This page lists all the research groups and facilities, alphabetically, that appear in this website.
To find out more about individuals working in a particular field you can explore our Health Sciences expertise database by keyword (eg public health), or by a researcher's name. Each staff profile provides information on qualifications, current academic position, contact details, and a summary of research and publications.
The Ageing Well National Science Challenge is hosted by the University of Otago.
The Challenge is a collaboration between the Universities of Otago, Auckland, Canterbury, Massey, Waikato, Victoria and Auckland University of Technology together with the Centre for Research Evaluation and Social Assessment, and AgResearch.
Ageing Well's vision is to add life to years for all older New Zealanders. This will be achieved by harnessing science to sustain health and wellbeing into the later years of life.
Our research aims are to:
- Monitor the epidemic of HIV/AIDS in New Zealand through ongoing surveillance
- Develop, and when appropriate, to apply, new methods of monitoring and evaluation, and
- Contribute to the wider knowledge of HIV infection and AIDS
ASPIRE2025 is a partnership between major New Zealand research groups carrying out research to help achieve the Government's goal of a tobacco-free Aotearoa by 2025. ASPIRE2025 brings together leading tobacco-free researchers and health service groups in New Zealand and strengthens existing collaborations. ASPIRE2025 was awarded the status of a University of Otago Research Theme in November 2011.
Scientists at the Brain Health Research Centre are undertaking cutting-edge internationally recognised research into the workings of the brain in health and disease, and are developing new treatments for neurological disorders.
The Burden of Disease Epidemiology, Equity and Cost-Effectiveness Programme has an aim to build capacity and academic rigour in New Zealand in the estimation of disease burden, cost-effectiveness and equity impacts of proposed interventions, and undertake a range of such assessments. It is a Health Research Council (HRC) funded programme, from 2010 to 2015 and renewed 2016 to 2021. Major collaborative partners include the University of Queensland and the Ministry of Health.
The Cancer and Chronic Conditions (C3) research group is a collaborative group of researchers working at the interface between public health, health services research, and clinical medicine. Our work includes a range of projects aimed at reducing the impact of cancer and chronic conditions on population health and health inequalities through policy and health system change.
At Otago we have a huge number of researchers working to advance the prevention, detection, and management of cancer in New Zealand, and beyond.
Explore our cancer research:
- Alphabetical listing of our cancer research groups
- Cancer at the cellular level
- Diagnosis and treatment
- Health policy
- Recovery and rehabilitation
- Susceptibility and prevention
Our website also has informative articles and short videos of researchers presenting easy-to-understand outlines of their research.
We aim to reduce the incidence and impact of cancer in New Zealand, and to reduce cancer-related inequalities.
We work in close coordination with the Cancer Society of New Zealand to prioritise the research we conduct, disseminate our findings, and advocate for world-leading cancer prevention, care and support.
Our partners include Massey University, Michigan State University, The University of Melbourne, and Victoria University of Wellington.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the collective term for diseases of the heart and blood vessels. CVD kills more than one in three New Zealanders, and is responsible for more than 30,000 hospital admissions each year.
Cardiovascular Disease at Otago is a directory of research groups and collaborations relevant to CVD research associated with the University of Otago.
We aim to reduce the health burden of CVD through cultivating research excellence and improving health policy, workforce training, and practice.
Explore our cardiovascular disease research:
- Alphabetical listing of our CVD research groups
- Advances in treatments
- Diagnostic tools
- Health inequalities
- Population and community prevention
- Predispositions and risk factors
Our CVD website also has informative articles and short videos of researchers presenting easy-to-understand outlines of their research.
The Centre for Health Systems and Technology (CHeST) has a particular focus on the applied end of health system and technology research, supporting the translation of research into practice.
CHeST's five core themes:
- Health Care Delivery
- Health System Architecture, Management, and Performance
- Health Quality, Safety, and Community Engagement
- Health Workforce
- Health Technology
The Centre for International Health facilitates and promotes research to contribute to the understanding and improvement of health in under-resourced countries, and focuses on postgraduate training and strategic mentorship of leaders.
The CNE comprises ten research groups focused upon understanding how the brain controls hormone levels and how hormones control brain function.
We have three themes of research that focus upon understanding neural regulation.
