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Otago University Gains Health Research Funding

Otago University Gains Lion’s Share Of Health Research Funding

Funding Coup Confirms Outstanding Quality of Otago Research

University of Otago researchers have gained nearly two-thirds of the total funding available in the latest Health Research Council funding round, winning 25 contracts worth over $33 million out of a pool of $51.42 million.

The researchers, spread over the University’s three campuses in Dunedin, Wellington and Christchurch, have respectively gained $17,524,383, $9,146,542 and $6,370,440 for research that advances human health and is relevant to the needs of the New Zealand health sector.

University Acting Vice-Chancellor Dr Phil Meade extended his warmest congratulations to the successful researchers, saying that the “unprecedented success” represents an “clear vote of confidence in the quality of Otago’s research”.

Research Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Geoff White says the “extremely pleasing outcome is testimony to the truly excellent research conducted by researchers across the three campuses”.

Around 100 Otago researchers submitted successful applications for 18 project and seven programme grants, in what is an extremely competitive funding round,” says Professor White. “Winning external research funding of this magnitude is a key indicator of a university’s research strengths.”

Involving groups of researchers across the University’s Divisions of Health Sciences and Sciences, the 18 projects cover a wide range of research involving individual health, medical conditions, and brain function. “Their research will advance medical and scientific understanding, with many resulting in specific benefits for human health”, he says.

The seven “illustrious” programme grants awarded in areas of injury prevention, housing and health, mental health, social wellbeing, diabetes, cancer, and brain mechanisms for movement disorders involve extensive collaboration over a long period of time, says Professor White. With three programmes and ten projects between them, staff at the Wellington and Christchurch Schools of Medicine and Health Sciences have been “particularly successful”, he added.

“Overall, I see this funding success as a celebration of the high calibre of health, medical, and biomedical research at the University which has the potential to provide real health benefits to New Zealand society and the world,” says Professor White.

Details of the 25 programmes and projects follow below:

CONTACT:

Professor Geoff White Research Deputy Vice-Chancellor University of Otago Tel: 03 479 8513 2/… -2- Simon Ancell Media Specialist University of Otago Tel: 03 479 5016 Email: simon.ancell@stonebow.otago.ac.nz

HRC CONTRACTS

DUNEDIN

Professor Wickliffe Abraham, Professor Warren Tate, Dr David Ireland, Dr Paul Turner Mechanisms of synaptic plasticity failure in Alzheimer's disease (Project) 36 months $887,621 Contact: Professor Wickliffe Abraham, Department of Psychology, University of Otago 03 479 7644 cabraham@psy.otago.ac.nz

Professor Wickliffe Abraham, Dr David Ireland, Dr Joanna Williams, Professor Warren Tate, Dr B G Mockett Regulation of synaptic plasticity across time: Mechanisms of metaplasticity 36 months (Project) $860,351 Contact: Professor Wickliffe Abraham, Department of Psychology, University of Otago, 03 479 7644 cabraham@psy.otago.ac.nz

Professor Antony Braithwaite, Dr Janice Royds, Dr Michael Eccles, Professor Bruce Baguley Therapeutics and diagnostic markers of cancer: From bench to clinic (Programme) 36 months $4,043,221 Contact: Professor Antony Braithwaite, Department of Pathology, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, 03 479 7165, antony.braithwaite@stonebow.otago.ac.nz

Dr Peter Davidson, Dr David J Chalmers, Dr Andrew McIntosh, Dr Barry Wilson Biomechanical analysis of the rebound aspect of playground surfaces 24 months (Project) $69,642 Contact: Dr Peter Davidson Injury Prevention Research Unit, Dunedin School of Medicine University of Otago 03 479 8517 peter.davidson@ipru.otago.ac.nz

Dr Michael Eccles, Dr Cherie Stayner Novel therapeutic targets for polycystic kidney disease 36 months (Project) $829,755 Contact: Dr Michael Eccles, Department of Pathology, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, 03 479 7878 michael.eccles@stonebow.otago.ac.nz

