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mediNEWSotago February 2016

mediNEWSotago keeps staff, students, and other stakeholders up-to-date with developments at Otago Medical School.

A Message from the Dean

Peter Crampton thumbnail 2015Tēnā koutou kātoa

Welcome to all staff and students – new and returning – to the 2016 academic year! This will be an exciting and full year with many important projects already underway and new projects kicking off this year.

Looking back on 2015 there are many highlights and successes to celebrate for the Otago Medical School and for the Division of Health Sciences.

In 2015 the Division celebrated:

  • 8 professorial promotions and 16 promotions to Associate Professor
  • 3 out of 5 University Early Career Awards were awarded in Health Sciences

For 2015, here is a sample of some of the successes of the staff and students of the Otago Medical School:

  • Kevin Pringle was awarded ONZM in the New Year’s honours list
  • The Carl Smith and Rowheath Trust Award was awarded to Suetonia Palmer
  • The Prime Minister’s Supreme Award for Tertiary Teaching Excellence was awarded to Suzanne Pitama
  • Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching was awarded to Ros Kemp
  • Ros Kemp was also awarded the Miriam Dell Award from the Association for Women in the Sciences for her work inspiring female immunologists across Australasia
  • The James Cook Research Fellowship was awarded to Antony Braithwaite
  • The Rutherford Discovery Fellowship was awarded to Logan Walker
  • The Sir Charles Hercus Fellowship was awarded to Tania Slatter
  • Two PhD students received HRC Māori Career Development awards
  • Twenty of the 36 HRC Pacific Career Development Awards were awarded to Otago

From the point of view of research, in 2015 the University hosted the launches of the Ageing Well and Healthier Lives National Science Challenges. The Division of Heath Sciences was successful in gaining external research funding of $67.2 million. For 2015, the Division as a whole celebrated the publication of:

  • 1861 journal articles
  • 83 book chapters
  • 11 books and edited books

During the 2016 year the Otago Medical School and the Division will be focusing on numerous projects. By way of a taster, here are some of our priority projects:

  • Implementing the priority projects as identified by the Medical Curriculum Committee
  • The launch of the Masters of Nursing Science programme at our Christchurch campus (New Zealand’s first graduate-entry, pre-registration nursing qualification) Progressing the new research support building project
  • Strategic development of Hauora Māori
  • Further development of strategic relationships with Pacific nations
  • Commencing work on the business case for the new biomedical sciences facility
  • Considering, and implementing as appropriate, the recommendations of the HSFY review
  • Reducing duplication across the Division’s postgraduate offerings

Finally, I would like to note that, for the first time in the history of the Otago Medical School, the second year medical class reflects New Zealand population proportions for both Pacific and Māori students. Thank you and congratulations to all those who have worked so hard to achieve this marvellous outcome.

Once again, welcome to 2016. Thank you for contributing to the numerous successes of 2015 and thank you in advance for contributing to the above projects for 2016 and the numerous other projects that the OMS has underway this year.

Professor Peter Crampton
Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Division of Health Sciences
Dean, University of Otago Medical School