News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Funding for heart and gut research

Funding for heart and gut research at Auckland Bioengineering Institute

Research into heart and gut disease at Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI) has received a significant boost with recent funding from the New Zealand Health Research Council (HRC).

A five-year research programme looking at the biomechanics of heart disease has been awarded $4,964,878, while two researchers from ABI’s Gastrointestinal Research Group have received HRC Emerging Researcher funding of $250,000 each to look at electrical abnormalities in the gut.

The heart team led by Professor Martyn Nash, Honorary Professor of Biomedical Engineering at ABI and in Engineering Science, is looking at biomechanical factors such as stiffness and stress which are known to have important influences on heart function, but are difficult to quantify.

Working with Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences’ researchers Professor Alistair Young, a medical imaging expert, and National Heart Foundation Professor of Heart Health, Rob Doughty, Professor Nash’s team will develop novel tools for robust evaluation of biomechanical factors in cardiac patients.

“The new knowledge from this programme will improve our understanding of the mechanisms of heart disease,” says ABI research fellow Dr Vicky Wang. “This will enable better targeting of treatment, leading to better outcomes for patients and reduced health care costs.”

Gut research at ABI also aims to improve outcomes for patients. Research Fellow, Dr Timothy Angeli is using his HRC Emerging Researcher grant to develop gastric ablation as a novel treatment for slow wave abnormalities. (Slow waves form part of underlying bio-electrical activity in the gut. Abnormal slow waves have been associated with major functional gastrointestinal disorders, such as gastroparesis, chronic unexplained nausea and vomiting, and functional dyspepsia.)

“Ablation is a technique to destroy specific regions of tissue to eliminate these electrical abnormalities,” says Angeli. “This holds great promise for delivering a new therapy for patients suffering from severe gastrointestinal disorders.”

Dr Niranchan Paskaranandavadivel is using his HRC Emerging Researcher grant to develop new high resolution experimental mapping techniques to investigate slow wave intervals.

“This research looks to advance gastrointestinal electrophysiology and has the potential to create new diagnostics and therapeutics for patients.”

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Howard Davis: 'Dunkirk'

The British have an extraordinary penchant for celebrating catastrophic military defeats. It is not only the Battle of Hastings, the Charge of the Light Brigade, and Gallipoli that have become immortalized in prose, poetry, and movies ...

Conservation: Gecko Stolen From DOC Visitor Centre

A long-term resident at the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre has been stolen. The Marlborough green gecko was reported missing on 19 July. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Rare Ingredients

When I heard Kiazim was publishing a cookbook, I jumped at the opportunity... I was back in New Zealand, but how hard could it be to create Turkish-Cypriot cuisine on the opposite side of the world? Well, it turns out — pretty damn hard. More>>

Remembrance: British Memorial Design Revealed

After years of work with Weta Workshop, the British High Commission has revealed the final design of the United Kingdom’s presence in Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: The Whole Intimate Mess

Alison McCulloch: Walker’s account of what she went through is harrowing and intimate, and, at risk of sounding trite, very brave. More>>

Howard Davis: The Kuijken String Quartet

Chamber Music New Zealand has scored another coup with the Kuijken String Quartet's current tour of New Zealand. As the co-founder of both La Petite Bande in 1972 and the Kuijken String Quartet in 1986, Sigiswald Kuijken is internationally recognized ... More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland