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Clocktower.Monday 25 May 2015 8:38am

University of Otago researchers have gained nearly $2.2M in funding from the Lottery Grants Board to support studies aimed at improving the health status of New Zealanders.

The grants support the purchase of research equipment, scholarships, and the pursuit of research projects aimed to translate into meaningful health outcomes and community benefit.

Researchers from across the University's three main campuses in Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington have received 19 translational research grants, 10 equipment grants, two postdoctoral scholarships and two PhD scholarships. A full list appears below.

Nationally, around $3.8M, comprising 64 grants, was distributed in the Lottery Health Research 2014/2015 funding round.

Otago's translational projects involve a wide variety of health-related topics ranging from using whole-genome sequencing to rapidly diagnose drug-resistant tuberculosis strains to investigating whether improving homes could prevent children from suffering strep throat and rheumatic fever.

Also among the projects are studies on topics such as New Zealand's non-Hodgkin's lymphoma epidemic, improving prediction of cardiovascular risk in the general populations. Others focus on areas including searching for a signature of aggressiveness in prostate cancer, and biomarkers that may predict Alzheimer's disease progression.

Otago's Lottery Health grants 2014/2015

Translational Research Projects:

Understanding the determinants of cerebral perfusion stability for improved neurocritical care
Mr Philip Allan (Surgery, University of Otago, Wellington)

Benefits of nuts and seeds in the diets of postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes. The NuSeD Trial
Dr Alexandra Chisholm (Human Nutrition)

Whole genome sequencing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates for rapid diagnosis and genotyping
Professor Greg Cook (Microbiology & Immunology)

Epidemiological risk and epigenetics of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia
Associate Professor Brian Cox (Preventive & Social Medicine)

Improving the breast cancer journey for women with experience of mental illness
Dr Ruth Cunningham (Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington)

The effectiveness of a feedback device in changing occupational postural behaviour: a randomised controlled trial
Dr Daniel Cury Ribeiro (Physiotherapy)

First steps towards non-invasive antenatal screening in New Zealand
Dr Sara Filoche (Primary Health Care & General Practice, University of Otago, Wellington)

Search for a signature indicative of aggressive prostate cancer in tissue biopsies
Dr Elspeth Gold (Anatomy)

Measurement of mitochondrial dysfunction in human disease
Professor Mark Hampton (Pathology, University of Otago, Christchurch)

Clozapine Therapy: Are dose adjustments required for Māori patients?
Dr Noelyn Hung (Pathology)

Identification of persons with early signs of hip and knee osteoarthritis and the effect of intervention
Dr Prasath Jayakaran (Physiotherapy)

Longitudinal investigation of sedentary behaviour patterns and its predictors among New Zealanders with high risk of developing chronic diseases
Mr Ramakrishnan Mani (Physiotherapy)

Incidence and prevalence of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in female netball players in New Zealand and identification of factors in which they occur.
Dr Meredith Perry (Physiotherapy)

Improving cardiovascular risk prediction in the general population
Dr Anna Pilbrow (Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch)

Youth health interagency collaboration: identifying the best ways to work together to provide effective and accessible health care to young people in New Zealand
Associate Professor Susan Pullon (Primary Health Care & General Practice, University of Otago, Wellington)

Acceptability and feasibility of a collaborative approach to improving partner notification and STI retesting rates in primary care
Dr Sally Rose (Primary Health Care & General Practice, University of Otago, Wellington)

How food literate are New Zealand children?
Professor Murray Skeaff (Human Nutrition)

Rapid detection of antibiotic resistance through LC-MS
Dr James Ussher (Microbiology & Immunology)

The prognostic value of a novel Alzheimer's disease-related composite biomarker signature
Dr Joanna Williams (Anatomy)

Research Equipment grants:

Shared equipment for automated high throughput cell imaging
Dr Augustine Chen (Biochemistry)

3dMDtrio Imaging System and software (for 3D imaging of the face)
Professor Mauro Farella (Oral Sciences)

Automated Histology Autostainer Bond Max – Leica Biosystems or Biocare IntelliPATH Stainer
Ms Amanda Fisher (Pathology, Dunedin)

Ultracentrifuge rotor and PCII hood
Associate Professor Merilyn Hibma (Pathology, Dunedin)

Proto-Tech Thermocycler Unit
Ms Wendy-Ann Jansen van Vuuren (Oral Rehabilitation)

High speed, high sensitivity camera, (sCMOS), CoolLED UV LED-based light source
Dr Peter Jones (Physiology)

Automated Protein Crystallography incubation and imaging facility
Professor Kurt Krause (Biochemistry)

Lecia EM PACT2 high pressure freezer with a rapid transfer system
Associate Professor Dorothy Oorschot (Anatomy)

Advanced Human Environmental Chamber
Dr Shieak Tzeng (Surgery, University of Otago, Wellington)

Integrated preparative high pressure liquid chromatography (prep-HPCL0) system consisting of a binary pump, autosampler, column oven, variable wavelength UV-Vis detector and associated software
Dr Andrea Vernall (Pharmacy)

Postdoctoral Fellowships:

The influence of systemic infection on post-stroke functional recovery
Dr Silke Neumann (Pathology, Dunedin)

Cool? The insights and experiences of New Zealand youths living in, or at risk of, fuel poverty
Dr Kimberley O'Sullivan (Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington)

PhD Scholarship:

Could improving homes prevent children developing GAS pharyngitis and rheumatic fever?
Ms Jane Oliver (Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington)

Understanding how the host immune response improves patient prognosis in colorectal cancer
Ms Kirsten Ward-Hartstonge (Microbiology & Immunology)

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

Electronic addresses (including email accounts, instant messaging services, or telephone accounts) published on this page are for the sole purpose of contact with the individuals concerned, in their capacity as officers, employees or students of the University of Otago, or their respective organisation. Publication of any such electronic address is not to be taken as consent to receive unsolicited commercial electronic messages by the address holder.
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