- Body weight and metabolism
The Centre for Pacific Health is home to a dedicated team of Pacific and non-Pacific researchers working in areas of importance to Pacific communities in New Zealand and internationally.
Pacific health is a holistic concept that encompasses broader ideas on well-being to encompass physical, mental, and spiritual aspects. With more than 20 different cultures captured under the umbrella of ‘Pacific’, there are unique approaches to health that mean health care, health systems and health services can be enriched with further understanding of Pacific-specific approaches to health.
Translational cancer research bridges the gap between laboratory-based science and treatment in the clinic. We now have sufficient knowledge in the fields of cancer biology, molecular biology, and immunology to make a significant impact on the treatment and management of cancer.
We're bringing about rapid improvements in cancer outcomes by addressing defined clinical problems. Our research is accelerating the development and testing of new drugs and diagnostic tools that directly assist clinicians and their patients.
Child Health Research at Otago gathers together the research expertise and activities of scientists investigating health issues primarily affecting our youngest New Zealanders.
We also partner with a wide range of stakeholders, communities, institutions, and nations beyond New Zealand to collaborate on health issues of global significance.
Explore our child health research:
- Alphabetical listing of our child health research groups
- Genetics and health
- Healthy pregnancies
- Healthy childhoods
- Childhood conditions and treatments
- Inequalities in child health
Here at the Christchurch Heart Institute we help save thousands of lives through research into improved diagnosis, better prediction and advanced treatments for heart disease. Our team of internationally-renowned experts directly play a role in increasing the survival of New Zealanders with heart disease.
Our research focus:
- New blood tests for heart attack diagnosis and prognosis
- Using new methods for treating heart failure and improving outcomes
- Understanding the genetics of heart disease; why heart disease runs in some families
CARE conducts research in gerontology—the study of ageing in all its aspects. Gerontology is becoming increasingly important in developed countries, including New Zealand, because of our ageing populations.
Our network's areas of research strength:
- Physical health
- Brain health
- Social and policy development
A team based in Public Health has been contracted to conduct an evaluation of a recent demonstration site initiative being conducted in some community pharmacies in Canterbury. The goal of the new model operating in the demonstration pharmacies is to enable pharmacists to better utilise their extensive expertise in medicines management to support patients in the safe and effective use of medicines.
Guiding an effective and fair COVID-19 pandemic response in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Co-Search is a collaboration of researchers, universities, community organisations and a Crown Research Institute. It is led by Professor Michael Baker and Dr Amanda Kvalsvig of the Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington.
D4—Diagnostics, Drugs, Devices and Discovery focuses on translational research for improving care .
- Creating novel point-of-care diagnostics and devices enabling targeted and selective treatments
- Developing smart drug delivery systems and devices to improve and optimise therapy
- Drug discovery for innovative treatments
The network draws together the disciplines of bioengineering, pharmaceutical science and drug discovery with an emphasis on collaborating with commerce and industry.
Research in our Department draws from a broad range of disciplines, all of which are essential to addressing public health issues.
Our department embraces the significant overlap and synergy between the groupings represente in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Environment and Health, Social Science, Humanities and Health.
- The marginalisation of vulnerable populations
- Public health economics
- Quality and safety in health care
- Infectious disease
- Surveillance and management
- Food environments
- Hauora Māori
- Health professionals
- Health promotion
- Public health pedagogy
- Epidemiology and biostatistics
- Kaupapa Māori
- A range of qualitative methods
We work to understand why some people are healthy and some are not, how to prevent illness and injury, how people's health can be improved through working with communities, how political systems and health organisations affect health, and other issues relating to the health of populations.
The research groups within the Department of Public Health at our Wellington campus carry out a range of research on critical public health issues. These include cancer and screening, healthy eating, health services research and prioritisation, housing, sustainability and the environment, inequalities, infectious diseases, Māori health and tobacco.
The Division of Health Sciences offers many services and support to established and emerging researchers.
- Biostatistical consulting
- Health Sciences staff expertise database
- Research commercialisation and innovation
- Research facilities
Our mission is Reducing the global burden of diabetes and obesity. We aim to reduce the prevalence, and to improve the management, of diabetes and obesity by finding new ways to prevent and treat these conditions. By striving for research excellence and encouraging international collaboration we can bring the greatest benefit to New Zealanders and the wider world. We’re sharing our discoveries with individuals, communities, teachers, health professionals and policymakers.
