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Kiwi teens have little knowledge of most effective contraceptives, Otago research reveals

Friday, 18 January 2019 10:11am

New Zealand adolescents have little knowledge of the most effective form of contraceptives, like implants and IUDs, and support the concept of an education programme about these long-acting reversible contraceptives to help prevent unintended teen pregnancies, University of Otago research has found.

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Proposal for ‘cautious path’ forward for changing cannabis laws by Otago researcher

Friday, 18 January 2019 9:57am

Amid the ongoing debate on legislation for recreational use of cannabis, an Otago researcher proposes a cautious path forward for changing cannabis laws in New Zealand that aims to reduce cannabis-related harm.

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University of Otago to study the impacts of mycoplasma bovis on farmers and their communities

Wednesday, 16 January 2019 10:45am

The University of Otago will carry out a study on the emotional, social and psychological impacts of mycoplasma bovis on Southern farmers and farming communities.

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High intake of dietary fibre and whole grain foods reduces risk of non-communicable diseases

Friday, 11 January 2019 1:00pm

University of Otago researchers have found a link between higher intakes of dietary fibre and whole grain foods and a reduction in the risk of a wide range of non-communicable diseases and their risk factors.

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One plus one equals more than two for health expenditure in patients with multiple conditions, study finds

Wednesday, 9 January 2019 1:27pm

Caring for patients with two or more chronic diseases costs the health system more than it would to treat each disease in isolation, a new study has shown.

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Otago study highlights problems predicting suicide

Friday, 21 December 2018 12:03pm

A University of Otago study examining the ability of measures to predict death-by-suicide highlights multiple problems with current mental health treatment models.

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Christchurch Professor given medical profession’s highest accolade

Tuesday, 18 December 2018 10:46am

Bowel cancer surgeon and University of Otago, Christchurch researcher Professor Frank Frizelle has been awarded the New Zealand medical profession’s highest accolade.

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He Kete Kōrero – Summer 2018

Tuesday, 18 December 2018 2:00pm

The Summer 2018 edition of the University of Otago, Wellington newsletter

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Probiotic gives long-standing protection against childhood eczema, study finds

Monday, 17 December 2018 1:05pm

Giving a probiotic supplement to pregnant mothers and their infants significantly reduces the chances of a child developing eczema for the first 11 years of their life, researchers have shown.

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Call for pandemic research fund as “living memorial” to 1918 flu victims

Friday, 14 December 2018 9:11am

Professors from the Department of Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington are calling on the government to set up a research fund to help prevent pandemics and increase New Zealand’s preparedness to deal with such disasters.

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Two winning teams from TRG competition

Thursday, 13 December 2018 10:14pm

Two winning teams have emerged from this year’s University of Otago Translational Research Grant (TRG) competition – one in Dunedin and one in Christchurch.

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Otago graduate influential in Africa

Thursday, 13 December 2018 9:05am

The first PhD student to graduate from the University of Otago’s Centre for International Health (CIH) has been named the most influential woman in the education and training sector of business and government in part of Africa.

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First nationwide study of listeria in mothers and babies

Wednesday, 12 December 2018 11:56am

The first study of the burden of listeria in pregnant New Zealanders and their babies has found reassuringly low rates of the infection – indicating food safety warnings are working to prevent unnecessary cases of miscarriage, still birth, and meningitis in babies infected in the womb.

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Licence to Swill: James Bond’s drinking over six decades

Monday, 10 December 2018 1:17pm

He may be licensed to kill but fictional British secret service agent James Bond has a severe alcohol use disorder, according to an analysis of his drinking behaviour published in the Medical Journal of Australia’s Christmas issue.

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Study examines impact of alcohol policy change on hazardous drinking habits at Otago

Friday, 7 December 2018 11:41am

A study spanning ten years has found alcohol policy reform implemented by the University of Otago probably contributed to a change in the drinking culture of the student population.

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Otago study forces a rethink on population history of Ibiza

Thursday, 6 December 2018 11:17am

Otago researchers have discovered a rare case of genetic population discontinuity on the Mediterranean Island of Ibiza. Essentially, the original genetic signature of the founding female population, handed down through centuries on Ibiza has been replaced, prompting a change in understanding of the island’s genetic history.

