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Webster Centre: Archive news

Ask a scientist


Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Professor Andrew Mercer, Director of the Webster Centre for Infectious Diseases answers an "Ask a Scientist" bacteria/virus question in the Otago Daily Times.

Germs are us

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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Webster Centre members feature in a recent ODT article outlining the good news and bad news around our microbes and us. 

Infections due to antimicrobial-resistant microbes could kill 10 million people globally per year by 2050

UNESCO's Clocktower Photo

Friday, 19 May 2017

The Royal Society Te Apãrangi has published a summary of evidence on 'Antimicrobial resistance - Implications for New Zealanders', along with a short video summarising the key points.

Developing a faster way to detect antibiotic resistance


Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Webster Centre members, Professor Sarah Hook, Dr James Ussher and Dr Jo Kirman, along with Dr Andrea Vernall, were part of a team who recently received Health Research Council funding to develop a faster way to detect antibiotic resistance. 

Antibiotic Emergency

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Friday, 28 April 2017

Professor Kurt Krause features in the Listener magazine article "Antibiotic Emergency" by Sally Blundell and the NZ Medical Journal recommends establishing a national response plan to address a "clear and present danger" to antimicrobial resistance.

World leaders to meet at UN to discuss the global crisis and anti-microbial resistance

Kurt krause headshot with image on pc tn

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Professor Kurt Krause, Director of the Webster Centre for Infectious Diseases, appeared on Radio New Zealand to discuss the global crisis in anti–microbial resistance.  During the interview he pointed out the need for us to carefully use our currently available antibiotics as well as support research into developing new anti-microbial therapies.

Fighting Zika and other viruses

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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Professor Robert Webster, a world renowned virologist and pioneer researcher in influenza, was interviewed by Kathryn Ryan, Radio New Zealand on Tuesday, 13 September 2016 on fighting Zika and other viruses.

Professor Robert Webster Visiting NZ

Robert Webster tn

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

The Webster Centre, which is completing its 10th year working in support of infectious diseases research in New Zealand, proudly announces that we sponsored a lecture tour in four locations - Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, by our namesake, Professor Robert Webster.  Professor Webster is a pioneering researcher in influenza and an early proponent of the modern concept of "One Health".

US ban on antibacterial products finds support

Kurt Krause tn

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Professor Kurt Krause, Director of the Webster Centre for Infectious Diseases, appears in the Otago Daily Times newspaper on Wednesday, 7 September 2016 in an article entitled "US ban on antibacterial products finds support".

Scientist hopes to stop deadly TB

Greg cook tn

Friday, 15 July 2016

Webster Centre for Infectious Diseases Steering Committee member, Professor Greg Cook, appears in the NZ Herald on 13 July 2016 commenting on research that finds medicine could be repurposed against drug resistant strain with promise for Third World.

Cafe Sci: From Zika to Measles, Take Another Look at ... Infectious Diseases


Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Prof Kurt Krause (Director of the Webster Centre for Infectious Diseases), along with other Webster members, Prof Greg Cook and Dr James Ussher (Department of Microbiology & Immunology), Prof Philip Hill and Prof John Crump (Co-Directors of Centre for International Health), and Dr Brendan Arnold (Southern District Health Board) looked at some of the current issues facing us from a local, national, and international perspective, whether it was the current concern over measles or the potential impact of Zika or some of the burning questions on infectious diseases.

On the Cover of Biochemical Journal


Thursday, 26 May 2016

Recent research from the laboratory of the Director, Professor Kurt Krause, has appeared on the cover of the Biochemical Journal.  This work involved Professor Krause, Sinothai Poen, a recent PhD graduate, Yoshio Nakatani, Helen K Opel-Reading, Mortiz Lassé, Renwick D J Dobson and was titled "Exploring the Structure of Glutamate Racemase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis as a Template for Anti-mycobacterial Drug Discovery".

"Peak Antibiotics"


Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Webster Centre steering committee members, Greg Cook and Debbie Williamson, were featured in a documentary appearing on Prime on 5 April 2016. The documentary focused on the dangers of current antibiotic resistance and the need for the development of new antibiotics for the future as well as the best way to preserve current treatment options.

Vaccine Cuts Rate of Major Disease in African Children in Half

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Thursday, 17 March 2016

Professor Philip Hill's findings on monitoring a population of 200,000 people in The Gambia, West Africa, before and after the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine appear in the prestigious Lancet Infectious Diseases.

New tool to accelerate health research

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Friday, 26 February 2016

A new protein crystallography tool available to Otago researchers will help accelerate research into drug and vaccine design.

Volcanic bacteria take minimalist approach to survival

Greg cook tn

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Professor Greg Cook appeared as a co-author in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences describing his work on volcanic bacteria entitled "Persistence of the dominant soil phylum Acidobacteria by trace gas scavenging".