Genetics Otago is the largest centre for advanced genetics research in Australasia, with researchers and facilities covering the full spectrum of genetics research.
Our infectious diseases research:
- Applied genetics research
Our researchers are at the forefront of selecting and producing new traits for biologically-based industries. These industries are the backbone of the New Zealand economy.
- Developmental genetics research
We study genes and development in numerous vertebrates and invertebrates. We work to identify genes associated with human developmental disease, and on epigenetics, and human and plant biology.
- Microbial research
Our researchers study the biology of these organisms, including how viruses interact with other organisms and the immune system, and how they might be harnessed to deliver health benefits.
Genomics Aotearoa is an agile, leading-edge and collaborative platform, established to ensure that New Zealand is internationally participating and leading in the rapidly developing fields of genomics (the study of the genome, the complete set of genetic material present in a cell or organism) and bioinformatics (the development of methods and software tools for understanding the biological data derived from genomics).
GA is undertaking a suite of nationally significant research activities supporting New Zealand’s economic, environmental and social well-being.
This research aims to collect data on the current levels of established heart disease, levels of previously undiagnosed diabetes, cardiovascular disease and their risk factors in randomly-selected population samples from two diverse Maori communities, Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairoa in Hawkes Bay, and Mana Whenua ki Waitaha in Canterbury, as well as a non-Maori control group in Canterbury.
The Health, Environment and Infection Research Unit is a collaboration of researchers focused on the impact of infectious diseases and adverse environmental factors on population health. We use a range of research methods to investigate these health concerns; to identify effective interventions to reduce the burden of disease and inequalities; and to support the move to greater environmental sustainability. HEIRU aims to provide evidence-based recommendations and advice to support New Zealand and international agencies and practitioners in their disease prevention and control activities.
The Healthier Lives National Science Challenge is a national research collaboration dedicated to achieving healthier lives for all New Zealanders.
We are working on the prevention and treatment of four of New Zealand’s main non-communicable diseases.
- Cardiovascular disease
Our mission is to deliver the right prevention to the right population and the right treatment to the right patient. We plan to do this in partnership with stakeholders and communities by generating world class research, and translating our research findings into innovative health policy, practice, and technology, designed for New Zealand’s unique communities.
The Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit aims to foster excellence in research in health promotion and public health policy. HePPRU works in collaboration with policy-makers and policy advocates to advance the good health of the peoples of Aotearoa / New Zealand through independent, critical and innovative research, teaching, and community service.
He Kainga Oranga, the Housing and Health Research Programme, examines and clarifies the links between Housing and Health. Although the association between poor housing and ill health is known, the links that make up the causal chain have until recently been poorly understood. Conducting our own studies and examining existing evidence enables us to identify and evaluate housing-related interventions to improve individual, family and community health. Our multi-disciplinary team has expertise in both qualitative and quantitative disciplines.
This research is conducted within the Department of Population Health, University of Otago, Christchurch. It explores the intersections between the experience of living with HIV, aging and social isolation in Canterbury across time to inform planning for service delivery models.
Research suggests that people are living longer with HIV and therefore as a group are getting older; more people are being diagnosed with HIV later in life; and there has been a trend in geographical movement of people living with HIV / AIDS from cities to rural areas. These factors all have an impact on access to support and health services.
This project will adapt and apply new outcome measures and modern statistical approaches to evaluating hospital performance in New Zealand. As well as providing information on variability and trends in in-patient outcomes and hospital-level predictors of these outcomes, this project will provide the statistical basis for a sophisticated system for analysis and monitoring of hospital outcomes. A particular focus of this project is the identification of aspects of hospital organisation and working environment which may be related to patient outcomes.
The Hugh Adam Cancer Epidemiology Unit undertakes research into the causes of cancer and the impact of prevention programmes and cancer screening. We are investigating the causes of colorectal cancer, melanoma, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in New Zealand. We have developed methods to provide estimates of the individual risk of melanoma for patients, and these methods can be extended to other cancers. We are collaborating in New Zealand and internationally to assess the best method of screening for colorectal cancer.
With colleagues at the University of Canterbury and in Finland, we are investigating the potential contribution of cytomegalovirus infection to the risk of breast cancer.