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Otago researchers discover information about a gene that helps define us as humans

Thursday, 6 December 2018 11:55am

University of Otago researchers have discovered information about a gene that sets primates – great apes and humans – apart from other mammals, through the study of a rare developmental brain disorder.

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Māori health professional graduand numbers soar to new heights

Wednesday, 5 December 2018 4:23pm

The number of University of Otago Māori health professional graduands has climbed to an historic high.

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Patients prescribed medications for longer than recommended - at a cost

Wednesday, 5 December 2018 11:05am

Almost half of patients are being prescribed common medications for longer than recommended, putting them at unnecessary risk of harmful side effects, new research shows.

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Otago researchers discover a promising therapy for improving heart attack survivorship

Tuesday, 4 December 2018 10:47am

In pre-clinical trials, University of Otago researchers have discovered a promising new therapy that has the potential to be used clinically for improving survival rates for people who suffer a heart attack.

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Cycle lanes and walkways cut car use, reduce emissions, study finds

Monday, 3 December 2018 3:32pm

Researchers have shown for the first time that investing in cycle lanes and walkways encourages people to drive less and cuts carbon emissions.

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Pain common and increasing in prevalence in New Zealand

Friday, 30 November 2018 8:59am


Pain is an extremely common condition and increasing in prevalence in New Zealand, University of Otago researchers say.

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Too many dementia patients prescribed potentially inappropriate drugs – Otago finds

Thursday, 29 November 2018 9:45am

Older adults diagnosed with dementia are frequently being prescribed potentially inappropriate medications, which leaves them at risk of delirium, worsening cognitive impairment, and increased mortality, a University of Otago study has found.

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Research by Otago graduate highlights magnitude of gender disparity in cardiology

Wednesday, 28 November 2018 11:13am

While increasing numbers of medical graduates are female, new research led by an Otago Medical School graduate highlights the magnitude of gender disparity in cardiology.

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Otago invention helps patients manage Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Friday, 23 November 2018 1:47pm


As increasing numbers of New Zealanders are being diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), University of Otago researchers have developed a smartphone application (app) proven to be as effective as clinical care in helping patients manage their disease.

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True burden of rheumatic fever in NZ currently underestimated, new research reveals

Thursday, 22 November 2018 5:05pm

The true burden of rheumatic fever in New Zealand may be underestimated because serology cut-off guidelines are too high resulting in undercounting about 16 cases annually, new collaborative research has found.

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Otago health researchers share more than $3.5m in Career Development Awards

Tuesday, 20 November 2018 4:48pm

A University of Otago Christchurch engineer is developing  a ‘lego’ system to 3D-bioprint bone; a solution that could one day replace the billions-of-dollars-worth of ceramic and titanium implants required by New Zealand patients annually.

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The challenge of reducing health inequities and improving health outcomes in New Zealand

Monday, 19 November 2018 2:21pm

The Healthier Lives – He Oranga Hauora National Science Challenge, hosted by the University of Otago,  welcomes the announcement from the Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Hon Megan Woods,  confirming funding for its 2019-2024 research strategy

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Otago graduate helps separate conjoined twins

Friday, 16 November 2018 8:54pm

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.

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Proposal for National School of Rural Health remains firmly on the table

Friday, 16 November 2018 12:57pm

The University of Otago remains committed to the collaborative proposal for a National Interprofessional School of Rural Health.

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Otago scientists’ contributions recognised nationally

Friday, 16 November 2018 11:09am

Three University of Otago scientists have been recognised for their significant contributions to New Zealand’s science community with awards from the New Zealand Association of Scientists.

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Otago research highlights need for spirituality to be integrated into the health system

Wednesday, 14 November 2018 4:11pm

Spiritual care must be integrated into health system care plans, policies and training in order to reflect national guidelines and strategies more effectively, according to University of Otago researchers.

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UK Fleming Prize to Otago microbiologist

Tuesday, 13 November 2018 4:43pm

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

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Christchurch PhD student named in Black Sticks

Tuesday, 13 November 2018 9:08pm

University of Otago, Christchurch postgraduate student Leah Butt has been selected for New Zealand’s national hockey team, the Black Sticks. 

