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School of Medicine inaugural Research Awards

28 April 2005

Dunedin School of Medicine celebrates inaugural Research Awards

The Dunedin School of Medicine is celebrating excellent research initiatives and medical researchers within the school and Otago District Health Board with the first annual research awards, where more than $700,000 of grants will be made.

“This is a unique opportunity for the Dunedin School of Medicine and the Otago District Health Board’s joint Research Advisory Group to make strategic distribution of research funds to maintain and build the high research profile of our organizations,” Research Advisory Group chairman Dr Andre van Rij says.

“The strategy for the investment is to firstly support to the school’s very successful and leading researchers, but also to encourage the up-and-coming researchers who have great ideas and potential and are going to be the Dunedin Medical School’s researchers of the future.

“The researchers have proposed some really great ideas for achieving this goal and this is where these additional funds need to go. They include building research groups in critical areas such as obesity in children, the better understanding of the biology of cancer, genetics of cardiovascular disease and looking at the social cost of alcohol abuse.”

There are five categories of awards, which will be presented to recipients at a ceremony at the University of Otago staff club starting at 5.30pm tonight. (Thursday)

Distinguished Researcher Awards

These awards support the highly regarded research outputs of the top researchers within the Dunedin School of Medicine. The Distinguished Researcher Award is worth $50,000 a year and may be renewed for up to three years, based on satisfactory annual reports. The applications were assessed on their potential long-term impact on the research group surrounding the distinguished researcher(s).

Recipient Research Group Department

Professor Ailsa Goulding &
Professor Jim Mann The Body Composition & Bone Health and The Diabetes Research groups Medical and Surgical Sciences
Professor John Langley Injury Prevention Research Unit Preventive and Social Medicine
Associate Professor Richie Poulton Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Research Unit Preventive and Social Medicine
Professor Stephen Robertson Clinical Genetics Group Women's & Children's Health
Professor Barry Taylor Foundation of a Multidisciplinary team researching the consequences & prevention of obesity Women's & Children's Health

Strategic Research Initiatives Awards

These awards support the research strategies researchers proposed to further the work of their research groups. It is hoped that by investing in these new strategies, which have been judged to have most potential for building new research opportunities, these awards will have an ongoing impact for the future of research in the school. Each award is worth $30,000 a year and may be renewed for up to three years, based on satisfactory annual reports.

Recipient Research Group Department

Dr Robert Hancox Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Research Unit Preventive and Social Medicine
Associate Professor John Highton
Dr Tony Merriman
Dr Paul Hessian Formation of a multidisciplinary team looking at rheumatic diseases Medical and Surgical Sciences
Dr Gregory Jones Vascular Research Group Medical and Surgical Sciences
Dr Anthony Reeder &
Associate Professor Robert McGee Social and Behavioural Research in Cancer Group Preventive and Social Medicine
Professor Robin Taylor Respiratory Research Unit Medical and Surgical Sciences

Faculty Trust Research Awards

These awards support high quality projects that will enhance the research standing or endeavour of the researcher, Dunedin School of Medicine or the University of Otago.
The funding for these awards has been made available to the Dunedin School of Medicine from Trust Funds from within the University Faculty of Health Science. Each award is valued to a maximum of $40,000.

Researchers Department Project Title

Professor Antony Braithwaite, Associate Professor Richie Poulton & Professor Stephen Robertson Pathology, Preventive and Social Medicine & Women's & Children's Health p53 and allostatic load
Mr Patrick Dawes,
Dr Ann Holmes,
Associate Professor Richard Cannon & Mr Dean Ruske Medical and Surgical Sciences New approaches to reduce Candida-associated voice prosthesis failure among Laryngectomees.
Professor Michael Eccles,
Associate Professor Michael Legge,
Dr Gillian Mackay Pathology Cancer stem cells: An emerging concept
Professor Grant Gillett Medical and Surgical Sciences Psychiatry, Philosophy, and the
Associate Professor John Highton, Dr Simon Stebbings,
Professor Gerrald Tannock &
Associate Professor Margaret Baird Medical and Surgical Sciences Immune reactivity to normal bowel microbiota in the pathogenesis of ankylosing spondylitis
Dr David Markie Pathology Protein Interaction discovery for cancer-related targets
Professor Robin Olds &
Dr Alison Fitches Pathology Are the Pleiotropic neutral molecules MDK & BDNF critical to mood stabilising drug actions?
Professor Robert Walker,
Associate Professor John Leader & Dr Jennifer Bedford Medical and Surgical Sciences The effect of lithium ions on gene activity in renal proximal tubule.
Professor Donald Wilson,
Dr Nicola Dean,
Associate Professor Peter Herbison & Ms Gaye Ellis Women’s & Children’s Health Longitudinal study of pelvic floor dysfunction and obstetric practice.

Research Publication Awards.

These awards each valued at $5,000 have been offered to encourage the publication of research that has been completed but not yet published. These prizes are awarded subject to the paper being published in the journal identified on the application, and are for the use of the entire authorship team to further their research. These awards are geared towards younger researchers to assist them in their early research initiatives.

Recipient Department Paper Title Journal

Mr Jordon Baker Medical and Surgical Sciences The effects of indomethacin and celecoxib on renal function in athletes Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Ms Louise Bicknell Women's & Children's Health Mutations in FLNB cause Boomerang dysplasia Journal of Medical Genetics
Dr Kirsten Coppell Medical and Surgical Sciences Under-reporting of diabetes on death certificates among a population with diabetes in Otago Province, NZ New Zealand Medical Journal
Ms Andrea Grant Medical and Surgical Sciences Do young New Zealand Pacific Island and European children differ in bone size or bone mineral? Calcified Tissue International
Mrs Gerry Hill Medical and Surgical Sciences A Prospective Study of the Fate of Venous Leg Perforators following Varicose Vein Surgery Journal of Vascular Surgery
Dr Robert Hancox Preventive and Social Medicine Television viewing during childhood is associated with poor educational achievement Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine
Dr Gregory Jones Medical and Surgical
Sciences Elastic lamina defects are an early feature of aortic lesions in the apolipoprotein E knockout mouse Journal of Vascular Research
Dr David Reith Women's & Children's Health Suicide and self-harm following prescription of SSRIs and other antidepressants: confounding by indication British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Professor Robin Taylor Medical and Surgical Sciences Optimising inhaled anti-inflammatory therapy for asthma using exhaled nitric oxide measurements New England Journal of Medicine
Ms Thea van Roode Preventive and Social Medicine Patterns of sexual and reproductive behaviour over the transition to adulthood: effects of class and education in a birth cohort Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health

The Gil Barbezat Summer Studentship Prize

This $250 prize is for the best report from a student who undertook a summer research project supervised by Dunedin School of Medicine staff. The summer projects are funded by a variety of organisations and the project culminates in the writing of a six-page report. A panel of senior staff assessed the reports. Approximately half the projects are funded through the Otago Medical Research Foundation and those were not eligible for the Gil Barbezat as they have their own prize, which is awarded independently.

Student Project Title Department

Mr Mohammad Amer Reduction of the recurrence of varicose veins Medical and Surgical Sciences


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