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SCRG logo (226px)Colorectal Cancer Research

A major focus of our current research is improving outcomes for patients with colorectal cancer. This includes:

  • Collection of blood and tissue samples from colorectal cancer patients for an archival biobank
  • Analysis of retrospective patient data to identify patient sub-groups at risk of adverse outcomes
  • Prospective collection of patient data and long-term follow up of patient outcomes

Specific projects currently being conducted:

  • Plasma microRNA and extracellular vesicles as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in CRC.
  • The use of inflammatory markers for the detection of CRC spread.

Autologous Fat Grafting in Breast Cancer Patients

Research is currently being conducted by our group to investigate the uptake of fat grafts in breast cancer patients post-mastectomy. Fat grafting is typically used to correct contour deformities and improve post-mastectomy reconstructions. The concept of whole breast reconstruction using fat alone is appealing because it uses natural tissue with low surgical risk. Unfortunately, the ability to reconstruct a whole breast is difficult because up to 70% of the fat injected into the chest wall will be lost. The reason for such high loss of injected fat is not currently known and improved fat retention could dramatically reduce the number of procedures required to achieve full reconstruction. This study investigates factors that affect fat graft uptake and retention at the cellular level.

Current Funding:

HRC Emerging Researcher
Lottery Health Research
Breast Cancer Foundation New Zealand

Wellington Cancer Society
Research for Life
Surgical Research Trust
University of Otago Research Grant
Maurice & Phyllis Paykel Trust

Interested in Research?

We have a range of research opportunities available for interested candidates, including:

  • Postgraduate research opportunities at Honours, Masters, and PhD level in clinical or lab-based research
  • Surgical Registrar research projects
  • Research projects for undergraduate students in medicine and biology

If you are interested in joining our team and would like more information please contact Dr Kirsty Danielson ( or Associate Professor Elizabeth Dennett (

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