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

Friday, 9 November 2018 4:14pm

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.

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University of Otago celebrates Marsden Fund success

Thursday, 8 November 2018 4:48pm

University of Otago researchers are celebrating their most successful Marsden Fund round ever, securing $28.5 million (excluding GST) for 41 world-class research projects.

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Driving anxiety experienced by many older adults, new research reveals

Monday, 5 November 2018 10:59am

Driving anxiety is experienced by many older adults in New Zealand, especially among women and those aged over 70, recent collaborative research shows.

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Sobering insights into alcohol marketing and Māori children

Thursday, 1 November 2018 10:26am

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.

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Most Kiwis support some form of euthanasia or assisted dying, Otago review reveals

Thursday, 1 November 2018 10:01am

Most New Zealanders support some form of euthanasia or assisted dying, a review of 20 years’ research into Kiwis’ attitudes to euthanasia by University of Otago researchers reveals.

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Professor Tony Blakely wins 2018 Chaffer Medal

Thursday, 1 November 2018 12:32pm

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.

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Otago’s NEXT magazine Woman of the Year

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 2:33pm

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.

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Cutting societal alcohol use may prevent alcohol disorders developing – Otago research reveals

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 11:14am

Society must take collective responsibility to reduce the harm caused by alcohol use disorders, a University of Otago academic says.

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WWI cast a long shadow over New Zealanders’ health, study finds

Tuesday, 30 October 2018 10:42am

World War I cast such a long shadow over New Zealand that the health and social impacts continued through to the next generation, public health researchers say.

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Increasing alcohol tax could benefit health and save money for society – NZ study

Monday, 29 October 2018 12:52pm

Increasing the excise tax on alcohol would likely result in fewer people dying or being injured in vehicle crashes – and generate savings for society, according to a just-published New Zealand study.

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Study investigates link between loneliness and age in elderly New Zealanders

Monday, 29 October 2018 11:35am

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.

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Kiwis failing to slip into shade and slap on a hat for sun protection, researchers find

Friday, 26 October 2018 10:44am

An alarming proportion of New Zealanders are neither wearing hats nor seeking shade to protect themselves from the sun, University of Otago research reveals.

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Portrait of Peter Crampton unveiled

Thursday, 25 October 2018 12:52pm

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.

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Otago scientist receives prestigious Fellowship to further gout research

Thursday, 25 October 2018 3:13pm

One of the country’s leading scientists in the area of gout and metabolic disease, University of Otago Professor Tony Merriman, is one of three researchers nationally to receive a prestigious James Cook Fellowship.

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Irish Famine victims’ heavy smoking led to dental decay, new research reveals

Wednesday, 24 October 2018 10:14am

Irish Famine victims were heavy smokers which caused badly rotten teeth, researchers from the University of Otago and Queen’s University Belfast, in Ireland, have discovered.

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Flavoured capsule cigarettes pose a threat to smokefree goals

Tuesday, 23 October 2018 10:24am

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.

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Unprecedented success for Otago at the NZ Research Honours Awards

Thursday, 18 October 2018 10:22pm

The University has had unprecedented success at the New Zealand Research Honours Awards this year, taking home one quarter of the awards on offer.

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

Thursday, 18 October 2018 2:12pm

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).

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Six Otago researchers recognised in NZ research honours

Thursday, 18 October 2018 2:03pm

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.

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Otago researcher takes genomic sequencing to the farm to help transform lives

Tuesday, 16 October 2018 11:22am

In a world first, international scientists including a University of Otago researcher, have used whole genome sequencing to help diagnose a plant pathogen destroying crops on African farms, potentially paving the way for preventing crop failures, vital to the African economy.

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Recognition for rising research stars

Monday, 15 October 2018 9:27pm

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.

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Otago research aims to explain high testicular cancer rates in Māori

Friday, 12 October 2018 4:56pm

A new University of Otago study is aiming to tackle why Māori men have abnormally higher rates of testicular cancer compared to their non-Māori counterparts.

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Otago research shows diet has little influence on precursor to gout

Thursday, 11 October 2018 10:02am

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

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Researchers call for end to fat stigma

Thursday, 11 October 2018 1:44pm

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

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Otago scientists investigate monkey malaria threat as potential therapy

Wednesday, 10 October 2018 8:58am

A breakthrough in monkey malaria research by University of Otago scientists encouraged the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to fund a special meeting in Dunedin recently.

