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

 


Liggins Institute Funding for Healthy Growth Research


Media release
05 December 2012

The University of Auckland’s Liggins Institute receives funding for Healthy Growth Research

The Liggins Institute of The University of Auckland, New Zealand announced today that it will receive funding through the Achieving Healthy Growth program within the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative. This initiative was launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to overcome persistent bottlenecks preventing the creation of new and better health solutions for the developing world. Sir Peter Gluckman, University Distinguished Professor, will pursue a research project entitled “Epigenetic mechanisms, stunting and poor growth; targets for interventions”.

“In the developing world around one third of children under five are stunted and will never achieve their growth and cognitive potential,” said Sir Peter. “The effects are devastating both for individuals and their communities.

“This grant will enable a multidisciplinary collaboration of researchers in New Zealand, Jamaica, Ghana and Singapore to define the biological mechanisms which operate across generations and during development to cause the condition.”

The goal of the Healthy Growth grant program is to discover the causes of faltering growth during the first 1,000 days of life and to identify effective and affordable interventions to promote healthy growth.

Sir Peter’s project is one of seven grants announced today.

“Safeguarding the health of young children is one of the world’s most urgent priorities and a core focus of our work,” said Chris Wilson, Director of Discovery & Translational Sciences at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We hope the suite of grants announced today will give us a deeper understanding of the reasons underlying stunted growth in children in the developing world and how this can be predicted to guide new approaches to improve the health and development of these children.”

The project builds on long-standing collaborations between Professor Gluckman and Professor Terrence Forrester Director of the Tropical Metabolism Research Institute at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica; and between Professor Forrester and Professor Jacob Plange-Rhule, Chair of Physiology at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. Researchers will use new methods of epigenetic analysis developed at the Liggins Institute by Dr Allan Sheppard, coupled with bioinformatics conducted by Dr Joanna Holbrook of the Singapore Institute of Clinical Sciences, to look for epigenetic patterns that are specifically associated with stunting in Jamaican and Ghanaian populations

“Our aim is to understand what regulates the molecular and physiological pathways that lead to stunting and identify points which are susceptible to nutritional influences during development. This will help us to develop specific interventions that could be applied in at-risk populations before, during or after pregnancy to prevent the condition developing or reduce its severity,” said Sir Peter.

###

About the Grand Challenges
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recognizes that solving our greatest global health and development issues is a long-term effort. Through Grand Challenges, the foundation along with other Grand Challenge partners such as USAID , Grand Challenges Canada, and Brazil’s Ministry of Health, are committed to seeking out and rewarding not only established researchers in science and technology, but also young investigators, entrepreneurs and innovators to help expand the pipeline of ideas to fight diseases that claim millions of lives each year.

About the Liggins Institute

The Liggins Institute is a Large-Scale Research Institute of The University of Auckland, New Zealand. The Institute’s research demonstrates the importance of children having a healthy start to life and the ongoing role of nutrition in promoting and supporting optimal health throughout life. The multidisciplinary, translational research seeks to understand the biological mechanisms that drive critical processes during development and harness that knowledge in ways that will improve quality of life across nations and generations.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Photos: Inside The Christchurch Arts Centre Rebuild

Lady Pippa Blake visited Christchurch Arts Centre chief executive André Lovatt, a 2015 recipient of the Blake Leader Awards. The award celebrated Lovatt’s leadership in New Zealand and hisand dedication to the restoration of the Arts Centre. More>>

Running Them Up The Flagpole: Web Tool Lets Public Determine New Zealand Flag

A School of Design master’s student is challenging the flag selection process by devising a web tool that allows the public to feed their views back in a way, he says, the current government process does not. More>>

ALSO:

Survey: ‘The Arts Make My Life Better’: New Zealanders

New Zealanders are creative people who believe being involved in the arts makes their lives better and their communities stronger. Nine out of ten adult New Zealanders (88%) agree the arts are good for them and eight out of ten (82%) agree that the arts help to improve New Zealand society. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Reprieve For Te Papa Press

Following its review of the role of Te Papa Press, Te Papa has committed to continue publishing books during the museum’s redevelopment, Chief Executive Rick Ellis announced yesterday. More>>

Law Society: Sir Peter Williams QC, 1934 - 2015

“Sir Peter was an exceptional advocate. He had the ability to put the defence case for his clients with powerful oratory. His passion shone through in everything he did and said.” Mr Moore says Sir Peter’s lifelong commitment to prison reform was instrumental in ensuring prison conditions and the rights of prisoners were brought to public attention. More>>

ALSO:

CTU: Peter Conway – Family Statement

Peter committed his whole working life to improving the lives of working people, both in unions and, more recently, as the Economist and Secretary of the Council of Trade Unions. He was previously Chair of Oxfam New Zealand and was on the Board of NZ Trade and Enterprise. More>>

ALSO:

Hundertwasser Art Museum: Whangarei Says Yes

Provisional results confirm Whangarei voted Option B in a landslide result for the Hundertwasser and Wairau Maori Art Centre project. 13,726 voted for the Hundertwasser project in a FPP binding referendum that had higher voter turnout than the last local body election. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news