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New Genetics Centre Established

Summer School

Thursday 4 June 2009 11:20am

A new centre dedicated to promoting and supporting genetics research at the University of Otago has been formed.

Genetics Otago Director Dr Peter Dearden says that the network aims to establish itself as New Zealand's leading centre for advanced genetics research and teaching.

"As well as developing and fostering links between Otago researchers involved in the area of genetics, the Centre will promote national and international linkages," Dr Dearden says.

Another key role of the Centre will be to raise the profile of genetics research at Otago, he says.

"Otago's considerable strength in genetics-related research has not always been immediately apparent, as our researchers are spread throughout many disciplines in the University.

"Genetics Otago has been formed to promote and support their fantastic work, which is making important contributions to knowledge across an area that has many implications for the whole of society."

The new Centre already has more than 100 members from across the University's Divisions of Health Sciences, Sciences and Humanities.

The members' research is focused around seven main themes covering the full spectrum of genetics research, with study being undertaken at the level of molecules, cells, embryos, organisms, populations and society.

The research themes are: Evolution; Developmental Genetics; Human Genetics; Microbial Genetics; Genomics; Applied Genetics; and Law, Ethics & Society.

As well as supporting research through activities such as hosting an annual symposium and identifying new funding opportunities, the Centre will also offer generous summer scholarships for genetics projects at the University.

Another focus will be to provide readily accessible, quality information and resources for school students and teachers.

The Centre, which will be formally launched in July, is funded by the University's Divisions of Health Sciences and Sciences. Its newly-developed web site can be viewed at

For more information, contact

Dr Peter Dearden, Director
Genetics Otago
Tel 03 479 7832

Sophia McKay
Publicity and Administration Manager
Genetics Otago
Tel 03 479 7954

A list of Otago experts available for media comment is available elsewhere on this website.

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