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University of Otago, Christchurch releases first study of migrant sex workers

Wednesday, 10 October 2018 9:46am

The majority of migrant sex workers in New Zealand who participated in new University of Otago research, are in safe employment situations and working to fund study or travel rather than being desperate, exploited or trafficked, the research shows.

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University of Otago to develop Education Centre at Southland Hospital

Friday, 5 October 2018 4:34pm

The University of Otago is developing a new $1.5 million education and research centre at its Southland campus in Invercargill, in partnership with the Southern District Health Board.

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Research reveals diagnosis delays and at risk populations for bowel cancer in NZ

Friday, 5 October 2018 12:44pm


There are often delays in diagnosis for New Zealanders with bowel cancer with people aged under 60, Māori and those with less formal education most at risk, new research reveals.

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Alcohol still impacting ED despite legislation aimed at curbing harm

Friday, 5 October 2018 12:05pm

Numbers of alcohol-impaired and injured people coming to Christchurch’s emergency department (ED) remained the same between 2013 and 2107 despite legislation aimed at reducing harm, new research shows.

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Obituary: Emeritus Professor David Fergusson remembered

Friday, 5 October 2018 11:01am

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.

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Emerging Otago researchers win Fellowships worth $3.2 million

Thursday, 4 October 2018 12:06pm

Three highly-promising University of Otago researchers and another recently departed from the university, have been awarded Rutherford Discovery Fellowships worth $3.2 million by the Royal Society Te Apārangi.

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Education and support for menstrual periods needed at primary school

Wednesday, 3 October 2018 10:30am

Primary school is the correct place to educate girls about periods and provide sanitary bins and pads, say University of Otago researchers.

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Otago discovery links DNA-packaging proteins and cancer development

Thursday, 27 September 2018 2:30pm

University of Otago scientists have unravelled the 3D structure of two proteins, potentially providing answers as to why some people may be at risk of developing specific cancers.

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New admissions test announced for future healthcare students

Monday, 24 September 2018 3:25pm

A group of leading universities in Australia and New Zealand, including the Universities of Otago and Auckland, are embarking on an exciting new collaboration with similar universities in the United Kingdom. 

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No increased risk of lung infections among infants using popular anti-reflux medicines

Tuesday, 18 September 2018 10:16am

New University of Otago research shows infants using popular anti-reflux medicines like omeprazole are not at increased risk of pneumonia or other lower respiratory tract infections, contrary to findings from other international studies.

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Otago scientists secure almost $1.6 million for heart research

Monday, 17 September 2018 12:20pm

Otago scientists secure almost $1.6 million for heart research

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University of Otago to construct new $150 million building in Christchurch

Friday, 14 September 2018 4:43pm

The University of Otago has announced plans to construct a new state-of-the-art building to expand its Christchurch campus, making an important contribution to the Health Precinct as part of the city’s rebuild.

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New building for Christchurch campus

Friday, 14 September 2018 9:00am

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

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Influential teachers celebrated at Dunedin School of Medicine

Thursday, 13 September 2018 10:30pm

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.

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Otago scientists awarded major funding for innovative research

Thursday, 13 September 2018 2:48pm

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.

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Otago researchers find answers as to why some people are at risk of gout

Wednesday, 12 September 2018 11:33am

University of Otago researchers have helped characterise a genetic variant that enables new understanding of why some people are at risk of gout, a painful and debilitating arthritic disease.

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How overmedication is injuring and killing our elderly: a world-first study

Tuesday, 11 September 2018 3:04pm

Elderly taking multiple high-risk medications for sleeping, pain or incontinence are twice as likely as others to fall and break bones, with many dying within a year of their injury, new research shows.

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Transgender community honoured to help Otago teaching

Tuesday, 11 September 2018 1:26pm

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.

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Potential for less smoking with new tobacco retailer restrictions, Otago research shows

Thursday, 6 September 2018 4:02pm

Changing the way tobacco is sold is a crucial step in achieving the Government’s 2025 smokefree goal, new University of Otago research suggests.

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Tackling diet-related disease in New Zealand

Monday, 3 September 2018 9:54am

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.

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Brief sleep intervention works long-term to prevent child obesity – Otago discovers

Monday, 3 September 2018 9:39am

When it comes to obesity prevention, sleep is not usually something that springs to mind, but a University of Otago research team has found we should not underestimate its importance.

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Mongrel Mob open up to Otago researchers for the good of their health

Wednesday, 29 August 2018 10:02am

Studying the liver health of a high-risk, hard-to-reach gang population certainly came with challenges and a few surprises, a University of Otago academic says.

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Otago scientist urges NZ to lead the way in eliminating top infectious disease killer

Wednesday, 29 August 2018 9:45am

A University of Otago doctor and scientist is calling on New Zealand to be the first country in the world to eliminate tuberculosis (TB), the top infectious disease killer in the world.

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Otago scientist wins award for cancer research

Monday, 27 August 2018 3:35pm

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.

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Otago experts question use of consultants who worked for tobacco industry in NZ tobacco review

Friday, 24 August 2018 2:31pm

University of Otago researchers believe Government actions may be inconsistent with its tobacco treaty obligations by employing a consulting firm that has worked globally for the tobacco industry, to advise on tobacco taxation.

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

Friday, 24 August 2018 2:19pm

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.

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New Zealanders using more antipsychotics, especially older females

Friday, 17 August 2018 10:11am

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.

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Christchurch bowel cancer surgeon recognised for global leadership

Monday, 13 August 2018 11:57am

University of Otago, Christchurch bowel cancer researcher Professor Frank Frizelle has been awarded an honorary fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

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Researching the impact of drops in the oxygen levels of preterm babies

Monday, 13 August 2018 11:43am

Friends of international PhD student, Dr Conway Niu, joke that his current research project – monitoring the oxygen levels of preterm babies – is taking him back to the comfort zone of his early days.

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Closing NZ’s border in severe pandemics cost-effective – New study

Thursday, 9 August 2018 7:20am

Closing the border may make sense for New Zealand in some extreme pandemic situations, according to a newly published study of the costs and benefits of taking this step.

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3MT finals showcase up-and-coming talent

Wednesday, 8 August 2018 10:24am

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.

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Otago demonstrates its commitment to rural health with new ‘virtual campus’

Tuesday, 7 August 2018 11:32am

The University of Otago has reiterated its commitment to training and education in rural health with the establishment of a new Section of Rural Health, believed to be the first dedicated rural health unit currently operating within a New Zealand tertiary institution.

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Opinion: Healthy environment the foundation of suicide prevention

Friday, 3 August 2018 12:47pm

Dr John Adams and Professor Sunny Collings take a look at student mental health and suicide prevention.

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Otago researcher claims new study a step forward in fight to eliminate tuberculosis

Thursday, 2 August 2018 9:36am

The McAuley Professor of International Health at the University of Otago is labelling the findings of new international collaborative research a step forward in the fight to eliminate the world’s top infectious disease killer, tuberculosis.

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Otago researcher secures funding for therapy to help prevent disorders in preterm babies

Wednesday, 1 August 2018 10:09am

A University of Otago researcher has received funding from the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand to investigate a new therapy which could potentially prevent disorders developing in children born prematurely.

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Anywhere, anytime: New Zealand children’s exposure to alcohol marketing

Tuesday, 31 July 2018 10:56am

Innovative camera research has revealed New Zealand children are exposed to alcohol marketing on average 4.5 times per day.

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Otago researchers signal time for Government action on reducing alcohol-related harm

Friday, 27 July 2018 9:40am

University of Otago experts in addiction medicine and the health effects of alcohol are questioning what the barriers are to Government action on reducing alcohol-related harm and calling for change.

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He Kete Kōrero – Winter 2018

Thursday, 26 July 2018 10:43am

The Winter 2018 edition of the University of Otago, Wellington newsletter

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Funding for Otago breast cancer research which aims to halt cancer spread

Wednesday, 25 July 2018 9:33am

A University of Otago researcher has been awarded $133,263 to investigate opportunities to halt the spread of cancer in women suffering breast cancer, thereby improving patient survival.