The Unit represents New Zealand in the International Cancer Screening Network of the National Cancer Institute (USA) and the International Lung Cancer Consortium of the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
The Infection Group is also an integral member of One Health Aotearoa, an alliance of New Zealand’s leading infectious diseases researchers who are committed to working together to tackle important infectious diseases locally and globally.The Infection Group are interested in all aspects of human infection, and our research aims to provide new insights into the prevention, management, surveillance and control of infections of global importance.
Infection Group research:
- Application of molecular diagnostics in routine diagnostic microbiology
- Breath research
- Invasive bacterial infections
- Legionnaires' disease
- Vitamin D
- Zoonotic disease transmission
This website highlights the research expertise and activities of scientists investigating human, animal, and environmental infectious diseases in Aotearoa / New Zealand. We also partner with a wide range of stakeholders, institutions and communities to collaborate on infectious disease issues of global significance.
Explore our infectious disease research:
- Alphabetical listing of our infectious disease research groups
- Animal, plant, and environment
- Disease prevention and control
- Understanding bacteria, viruses, and parasites
The Māori Indigenous Health Institute (MIHI) undertakes and supports research that explores Māori health inequities and building excellence in research evidence that contributes to Māori health advancement.
- Tangata Kōmuramura: Māori Experiences of Eating Disorders
- Te Uemairangi: Pathways to First Episode Psychosis and Outcomes in Māori Youth
- Medical education research
- Chronic kidney disease
- Heart Health: The Hauora Manawa community heart study
- Respiratory disease
- Mental health
- Community service
Mental health is a broad and complex issue facing New Zealanders – and a research strength of the University of Otago. This website brings together our investigators and teams contributing to New Zealand's research achievement in the field of mental health.
Explore our mental health research:
- Alphabetical listing of our mental health research groups
- Māori and Pacific mental health
- Mental disorders
- Mental health risk factors
- Population mental health and health services
The aim of the National Centre for Lifecourse Research is to build collaborations via research and policy translation nationally and internationally.
The NCLR and partners have a long history of conducting world-leading lifecourse research.
- Community research
- Economic outcomes
The Centre for Sustainable Cities is an inter-disciplinary research centre dedicated to providing the research base for innovative solutions to the economic, social, environmental and cultural development of our urban centres.
The New Zealand National Poisons Centre (NZNPC) answers enquiries both from health professionals and from the general public concerning acute poisoning and the toxic effects of chemicals, drugs, poisonous plants, poisonous insects and marine animals. The 24-hour telephone number is 0800 POISON (0800 764-766). The NPC also maintains an extensive database (TOXINZ) that contains information and treatment guidelines for the management of poisoned patients. The database contains some 200,000 listed chemical products, pharmaceuticals, plants and hazardous creatures. It has New Zealand specific trade names, household products, plant and animal species.
The New Zealand Pharmacovigilance Centre consists of synergistic monitoring programs that contribute to and support the safety of medicines and related products in New Zealand through voluntary reporting of adverse events.
The Ngāi Tahu Māori Health Research Unit (NTMHRU) contributes to a wide range of Māori health research projects and initiatives within the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, the University of Otago and our communities to ensure important and beneficial outcomes for Māori are attained.
One Health Aotearoa is an alliance of New Zealand’s leading infectious diseases researchers committed to working together to address important health hazards in New Zealand, and beyond.
Many human infections are the result of interactions with animals and the environment. We have identified three key research themes to focus on: preventing emerging infectious diseases, ensuring healthy fresh water, and reducing antimicrobial resistance.
Mātauranga Māori is interwoven and underpins all of One Health Aotearoa’s research. We recognise the close alignment between Te Ao Māori (the Māori world) and the One Health paradigm.
We provide expertise and sequencing resources to New Zealand researchers and industry.
- Project design and advice
- Illumina HiSeq sequencing
- Illumina MiSeq sequencing
- Nanostring nCounter Analysis System
The Otago Genomics Facility is an Illumina Propel-certified service provider for Illumina HiSeq 2500 and MiSeq sequencing platforms, and is also a Nanostring nCounter Analysis System core facility.
We aim to improve global health and save lives, by identifying and evaluating solutions to important health problems in low-resource settings.
