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POSTPONED - Inaugural Professorial Lecture - Professor John Pickering

On becoming a Scrymaster: Shiny objects, multiple organs, bits of blood and the art of telling fortunes in medicine

I aim to use a selection of my research experience in plastic surgery, nephrology, cardiology and emergency care to illustrate how different ways of modelling reality (science) can provide insights to change the practice of medicine. I will talk of the importance of uncertainty, and will try and give a brief glimpse of where I think the future lies in a learning health care system, big data, machine learning, and precision risk assessments.  I will also shine a laser or two.

About Professor John Pickering

I believe health data is taonga (a gift) and see myself as a kaitiaki (guardian) of that data. As such I aim to help data tell its story using the tools of statistics and machine learning. I am a member of the Christchurch Heart Institute, the Big Data and Ageing Research group and in the DHB the Emergency Department Research Group.  Previously I was part of Christchurch Kidney Research group. 

In each group I work to assess the added value of biomarkers to what is already known, produce predictive models of outcomes meaningful to the clinician and patient, and work to design, implement and measure clinical pathways.  It is collaborative work with health professionals in emergency medicine, kidney, heart, and older people’s health as well as with data analysts and DHB management.  Recently my work contributed to improving how chest pain is assessed in emergency departments. Consequently, each year thousands of New Zealanders (and many others around the world) gain early reassurance, without a night in hospital, that their pain is not a heart attack, while those who are actually having a heart attack continue to get appropriate care.

My PhD and postdoctoral research was in physics and the use of lasers in medicine to remove birthmarks. Between this early science career and re-starting it with the University of Otago in 2007 I spent several years as a missionary, had a career in international education which focussed on pastoral care, started the NZ branch of a professional body in international education, and completed a degree in Theology.

A drawcard for a career in science was a love of Astronomy, and I still get great enjoyment from looking at the stars through my telescope and sharing the glories of the heavens with others.

Date Tuesday, 25 August 2020
Time 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Audience Public,All University
Event Category Health Sciences
Event Type Inaugural Professorial Lecture
DepartmentMedicine (Christchurch)
LocationRolleston Lecture Theatre, University of Otago, Christchurch
Contact NamePaula de Roeper
Contact Phone+64 3 364 0294

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