MOH tenders for 300,000 doses of H5N1 vaccine

Kurt Krause tn

Sunday, 10 January 2016

In January 2016 Professor Kurt Krause commented on New Zealand’s preparation for pandemic influenza by the Ministry of Health tendering for 300,000 doses of vaccine for H5N1, one prominent strain of bird flu. He acknowledged that it is fair to be concerned about whether the correct strain was chosen because no-one knows for sure which bird flu strain, if any, will cause widespread human infection. However the H5N1 vaccine is probably the best bet we have right now.  Another big issue was how quickly countries could get hold of enough vaccinations for an entire population during a pandemic.

OIHRN Meeting

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Friday, 13 November 2015

OIHRN Meeting

The 8th annual OIHRN meeting was held at St Margaret's College at Dunedin on 11 - 12 November 2015.  Steering committee members, Dr Deborah Wililamson, presented on "Poultry, Potions and Public Health: infectious diseases genomics in NZ and beyond” and Professor Philip Hill presented on “The Impact of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccines in the Gambia, West Africa”.  The Webster Centre was pleased to serve as a sponsor for this event.

Ebola and beyond—how bugs kill us

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Saturday, 5 September 2015

On Monday, 31 August 2015, a free Public Outreach Question It meeting "Ebola and Beyond - How Bugs Kill Us" was held in the Queenstown Memorial Centre from 12 - 1pm.  Infectious disease researchers, Dr Siouxsie Wiles, Auckland University; Professors Kurt Krause, Otago University and Nigel French, Massey University were panel members in a discussion about the growing global problem of these deadly bugs and how to maximise your chances against them.

Rheumatic Fever Workshop


Saturday, 21 March 2015

In conjunction with the Australasian Society of Infectious Diseases Annual Scientific Meeting, this workshop was held on Friday 20 March 2015, Rendezvous Hotel, Auckland. 

Antibiotic resistance and industry

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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Professor Kurt Krause responds to an opinion about industry's role in growing antibiotic resistance, in an interview with Kathryn Ryan on Radio NZ.

Huge toll from seasonal influenza

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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Professor Michael Baker discusses a new paper about the large public health impact of influenza in New Zealand.

Investigating natural immunity to TB

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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Dr Ayesha Verrall is investigating natural immunity to TB as part of her doctoral thesis. She is interviewed by the Otago Daily Times about her work.

NZ's role in fighting Ebola

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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Professor Michael Baker calls on the NZ Government to send health workers to Ebola affected areas of West Africa as part of a WHO effort.

Nuffield Scholarship awarded

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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Andrew Highton PhD, past winner of a Webster Centre Travel Award, has received a prestigious Nuffield Scholarship to Oxford University.

Health impacts of poor housing


Monday, 15 September 2014

Professor Michael Baker, a Webster Centre for Infectious Diseases research leader, comments on the health risks of poor housing.

Distinguished Research Medal awarded

Greg cook tn

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Professor Greg Cook received the 2014 Distinguished Research Medal for his substantial contribution to microbial research.

Renewed interest in alternative remedies

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Saturday, 3 May 2014

Professor Kurt Krause, Director of the Webster Centre for Infectious Diseases, suggests that the post-antibiotic era may create renewed interest in alternative remedies.

Superbugs challenge antibiotics

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Thursday, 1 May 2014

Resistance to antibiotics is no longer a prediction for the future according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), which claims it is happening now in every region of the world.

Evidence lacking for flu jab substitutes

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Thursday, 3 April 2014

Professor Michael Baker, of the Webster Centre for Infectious Diseases, expresses concern about alternatives offered in place of flu vaccination.

Liley Medal presented to Professor Michael Baker

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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The prestigious Liley Medal 2013 was presented to Professor Michael Baker in recognition of his landmark 2012 study of infectious diseases and rising inequalities in NZ.

The end of antibiotics?

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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Professor Kurt Krause is interviewed on the end of antibiotics and the threat of superbugs.

EU consortium investigates TB and diabetes links

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Monday, 3 December 2012

Professor Philip Hill, who has an extensive record in TB research in developing countries, will be part of a multi-disciplinary consortium exploring the link between TB and diabetes.

New Zealand's E.coli risk

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Monday, 12 September 2011

Following the outbreak in Europe, Infectious Diseases experts discuss New Zealand's E.coli risk, on TVNZ programme Close Up.

TB susceptibility linked to gene

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Monday, 16 August 2010

International health researcher, Professor Philip Hill,  is part of a consortium that has successfully used genome scanning to identify a gene associated with increased susceptibility to tuberculosis (TB) in African populations.

Risk of superbug to New Zealand

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Monday, 12 April 2010

Professor Kurt Krause in interviewed on ONE News about the risk of a drug-resistant superbug travelling to New Zealand.

Health regulations tested by flu

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Monday, 4 May 2009

University of Otago Associate Professor Michael Baker says, in an Otago Daily Times report, that the swine flu outbreak is providing a major test of new international health regulations.

Using Tamiflu effectively

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Thursday, 30 April 2009

Professor Kurt Krause answers common questions about the drug Tamiflu, and how it can be best utilised against swine flu, on TVNZ's  Breakfast programme.

Tuberculosis resources poor

Monday, 27 April 2009

Guest speaker, Dr Clifton Barry, at the Webster Centre for Infectious Diseases Symposium, expressed his concern about the lack of resources to address Tb.