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ChCH School Of Medicine Research Gets Boost

Christchurch School Of Medicine Research Receives Major Funding Boost

Health research at the University of Otago’s Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences has received its biggest ever funding boost. The 2004/05 Health Research Council funding round has just been announced and Christchurch health researchers have won $10.6 million dollars worth of grants.

The record result for the School of Medicine and Health Sciences covers seven new projects, and the extension of two long running research programmes; the Christchurch Cardioendocrine Research Group headed by Professor Mark Richards, and the Free Radical Research Group, led by Professor Christine Winterbourn.

The Associate Dean of Research, Associate Professor John Evans said, “The results are very gratifying. They will allow dozens of researchers who rely on HRC contestable funding to continue their work. The results have confirmed that the School has numerous extremely well-regarded experts in their field.”

The nine new awards, plus a grant to Canterbury DHB’s Lipid and Diabetes Research Group, indicate the quality and depth of health research in Christchurch in a highly competitive field. In total 10 grants out of 75 awarded nationally have come to the Christchurch School of Medicine and Christchurch Hospital.

The Christchurch Cardioendocrine Research Group (Professor Mark Richards), internationally recognised for its research into heart failure, has received $3.6 million over the next three years. The Free Radical Research Group (Professor Christine Winterbourn) has also had its programme extended for three years with a grant of $2.7 million dollars to continue research into free radicals and oxidative stress in inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular disease .

New projects which have received funding are:

The manipulation of the hormone adrenomedullin 2 to lower blood pressure in heart patients. $706,416 (Dr Chris Charles, Department of Medicine)

Early intervention in acute kidney failure in intensive care and after cardiothoracic surgery. $899,320 (Professor Zoltan Endre, Department of Medicine)

Links between obesity and diabetes, the hormone ghrelin and heart failure. $855,367 (Dr Chris Pemberton, Department of Medicine)

What is the optimum level of oxygen therapy for premature babies? $798,975 (Professor Brian Darlow, Paediatrics)

Investigation into the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Interpersonal Therapy for the treatment of mild to moderate depression. $293,827 (Dr Janet Carter, Psychological Medicine) The impact of the Prostitution Reform Act (2003) on sex workers. $516,736 (Gillian Abel, Public Health and General Practice)

Determining cardiovascular health in Maori communities. $108,070 (Suzanne Pitama, Maori/Indigenous Health Institute)

A proportion of all HRC research grants goes to the host institution as part of full-cost recovery funding, and not to projects themselves.

Virginia Irvine Research Manager Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Otago virginia.irvine@chmedss.ac.nz

Associate Professor John Evans Associate Dean (Research) Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Otago john.evans@chmeds.ac.nz

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