Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon

Current roles

  • Research Fellow, Surgery and Anaesthesia


Pritika Narayan image Pritika’s doctoral studies (2011, University of Auckland) focused on genetic and epigenetic (DNA and histone) changes associated with brain diseases such as Huntington’s Disease and Alzheimer’s disease. As a molecular biologist, with a keen interest in health equity, and the desire to use her skills to serve her community from Fiji, Pritika’s research focus has shifted in recent years.

People of Fiji form over 2% of Aotearoa’s population however due to inadequate ethnicity capture were recorded as less than 35,000 people in the 2018 census. This same population experiences a staggering 20% of heart attacks under 40 years on age, and increasing reports suggest this high burden of disease has been inherited through at least 2 generations within affected families and continues to rise independent of traditional diet and lifestyle risk.

As a Heart Foundation of NZ Research Fellow, Pritika will lead the first ever genetic study of premature coronary artery disease for Peoples of Fiji. The first half of the 3-year project works closely with the community to develop a community-led research data management plan and data governance strategy that both protects and benefits the community. The second half is focused on identifying genetic signatures that are relatively more common among individuals from Fiji who have experienced a severe and premature coronary event.

Ultimately her research is working towards early risk assessment and intervention for affected families and equity in genome-based medicines that are designed-for and made available to ethnic communities.

Contact details

Department of Surgery and Anaesthesia
Te Tari Hāparapara, Te Tari Whāomoomo
University of Otago, Wellington
PO Box 7343
Wellington 6024
Scopus  Pritika Narayan


Back to top