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Otago health research supported by lottery grants

Flax kete

Thursday 5 April 2012 1:56pm

University of Otago researchers have gained $1.04M in new funding from the Lottery Grants Board to pursue research projects aimed at improving the health status of New Zealanders.

Researchers from across the University’s three main campuses in Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington were awarded grants for 21 projects. Nationally, just over $2.1M for 40 research projects was distributed in the Lottery Health Research 2011/12 funding round. One research and shared equipment grant of $51,600 was also awarded.

The Otago projects involve a variety of health-related topics ranging from basic biomedical studies to public health research. The topics include investigations into the role of bacterial toxins in colorectal cancer, sleep problems in infants and developmental outcomes, melanoma risk, psychotherapy for eating disorders, and preventing disability from low back pain.

Among other Otago projects are studies into blood brain flow and sleep apnoea, television food advertising to young New Zealanders, and development of a tuberculosis drug delivery system.

In a November decision on PhD scholarships and shared equipment grants in the 2011/12 funding round, Otago researchers received $433,621 for six shared equipment grants. Nationally, three PhD Scholarships totalling $255,000 and 13 Shared Equipment grants totalling $952,938 were awarded at that time.

University of Otago Lottery Health Research project recipients

Dr Haxby Abbott (Surgical Sciences)
Enhancing the effectiveness of physiotherapy for individuals with knee osteoarthritis

Dr Andrew Bahn (Physiology)
Identification of the kynurenine transporter in human astrocytes

Dr Rhiannon Braund (School of Pharmacy)
Choosing medications that forgive patients for being forgetful

Dr Angela Campbell (Medicine, University of Otago, Wellington)
Sleep health education in Maori - a local intervention study

Dr Dawn Coates (Oral Sciences, School of Dentistry)
Bisphosphonate related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRONJ) and the role of osteoblasts

Mr Ben Darlow (Primary Health Care and General Practice, University of Otago,
Low back pain: Reducing fear and anxiety to prevent disability

Dr Barbara Galland (Women’s & Children’s Health)
Sleep problems in NZ infants: developmental outcomes

Dr Gabrielle Jenkin (Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington)
Television food advertising to New Zealand children and youth

Dr Jacqui Keenan (Surgery, University of Otago, Christchurch)
Toxin-producing strains of Bacteroides fragilis and colorectal cancer

Dr Roslyn Kemp (Microbiology & Immunology)
Do we need gut-specific T cells to kill gut-specific tumours?

Dr Liz Ledgerwood (Biochemistry)
Are cell death pathways important in platelet formation in humans?

Dr Sam Lucas (Physiology)
Brain blood flow and sleep apnoea

Dr Virginia McIntosh (Psychological Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch)
How psychotherapy affects the outcome of anorexia nervosa

Associate Professor Alex McLellan (Microbiology & Immunology)
Development of a drug delivery system for Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Professor Neil McNaughton (Psychology)
Do stress, anxiety and panic interact within the nucleus incertus?

Dr Debbie Peterson (Department of the Dean, University of Otago, Wellington)
Suicidality and mental illness: From self-stigma to self management

Associate Professor Sue Pullon (Primary Health Care & General Practice, University of Otago, Wellington)
An observational study of interprofessional collaborative primary care practice

Dr Mary Jane Sneyd (Preventive and Social Medicine)
Risk factor heterogeneity for melanoma subtypes: a case-only study

Dr Maria Stubbe (Primary Health Care and General Practice, University of Otago, Wellington)
The use of interpreters in general practice: observing consultations

Associate Professor Rachael Taylor (Medicine)
BLISS: is a Baby-led approach to feeding a suitable alternative?

Dr Sigurd Wilbanks (Biochemistry)
Biosynthesis of potent analgesics

About Lottery Health Research

Lottery Health Research distributes grants to support:

  • Research into the cause, prevention and treatment of disorders affecting the health of New Zealanders
  • Research which will lead to advances in health and biomedical science for the ultimate benefit of all New Zealanders
  • The development, maintenance and retention of a highly skilled workforce of health and bio-medical researchers in New Zealand.

Lottery Health Research website

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

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