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The Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences with Honours (BBiomedSc(Hons)) is a separate one-year research-orientated postgraduate degree completed after the Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences (BBiomedSc) undergraduate course (or equivalent).

Being situated next to the regional hospital in Wellington, the programme focuses on translational medicine and many of the supervisors are clinicians at the hospital – offering you a unique opportunity to partake in hands on clinical research with real patients.

The Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBiomedSc) is also offered at the University of Otago, Wellington.

Why do BBiomedSc(Hons)?

It is an excellent stepping stone to a career in research, diagnostics or biotechnology, or to master's or PhD study in a wide range of biomedical sciences. With an honours degree, you can proceed directly to PhD study.

What work is involved in the BBiomedSc(Hons)?

The BBiomedSc(Hons) comprises a significant research component (about eight months' hands-on research project) and presentation of a thesis. You will also undertake a theory component which will include taught workshops on research methods, ethics, and statistics.

Projects on offer

We offer research projects that have a strong focus on translational and clinical medicine. For more information, contact the course convenor:

Dr Aaron Stevens

Research groups offering BBiomedSc(Hons) projects in 2023

The Surgical Cancer Research Group (SCRG)

The SCRG is a translational research group that is a collaboration between scientists and surgeons in the Wellington region. We are offering research projects across colorectal, breast, and thyroid cancer. Our group's interests include:

  • The use of extracellular vesicles from adipose-derived stem cells as a novel therapeutic for tissue repair following cancer surgery (particularly mastectomy for breast cancer).
  • The study of tumour microenvironments and the interactions between different cell types that contribute to cancer progression.
  • Liquid biopsy biomarkers (e.g. plasma microRNA, extracellular vesicles) for predicting how patients will respond to cancer therapies OR to diagnose cancers that are difficult to biopsy.

Group leader:
Dr Kirsty Danielson

Centre for Epigenetic and Genetic Research (CEGR)

At the CEGR we investigate multiple aspects of the genetic and epigenetic contributors in disease development. In 2022 projects for our BBioMedSci(Hons) will be based around:

  • Investigating how oxidants produced by immune cells during inflammation and infection can impact the pattern of epigenetic modifications on human genomic DNA. Oxidative stress is a common feature of inflammation-driven cancers, and promotes genomic instability and aggressive tumour phenotypes.
  • Investigating how genomic rearrangements accumulate in tumour cells and the impact this has on tumour development, and also diagnosis.

Group leaders:
Dr Michelle Thunders
Dr Aaron Stevens (BBioMedSci(Hons)), Course convener

Wellington Southern Community Laboratories

Optimising turnaround time for urgent outbreak investigation using Oxford Nanopore next generation sequencing of bacteria.

At Wellington Southern Community Laboratories we have introduced next generation sequencing (NGS) into our regular molecular testing workflow, using the ONT MinION device.

To date, we have been using the instrument to perform molecular typing of organisms to look for evidence of spread within Wellington and Hutt Hospitals. Currently we perform a weekly routine surveillance run, and achieve a turnaround time for samples of around 48-96 hours.

Hospital outbreaks can be extremely disruptive to patient care and overall service delivery, so the ability to reduce the size of an outbreak with rapid results has the potential to significantly improve patient care.

This project will test various sample preparation, sequencing and analysis protocols on Oxford Nanopore (ONT) devices to minimise time from sample collection to sequencing result for bacterial organisms that are associated with hospital transmission events.

Project leader:
Dr Max Bloomfield, Wellington Southern Community Laboratories

How to apply

For entry requirements and to apply, see the BBiomedSc(Hons) qualification page:

BBiomedSc(Hons) regulations and application

We recommend you also contact the course convenor. Places on this course are limited.

Apply for the Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences with Honours (BBiomedSc(Hons))

Contact us

Course convenor

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