Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

Arthritis research boosted at University of Otago

13 March 2012

Arthritis research boosted at University of Otago

The University of Otago is establishing an Arthritis Research Theme to enhance support for the internationally leading work its researchers are undertaking in this area. These research efforts are seeking to improve the understanding and treatment of the rheumatic diseases that affect more than half a million New Zealanders.

The new theme formalises existing collaborations and seeks to create new ones between clinical and academic staff from a wide range of health-related disciplines across the University’s three main campuses in Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington. Its inaugural research meeting is being held in Dunedin on Thursday 15 March.

The theme aims to build on Otago’s already internationally recognised research strengths by encouraging laboratory and clinical studies into the many different forms of this condition, and to increase the profile of arthritis healthcare and arthritis research within New Zealand.

Associate Professor Lisa Stamp, a consultant rheumatologist and prominent researcher in the field, has been appointed as the Director of the theme. Associate Professor Stamp, who holds positions at Christchurch Hospital and the University of Otago, Christchurch, says the establishment of the theme is an exciting initiative.

“This gives us an excellent framework to broaden collaborations between laboratory and clinical scientists from across the University in our pursuit of basic, translational, clinical, and epidemiological research relating to a range of rheumatic diseases. It involves a ‘benchtop to bedside’ approach in which researchers can interact closely with clinicians treating patients, leading to innovative research ideas.

“The key challenges we are tackling include how to better identify people at risk of developing rheumatic diseases, understanding which patients are likely to have more severe disease and future disability, and how to tailor treatments to achieve the best outcomes for individuals,” Associate Professor Stamp says.

Gout, rheumatoid arthritis and less common conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis and scleroderma are among the diseases on which theme members are focusing.

Associate members of the theme include Arthritis New Zealand and Parliamentary Friends for Arthritis organiser Michael Woodhouse, MP, who will take part in the theme’s inaugural meeting.

Associate Professor Stamp says that is very important to build links with the end users of the research.

“Our ultimate goal is to improve outcomes for everyday New Zealanders who are living with these often extremely painful and crippling conditions,” she says.

The theme also aims to foster the development of young researchers working in both clinical and basic sciences. This emphasis is reflected in the number of presentations by PhD students that will be given at the inaugural research meeting, she says.

Theme website http://www.otago.ac.nz/christchurch/research/arthritis/

Arthritis Theme steering committee:

• Associate Professor Lisa Stamp, Medicine, Christchurch
• Professor John Highton, Medicine, Dunedin
• Dr Simon Stebbings, Medicine, Dunedin
• Associate Professor William Taylor, Medicine, Wellington
• Associate Professor Andrew Harrison, Medicine, Wellington
• Professor Murray Barclay, Clinical Pharmacology, Christchurch
• Dr Paul Hessian, Physiology, Dunedin
• Dr Gareth Treharne, Psychology, Dunedin
• Associate Professor Tony Merriman, Biochemistry, Dunedin

Members:

• Professor Stephen Duffull, School of Pharmacy, Dunedin
• Dr Andrew Bahn, Physiology, Dunedin
• Dr Sarah Young, Pathology, Dunedin
• Professor Tony Kettle, Pathology, Christchurch
• Professor David Baxter, Physiotherapy, Dunedin
• Associate Professor Stephan Milosavljevic, Physiotherapy, Dunedin
• Dr Anita Nolan, Dentistry, Dunedin
• Associate Professor Lutz Beckert, Medicine, Chirstchurch
• Dan Wright, Julia Korell, PhD Students, School of Pharmacy, Dunedin
• Pip Aimer, PhD Student, Medicine, Christchurch

Associate members:

• Drs Peter Chapman and John O’Donnell, Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Christchurch Hospital
• Dr Jacqui Harper, Malaghan Institute, Wellington
• Michael Woodhouse, MP, Parliamentary Friends for Arthritis
• Arthritis New Zealand

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Scoop Review Of Books: 'the everrumble' by Michelle Elvy

This is Zettie’s tale from her birth date in 1965 through to her ‘passing’ at the age of 105. Yet, Zettie’s tale is our own tale, as humans still all-too-often hell-bent on destroying our environment and therefore our fellow creatures – and thus – symbiotically and inevitably – ourselves. More>>

Tuia 250: Endeavour Arrives At Tūranganui-A-Kiwa

The co-chair for Tuia 250 national commemorations says it's not a bad thing if people want to express their views, as a replica of Captain Cook's Endeavour is today set to make its way into Tūranganui-a-Kiwa... Local iwi oppose the ship's visit and have refused to do a pōhiri. More>>

ALSO:

On 7–19 October: NZ Improv Fest Turns (It Up To) Eleven

The New Zealand Improv Festival (NZIF) is celebrating eleven years by going 110%; this national festival has increased to two weeks of improvisation with guests from all over the world. More>>

ALSO:

NZ On Air: $12 Million For Stimulating Content For Tamariki

New Zealand tamariki have much to be excited about, with just under $12.5 million in funding confirmed for a raft of new screen and music content including a new daily kids quiz show. More>>

ALSO:

Master Storyteller: Author Jack Lasenby Remembered

Jack Lasenby died on Friday, aged 88. He was the author of children's books, novels, and short stories. He was the winner of numerous awards, including the Prime Minister's award for Literary Achievement in 2014. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland