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photo-of-Tosh-StanleyMB ChB DCH DObstRCOG FRCP
Senior Lecturer in the Department of Paediatrics

Dr Thorsten Stanley completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and his paediatric specialty training in Yorkhill and Royal Maternity hospitals, Glasgow with a special interest in immunology, before coming to NZ initially as a Senior Lecturer in 1980.

Dr Stanley has clinical involvement in general paediatrics and neonatology and his outpatient clinics specialise in allergic disease.

He has been convenor of the Otago DCH diploma [CHHE702] course since 1997 and has also established and convened the Annual Regional Paediatric Update meetings for GPs since 2001. He also has extensive commitments in undergraduate teaching to both 5th and 6th year medical students. He continues to retain academic and clinical links with the University of Xiamen, China.

Research Interests

Dr Stanley's research interests have included immunology, paediatric infectious disease, neonatology, neurology and neonatal seizures but increasingly over the past decade have tended to focus on paediatric allergy and asthma.

Dr Stanley has been acting Head of the Academic Department from 1995-1997, 2007-2010, and March –July 2011.

Dr Stanley has developed expertise in medical misadventure and regularly advises both ACC and the Medical Council of New Zealand.

Dr Stanley's research has focused on the areas of allergy and infectious disease and he has increasingly been involved in collaborations with the Department of Medicine and in particular WARG (Wellington Asthma Research Group) and Public Health, and valuable collaborations with the Department of Paediatrics at Auckland Medical School, Massey University, and the University of Kuopio, Finland.

Recent research has looked at the role of probiotics in preventing and treating infant eczema and atopy, Vitamin D supplementation in bronchiolitis, dampness and fungal spores in childhood wheeze, the effectiveness of allergen desensitisation, the microbiome in asthma, effective asthma control by enhanced communication in pacific island asthmatic teenagers, the role of paracetamol in childhood asthma, the effect of plant species diversity in childhood asthma, probiotics for the treatment of food allergy and recently the use of faecal calprotectin in diagnosing non-IgE food allergy, and the use of probiotics in pregnancy to prevent gestational diabetes and to reduce postnatal anxiety and depression.

Ongoing research (HRC grants) include probiotic supplementation to prevent otitis media, endotoxin exposure to reduce childhood wheeze, mediators in asthma in adolescents and the use of faecal leucocyte esterase as an alternative to calprotectin in gut inflammation, and a new device for the treatment of allergic rhinitis.

Dr Stanley holds patents in the use of probiotics for the prevention of allergic disease, and for the prevention of postnatal anxiety and depression

Dr Stanley also collaborates with the Wellington Hospital CCDHB Clinical Research Unit [Director, Dr Marina Dzhelali] where he is a Principal Investigator, and has worked on vaccine development (e.g. RSV virus, influenza) and new treatments for infectious diseases, particularly bronchiolitis due to RSV, for over a decade.


Wickens, K., Stanley, T. V., Mitchell, E. A., Barthow, C., Fitzharris, P., Purdie, G., Siebers, R., … Crane, J. (2013). Early supplementation with Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 reduces eczema prevalence to 6 years: Does it also reduce atopic sensitization? Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 43(9), 1048-1057. doi: 10.1111/cea.12154 Journal - Research Article

Wickens, K., Black, P. N., Stanley, T. V., Mitchell, E., Fitzharris, P., Tannock, G. W., Purdie, G., Crane, J., and the Probiotic Study Group, including Jones, B., Lampshire, P., & Munro, K. (2008). A differential effect of 2 probiotics in the prevention of eczema and atopy: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, 122(4), 788-794. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2008.07.011 Journal - Research Article

Prescott, S. L., Wickens, K., Westcott, L., Jung, W., Currie, H., Black, P. N., Stanley, T. V., … Fitzharris, P., Siebers, R., … Crane, J., and the Probiotic Study Group, including Jones, B., Lampshire, P., Nicholson, A., & Purdie, G. (2008). Supplementation with Lactobacillus rhamnosus or Bifidobacterium lactis probiotics in pregnancy increases cord blood interferon-γ and breast milk transforming growth factor-β and immunoglobin A detection. Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 38(10), 1606-1614. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2008.03061.x Journal - Research Article

Morgan, A. R., Han, D. Y., Wickens, K., Barthow, C., Mitchell, E. A., Stanley, T. V., Dekker, J., Crane, J., & Ferguson, L. R. (2014). Differential modification of genetic susceptibility to childhood eczema by two probiotics. Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 44(10), 1255-1265. doi: 10.1111/cea.12394 Journal - Research Article

Weckhuysen, S., Mandelstam, S., Suls, A., Audenaert, D., Deconinck, T., Claes, L. R. F., … Stanley, T., … de Jonghe, P. (2012). KCNQ2 encephalopathy: Emerging phenotype of a neonatal epileptic encephalopathy. Annals of Neurology, 71(1), 15-25. doi: 10.1002/ana.22644 Journal - Research Article

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