We work to address the world's most pressing health problems through research collaborations with low- and middle-income countries, and with disadvantaged groups in New Zealand.
We draw upon New Zealand's unique connections with Asia and the Pacific. Our extensive international partnerships and cross-disciplinary collaborations enable us to carry out innovative and rigorous research to advance global health.
Talofa lava, kia orana, malo e lelei, fakaalofa lahi atu, bula vinaka, malo ni, halo ola keta, mauri, fakatalofa atu, and warm Pacific greetings!
We're celebrating our Pacific health research in the Division of Health Sciences.
Learn about what's going on in Pacific health research, how we can support researchers, and where to start if you're excited about research.
While sex work is no longer illegal, we have no idea if and how the Prostitution Reform Act (PRA) (2003) has informed social work practice with sex workers. We will explore the extent to which social workers are aware of the legal rights afforded to sex workers, and the extent to which young people under the age of 18 involved in sex work are affected by the legislation.
We support optimum design and analysis of your research, and provide skill development opportunities.
Our academic leadership is of the highest calibre and we have extensively experienced and skilled staff.
Our services are available to researchers in institutions, industry, government and private companies.
The School of Pharmacy has a very active research programme with disciplines ranging from science to humanities with each having a strong contextual link to health sciences.
- Clinical Pharmacy: concerned with patient care and the optimisation of medicine use in order to promote health and wellness, and prevent disease.
- Pharmaceutical Sciences: drug discovery, drug metabolism and drug action to extend the range of drugs available and to provide a scientific basis for the quality use of medicines and bioactive substances.
The Division of Health Sciences benefits from its high calibre of staff and their wide range of skills and research expertise.
Our Staff Expertise Database provides details on University of Otago, Health Sciences staff. Each staff profile provides information on qualifications, current academic position, contact details, and a summary of research and publications.
You can search our database by keyword (eg public health) or by name.
In Dental Epidemiology, we study the development of common oral conditions in the New Zealand population. We investigate the occurrence, determinants, and natural history of these conditions. We employ a number of approaches, most notably the prospective cohort study, and the cross-sectional survey.
In our Dental Health Services Research, we look at how effectively dental health systems work for New Zealanders. We are concerned with how the dental healthcare system works, and the extent to which users are benefiting from it. Key activities are measuring oral health outcomes, and increasing understanding of how, and why people use (or do not use) dental services.
The Social and Behavioural Research Unit was established in 1990 with core funding from the Cancer Society of New Zealand and the support of the University of Otago. Presently it has research programmes in priority areas of tobacco control, ultraviolet radiation exposure, physical activity and nutrition, psycho-social-spiritual factors, alcohol, and Hauora Māori.
Sustainability Research at Otago is a guide to our specialised research collaborations working towards a sustainable future.
Our multidisciplinary knowledge base and extensive networks provide a powerhouse of research expertise to find solutions to the planet's most pressing challenges.
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals guide our research. Our expertise in applied practice focuses on delivering a better future for people and our environment.
Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora a Eru Pōmare strives to create a Kaupapa Māori space committed to improving Māori health outcomes and eliminating inequalities through quality science and ongoing theoretical development. It takes a rights-based approach consistent with the Treaty of Waitangi, and is engaged with community through a spectrum of influence from community development, policy advocacy, research dissemination and Māori health research workforce development.
The Virtual Health Information Network (VHIN) supports high value and high quality research from linked data, frequently using the StatsNZ Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI). The VHIN is a network of researchers, analysts and professionals who share and collaborate to use health and social data and generate insights to improve the health and well-being of all New Zealanders. The VHIN aims to build capacity and capability.
- Code sharing
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Our scope extends from molecular to clinical research of infectious diseases affecting humans, animals, and plants.
We have over forty experts from across the university making fundamental discoveries and translating these discoveries into practical applications against infectious diseases.
Members of the Webster Centre use a variety of methods in their research, ranging from chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, bioinformatics, immunology and microbiology.
- Applied and molecular immunology
- Bacterial physiology and antimicrobial resistance
- Genomics of emerging infectious diseases
- Human virology: human papillomavirus
- Human virology: influenza virus
- Immunity to bacterial infection
- Molecular virology and viral pathogenesis
- Oral microbiology and antifungal drug resistance
- Pseudomonas in kiwifruit
- Structural biology of infectious diseases