary factors have a far smaller influence on urate levels (a precursor to gout) than previously envisaged, new University of Otago research reveals.

Researchers call for end to fat stigma

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Thursday, 11 October 2018

Researchers are using World Obesity Day today to call for an end to the stigma which fat people experience in their daily lives.

Obituary: Emeritus Professor David Fergusson remembered

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Friday, 5 October 2018

Staff across the University, particularly those based at the University’s Christchurch campus, are remembering Emeritus Professor David Murray Fergusson, who passed away overnight on Wednesday, aged 74.

New building for Christchurch campus

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Friday, 14 September 2018

The University of Otago has announced it will construct a new state-of-the-art building to expand its Christchurch health campus.

Influential teachers celebrated at Dunedin School of Medicine

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Thursday, 13 September 2018

Award-winning teachers from Dunedin and Invercargill were reminded that their influence extends well beyond the classroom, during the 2018 Dunedin School of Medicine (DSM) teaching awards held yesterday afternoon.

Otago scientists awarded major funding for innovative research

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Thursday, 13 September 2018

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.

Transgender community honoured to help Otago teaching

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Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Members of Dunedin’s transgender community who have been working with Otago academics say they hope that because of their help, other transgender people will be met with a more capable and understanding healthcare system.

Tackling diet-related disease in New Zealand

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Monday, 3 September 2018

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.

Otago scientist wins award for cancer research

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Monday, 27 August 2018

University of Otago scientist Dr Andrew Das has won the Roche Translational Cancer Research Fellowship to further his work as part of a research team investigating the role of epigenetics in leukaemia.

Honing in on the key ingredients for successful self-management of chronic pain

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Friday, 24 August 2018

The outlook for the one in five New Zealanders with persistent or chronic pain has the potential to be more positive according to an extensive study review by researchers from the School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) and Pain Management Service, Capital Coast District Health Board.

New Zealanders using more antipsychotics, especially older females

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Friday, 17 August 2018

The prescription of drugs designed to treat conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions has increased in New Zealand by almost 50 per cent in less than a decade, according to the first local study of its kind.

3MT finals showcase up-and-coming talent

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Wednesday, 8 August 2018

A PhD candidate who is investigating the emotional responses of clinicians who deal with suicidal patients has won the PhD category of Otago’s 2018 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition.

Departing PVC (Health Sciences) grateful for opportunities

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Monday, 16 July 2018

Professor Peter Crampton has stepped down from his role as Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Division of Health Sciences, and into a new role at Kōhatu, the Centre for Hauora Māori. The Otago Bulletin Board visited him during his last week as PVC, late last month.

Christchurch scientists recognised internationally

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Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Three University of Otago, Christchurch, staff members have been recognised for their global work with appointments and awards from key groups relating to cancer, tissue banking, and immunisation.

Major fundamental changes required to achieve health equity

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Monday, 9 July 2018

In comparing efforts to address health inequities, researchers in Aotearoa/New Zealand (NZ) and the United States (US) have found that both countries are failing to align policy with evidence-based approaches that could help achieve equity.

Junk food dominates NZ sport

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Monday, 9 July 2018

Junk food dominates New Zealand sport venues, according to new research led by the University of Otago, Wellington.

Otago research reveals alarming rise of obesity in New Zealand

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Thursday, 5 July 2018

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.

Hunt for Nessie captures hearts and minds

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Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Otago’s Professor Neil Gemmell is now in Scotland, with teams of international media waiting to follow his every move as he searches for DNA evidence of the Loch Ness Monster.

Medical students striving to be more socially accountable

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Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Student representatives from the country’s two medical schools recently met to share ideas on how the medical curriculum can become more socially accountable to ensure medical students become competent doctors, advocates and agents of change in society.

Unit to provide statistical support to staff, students

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Tuesday, 5 June 2018

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.

Health Research Excellence Awards celebrate staff

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Thursday, 31 May 2018

University of Otago Curekids Professor of Paediatric Genetics Stephen Robertson is considered an outstanding leader in his field internationally, and last night his achievements were formally recognised closer to home at the Health Research Excellence Awards in Dunedin.

Cold New Zealand council housing getting an upgrade

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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

University of Otago, Wellington researchers are advocating for standards to bring all New Zealand housing up to the World Health Organization minimum standard which recommends indoor temperature of 18 degrees celcius.

Cannabis: What's the harm?

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Friday, 25 May 2018

A researcher of the effects of cannabis says any law change to free up the drug’s availability needs to take account of scientifically-robust data showing regular use in young people is associated with a higher risk of mental health issues, use of other substances, and lower levels of achievement.

Education key to hauora and success

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Monday, 21 May 2018

A Christchurch medical student is playing a key role in a Ngāi Tahu-backed initiative to keep rangatahi (youth) from the West Coast in education.