Professor John Langley, Associate Professor Ken Buckingham, Mr Shaun Stephenson, Mr Bredan Hokowhitu, Dr Anne Bray, Dr Shanthi Ameratunga, Prospective injury outcomes study (PIOs): Development phase 12 months (Strategic Development Contract) $121,106 Contact: Professor John Langley, Injury Prevention Research Unit, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, 03 479 8511 john.langley@ipru.otago.ac.nz

Professor John Langley, Ms Jean Simpson, Dr Dorothy Begg, Dr David J Chalmers, Injury prevention research 36 months ,(Programme Extension) $2,457,361 Contact: Professor John Langley, Injury Prevention Research Unit, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, 03 479 8511, john.langley@ipru.otago.ac.nz

Professor Jim Mann, Ms Lorraine Brooking, Ms Wendy Stevens, Ms Eleanor Murphy, Mrs Sheila Williams, Dr Rachael Taylor, Dr Patrick Manning, Dr Kirsten McAuley, Assistant Professor Robert Walker, Dr Wayne Sutherland, Lifestyle & nutritional approaches to reduce obesity, type 2 diabetes & its complications, 36 months (Programme) $1,454,890 Contact: Professor Jim Mann, Department of Human Nutrition University of Otago 03 479 7719 jim.mann@stonebow.otago.ac.nz

3/… -3- Dr Andrew Mercer, Dr Lyn Wise, Dr Stephen Fleming, Viral virulence and pathogenicity: Multi-component manipulation of host physiology 60 months (Project) $3,290,558 Contact: Dr Andrew Mercer, Department of Microbiology, University of Otago, 03 479 7730 andy.mercer@stonebow.otago.ac.nz

Dr Tony Merriman Comparative mapping in human and mouse to characterise the IDDM6 autoimmune disease locus 36 months (Project) $1,558,149 Contact: Dr Tony Merriman, Department of Biochemistry, University of Otago, 03 479 5798 tony.merriman@stonebow.otago.ac.nz

Dr Pauline Norris, Ms Fuafiva Fa'alau, Ms Marianna Churchward, Ms Cecilia Va'ai, Associate Professor Bruce Arroll., Knowledge and use of antibiotics amongst Samoan people in New Zealand and Western Samoa,18 months (Strategic Development Contract) $122,258 Contact: Dr Pauline Norris,School of Pharmacy, University of Otago, 03 479 7359 pauline.norris@stonebow.otago.ac.nz

Dr Jeffery Wickens, Dr Brian I Hyland, Dr Gail Tripp, Behavioural and cellular mechanisms of hyperactivity and movement disorders, 36 months (Programme) $1,829,471 Contact: Dr Jeffery Wickens Department of Anatomy & Structural Biology, University of Otago, 03 479 7373 jeff.wickens@stonebow.otago.ac.nz

CHRISTCHURCH

Professor Philip Bagshaw, Dr Randall Allardyce, Professor Frank Frizelle Prospective, randomised, clinical study comparing laparoscopic & open surgery for colon cancer 60 months (Project) $277,101 Contact: Professor Philip Bagshaw, Department of Surgery, Christchurch School of Medicine, University of Otago, 03 364 0195, philip.bagshaw@cdhb.govt.nz

Dr John Lainchbury, Dr Richard Troughton, Professor Mark Richards, Hormone-guided heart failure therapy 36 months (Project) $885,614 Contact: Dr John Lainchbury, Department of Endocrinology Christchurch School of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Otago, 03 364 0640 john.lainchbury@chmeds.ac.nz

Dr Mark Davis, Associate Professor Christopher Frampton, Dr Chris Pemberton, Dr John Lainchbury, Dr Miriam Rademaker, Dr Vicky Cameron, Professor Mark Richards, Professor Tim Yandle Project, Urocortins II and III: Physiology and therapeutic potential 36 months $561,212 Contact: Dr Mark Davis Department of Medicine, Christchurch School of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Otago, 03 364 1116 mark.davis@chmeds.ac.nz

Professor David Fergusson, Mr L John Horwood, Dr Annette Beautrais, Dr Elisabeth Wells, Longitudinal studies of mental health and psychosocial wellbeing (Programme) 36 months $2,564,530 Contact: Professor David Fergusson Department of Psychological Medicine, Christchurch School of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Otago, 03 372 0406 85442 david.fergusson@chmeds.ac.nz

