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Universities Appreciate Health Research Support

Universities Appreciate Health Research Support

New funding of $63 million for health researchers emphasises the role universities play as the principal providers of research in this country, according to the chair of the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, Professor Roger Field.

The Health Research Council today announced funding for 57 contracts, more than 80 per cent of the value going to Auckland and Otago universities. Contracts totalling $9 million were also awarded to researchers at Massey and the Auckland University of Technology, with smaller amounts going to research staff at Victoria and Waikato. In all, 52 of the 57 contracts - most of them of three years’ duration - went to university researchers.

As the peak body for the country’s eight universities, the NZVCC appreciates council support for the many talented medical researchers working in the university system, Professor Field says.

An Otago University biochemistry team headed by Dr Tony Merriman has received $3.43 million for a programme that uses new gene-based technologies to analyse several common disorders found in New Zealand

University of Auckland Department of Paediatrics staff member Dr Catherine Byrnes was successful with her first HRC application, being awarded $556,000 for her work on the antibiotic treatment of lung scarring in Māori and Pacific Island children.

Professor Neil Pearce of Massey University’s Centre for Public Health Research heads a team that will receive $2.53 million for a project to build research in occupational health in this country.

Professor Kathryn McPherson of AUT’s Division of Rehabilitation and Occupational Studies has been awarded $1.54 million for work on goals and self-regulation skills in brain injury rehabilitation.

An emerging researcher first grant worth $150,000 has gone to Dr Evan Roberts of Victoria University for a history programme involving the stature and body mass of the New Zealand population from 1850 to the present day.

A HRC feasibility study grant of $144,000 has been awarded to Dr Clive Aspin of the University of Waikato for work involving the monitoring of STD infections.

“Medical research grants such as those announced by the HRC today underline the fact that universities employ more than half of New Zealand’s researchers and supply the bulk of the country’s fundamental research staff,” Professor Field says.


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