Obesity a tough topic for GPs, Otago research reveals

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Friday, 18 May 2018

New University of Otago research highlights the difficulties for GPs of discussing obesity with patients who are overweight and signals the need for resources to support them and other community health providers in this role.

New ideas for detecting cancer get go-ahead from HRC

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Thursday, 17 May 2018

A University of Otago researcher focused on the earlier detection of cancer has just secured her first significant grant from the Health Research Council, valued at $249,984, for her novel proposal for diagnosing bowel cancer.

Otago scientist involved in new tool to classify severity of Salmonella

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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

A University of Otago expert is part of an international collaboration that has created a new machine learning tool that can detect whether emerging strains of the bacterium Salmonella are more likely to cause life-threatening bloodstream infections rather than only food poisoning.

News of inner-city site for new Dunedin Hospital welcomed

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Friday, 4 May 2018

University of Otago leaders are pleased Cabinet has approved an inner-city Dunedin location with close proximity to the University precinct, on which to build the city’s new $1.2 to $1.4 billion hospital.

New monitoring method could help Māori cancer patients

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Tuesday, 24 April 2018

A simple blood test could provide a significant step to reducing health inequities for Māori cancer patients.

Biochemistry PhD student already saving Māori lives

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Wednesday, 11 April 2018

A University of Otago biochemistry PhD student is credited with saving lives, thanks to his new research finding a genetic mutation that is linked to high rates of Māori stomach cancer.

Taxing sugary drinks a no-brainer for New Zealand

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Wednesday, 4 April 2018

On 1 April 2018, the United Kingdom introduced a sugary drinks tax, an important public health measure that University of Otago, Wellington, public health researchers believe should be happening in New Zealand too.

Yoghurt may reduce eczema and allergy in infancy

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Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Yoghurt given to infants in the first year of life may protect them from developing eczema and allergy, researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington, and the University of Auckland have found.

Summer Studentship programme 2017/2018

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Monday, 26 March 2018

University of Otago, Wellington hosts the Summer Studentship Programme each year.  The Department of Medicine has had a number of students this summer participating in 10 week research projects.

New Zealand-led heart failure findings debunk world medical view

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Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Thousands of New Zealanders can look forward to improvements in treatment and care of heart failure following new research findings that look set to alter the clinical approach and health care planning for heart failure globally.

Out of prison and back to smoking?

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Friday, 23 February 2018

A lack of support means many prisoners relapse back to smoking on release, despite many wanting to stay smokefree, a new study has found.

Christchurch researcher easing the pain of gout

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Friday, 16 February 2018

A Christchurch rheumatologist has won Medicines New Zealand's top prize for research into how increasing dosages of gout medicines can dramatically improve patients’ lives.

Considering public health issues- the 22nd Public Health Summer School

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Monday, 5 February 2018

Leading international and New Zealand health experts will be in Wellington to participate in the 22nd Public Health Summer School run by the University of Otago, Wellington in February. The Public Health Summer School will be officially opened by the Minister of Health, Hon Dr David Clark on 7 February.

Surgeons look to do the right thing by their patients

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Friday, 2 February 2018

New Zealand surgeons are often prepared to treat an abnormality discovered during an elective surgical procedure in the absence of patient consent, especially if the patient’s health is threatened and the risk of the additional procedure is low.

Mind the gap – public and expert views on cancer risk

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Tuesday, 23 January 2018

There are substantial gaps between expert recommendations and public knowledge about risk factors for cancer, though these gaps are closing for some cancer types, according to new University of Otago research.

Predator Free 2050 has major benefits for human health

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Monday, 15 January 2018

The Predator Free 2050 campaign to rid New Zealand of rats and possums will have major benefits for human health as well as for native plants and animals, says University of Otago, Wellington public health researcher Dr Mary McIntyre.

Otago breakthrough in diabetic heart disease

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Friday, 5 January 2018

The molecule responsible for heart disease in diabetics has been identified by University of Otago researchers, greatly improving chances of survival.

How do firearms, floods and flu impact public health?

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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Firearms and public health, impacts of New Zealand’s most common natural hazard - flooding, and lessons from the 1918 flu pandemic are just some of the courses and seminar talks being offered by the University of Otago, Wellington’s Public Health Summer School.

First New Zealand study of pathological hoarding

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Monday, 6 November 2017

An estimated 35,000 New Zealanders have clinically severe hoarding behaviour, according to the country’s first snapshot of the debilitating mental illness. A further 56,000 people are likely to have sub-clinical hoarding behaviours that could later develop into a diagnosable condition.

Otago health researchers gain career development awards

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Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Four up–and–coming University of Otago researchers have each been awarded around $500,000 from the Health Research Council (HRC) to pursue world-class projects aimed at improving New Zealander’s health and wellbeing and contributing to international progress in these areas.