Professor Peter Joyce, Dr Janet Carter, Associate Professor Christopher Frampton, Associate Professor Roger Mulder, Dr Caroline Bell, Dr Janet Latner, Dr Janice McKenzie, Dr Marie Crowe, Dr Martin Kennedy, Dr Richard Porter, Dr Stephanie Moor, Dr Suzanne Luty, Ms Jennifer Jordan, Ms Virginia McIntosh, Dr Jane O'Malley, Dr Geraldine R Rogers Mental health clinical research 36 months (Programme) $1,536,204 Contact: Professor Peter Joyce Department of Psychological Medicine Christchurch School of Medicine, University of Otago, 03 372 0400 peter.joyce@chmeds.ac.nz

Ms Nicola Poa, Professor Russell Scott, Dr Erihana Ryan, Dr Paul Edgar The role of antipsychotic medication in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in New Zealand Maori 36 months (Project) $545,780 Contact: Ms Nicola Poa, Department of Psychological Medicine, Christchurch School of Medicine, University of Otago, 03 338 5059 nicola.poa@chmeds.ac.nz 4/… -4- WELLINGTON

Dr Tony Blakely, Dr Sunny Collings, Ms Karen Witten, Ms June Atkinson, Dr Jamie Pearce, Associate Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman, Dr Peter Crampton Neighbourhoods and health 36 months. (Project) $716,766 Contact: Dr Tony Blakely Department of Public Health,Wellington School of Medicine, University of Otago 04 385 5541 ext. 6086 tblakely@wnmeds.ac.nz

Dr Tony Blakely, Mr Selwyn McCracken, Professor Alistair Woodward, Ms June Atkinson, Ms Jackie Fawcett, Dr Sunny Collings, Dr Richard Arnold, Dr Peter Crampton, Dr I-Ming Liu, Dr Martin Tobias SoFIE-Health: Longitudinal study of social trajectories, primary care, and health 48 months (Project) $1,439,579, Contact: Dr Tony Blakely, Department of Public Health Wellington School of Medicine, University of Otago, 04 385 5541 ext. 6086 tblakely@wnmeds.ac.nz

Professor Julian Crane, Dr Simon Causer, Professor Ian Town, Peptidoglycan exposure in the home and atopy and wheezing in the infant cohort study 12 months (Project) $113,011 Contact: Professor Julian Crane, Wellington Asthma Research Group Wellington School of Medicine, University of Otago 04 385 5999 ext. 5258 crane@wnmeds.ac.nz

Dr C Raina Elley, Dr Tim Kenealy, Dr Dale Bramley, Elizabeth Robinson, Dr Robert Scragg, associate Professor Bruce Arroll, Dr Ngaire Kerse, Dr Paul Drury, Dr Isobel Martin, Professor Murray Tilyard, Diabetes Cohort Study (Project) $910,909 Contact: Dr C Raina Elley, Department of General Practice, Wellington School of Medicine, University of Otago 04 3855999 extn 6122 c.elley@wnmeds.ac.nz

Associate Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman, Professor Julian Crane, Professor Chris Cunningham, Dr Michael Baker, 36 months (Programme Extension) Housing and health research programme $3,649,756 Contact: Associate Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman Department of Public Health, Wellington School of Medicine, University of Otago, 04 385 5999 ext. 6047 howdenc@wnmeds.ac.nz

Dr David Lamb, Professor Brett Delahunt, Randomised androgen deprivation and radiotherapy (RADAR) trial - TROG 03.04 36 months (Project) $657,649 Contact: Dr David Lamb, Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine, Wellington School of Medicine, University of Otago, 04 385 5999 ext.5127 david.lamb@ccdhb.org.nz

Dr Christopher Sissons, Dr Joanna Pedlow, Ms Vera Keefe-Ormsby, Dr Pauline Koopu, Dr Lisa Wong, Dr J St John Wakefield, Dr Martin Lee Dental caries and cariogenic plaques: The sucrose, fluoride and oral environment nexus 36 months (Project) $1,658,871 Contact: Dr Christopher Sissons, Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine, Wellington School of Medicine University of Otago, 04 385 5549 csissons@wnmeds.ac.nz

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