Osteoarthritis no knees-up for many NZers – Otago research

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Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Knee osteoarthritis (OA) causes adult New Zealanders to lose a total of 467,240 quality-adjusted years of life (QALY) across their lifetimes, new University of Otago research shows. One QALY equates to one year in perfect health.

Opportunity to learn about 3D printing with local expert

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Thursday, 12 October 2017

Associate Professor Tim Woodfield has developed a 3-day introductory 3D Printing in Medicine course for the local medical community. It will run November 20 to 22 in Christchurch and include talks by international and national experts.

Improving assessment of acute abdominal pain

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Friday, 6 October 2017

Surgical admissions for people with abdominal pain to Wellington Hospital’s department of general surgery have nearly doubled over the past decade, a University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) study has found.

Christchurch student develops App prototype

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Wednesday, 4 October 2017

A student from Otago’s Christchurch campus has taken part in a 48-hour competition to develop a medical education learning application at the world’s biggest and best medical education conference.

October 2017 digital calendar

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Monday, 2 October 2017

A rainbow appeared in the sky behind a distillery in Scotland just as Alice Milnes began photographing it – making the photo which has become this month’s digital calendar.

Actors and manikins used in medical training

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Friday, 29 September 2017

Christchurch medical students are working with actors and a high-technology manikin to practise dealing with acute patient scenarios before encountering them in the real world.

Internationally pioneering Otago microbiology group honoured

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Thursday, 28 September 2017

A world-leading team of microbiologists, whose work on a novel new way to fight TB infections shows great promise, has been selected as the recipient of the University of Otago’s latest Research Group Award.

Undeclared steroids found in products sold in NZ

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Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Athletes and the body-conscious beware – at least six sports supplements on sale in Australia and New Zealand contain anabolic steroids not declared on their labels.

Book shines spotlight on our cities

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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

A new book sets out important ideas for helping New Zealand cities resolve the challenges of providing quality, affordable housing, designing healthy transport systems and dealing with climate change.

First study of inflammatory bowel disease rates in NZ children

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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Rates of debilitating inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) such as Crohn’s disease among South Island children are up to three times higher than their North Island counterparts, the first New Zealand prevalence study has found.

New medical device for brain monitoring at the bedside

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Monday, 18 September 2017

A University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) team has been awarded an MBIE Endeavour grant this week to develop a non-invasive and cost-effective device to diagnose and treat stroke and other brain injuries.

Positive outlook for couples with fertility difficulties

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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Young couples who fear they are infertile may just need more time rather than costly treatments, University of Otago research shows.

Otago brain health researchers delve into dopamine

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Friday, 25 August 2017

University of Otago researchers studying learning processes affected in brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have made new discoveries about how nerve impulses form memories, findings which have implications for developing new therapies for these conditions.

Study shows most NZ playgrounds lack smokefree signs

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Thursday, 24 August 2017

A new study of the smokefree signs at 63 New Zealand playgrounds has found that less than half of the playgrounds (44 per cent) had any such signs. Even when present, many of the signs were small and poorly designed, with some being only postcard sized.

Quitline is good value-for-money - new study

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Monday, 21 August 2017

A new study from the University of Otago, Wellington has found New Zealand’s Quitline service is a highly cost-effective way to improve health and even saves the health system money.

Christchurch campus cookbook launched

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Thursday, 17 August 2017

A group of cancer researchers from the University's Christchurch campus have shared their favourite recipes to raise money for charity.

Obstetric providers need greater support for new prenatal screening test

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Friday, 4 August 2017

A new study shows most New Zealand obstetric providers need more support when providing a revolutionary genetic prenatal screening test because of its complexity and because it is not publicly funded.

Secrets of ancient Irish funeral practices revealed

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Friday, 4 August 2017

New insights into the lifeways – and death rites – of the ancient people of Ireland are being provided through funerary studies led by a researcher at the University of Otago’s Department of Anatomy.

New Centre for Translational Physiology launched in Wellington

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Monday, 31 July 2017

A unique centre that will forge new links between health researchers and clinicians, working on solutions for complex diseases such as diabetes, obesity and stroke, is being launched at the University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) this week.

Otago finding new ways to beat an old and enduring enemy - TB

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Monday, 31 July 2017

An innovative approach in drug discovery in combating one of the world’s greatest health scourges – tuberculosis (TB) – is being pioneered by an international research group that has Otago microbiologists as key leading members.

Otago cemetery research reveals insights into lives of early settlers

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Monday, 24 July 2017

In the first research of its kind in New Zealand, University of Otago researchers are gaining fresh insights into the quality of life and identity of Otago’s early European settlers and farmers through excavating and analysing skeletons from unmarked graves in St. John’s Burial Ground, in Tokoiti, Milton.