Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Physiology celebrates a century of teaching

April 14, 2005

Physiology celebrates a century of teaching and research

It will be exactly 100 years to the day on May 1 that the first lecture in physiology was given in the Otago Medical School by Prof John Malcolm.

To celebrate its centennial, the Department of Physiology is holding a symposium on the weekend of April 30 – May 1 which features some prominent guests, the unveiling of a centennial sculpture and a formal dinner.

And to mark the milestone, the main foyer of the Lindo Ferguson Building in the Medical School complex, home to the department since 1927 is being renovated. A sculpture by artist Don Hunter called "Re Collection 100" will be unveiled in the foyer as part of the celebrations.

Guest speakers at the symposium include Assoc. Prof. Dot Page (formerly Head of History, Otago), Emeritus Prof. Douglass Taylor (formerly Professor of Physiology, Otago), Prof. Ian McDonald (formerly Professor, Queen’s Square Neurology, London) and Dr Chris O’Donnell (Univ. Pittsburgh Medical Centre, USA).
The department owes its beginnings to the generosity of philanthropist Mr Wolf Harris, who in 1905 placed the sum of £2000 with the University of Otago’s Council towards the endowment of a Chair of Physiology.

Over the century the department has built on its strengths and can boast several unique claims – Otago was the first university in New Zealand to establish a chair in the discipline, but most significantly, it is the only department at the university which has a Nobel Prize winner amongst its ranks.

Sir John Eccles, who chaired the department from 1944-51, was a co-winner of the Nobel Prize in 1963 for his work in the field of neurophysiology. As a result he earned the nickname “Synaptic Jack.”

The current head of department Dr Pat Cragg says Physiology – the study of how the body works - has suffered in the past as a discipline.

“We always need to explain what we are. We are not well defined and very little physiology is taught in schools curriculum,” she says.

However, Professor Allan Herbison says students are returning to physiology as people realise that it is physiology that will now have to unravel how genes actually work – now that the human genome has been mapped by biochemists.

He says recent rises in enrolments in physiology can be attributed to students recognising that fact. Emeritus Professor Tony Wheatley agrees there is a swing back to physiology. He says with the advancement of gene technology it will also be the function of physiology to explain how genetic changes create functional changes in the body.

The 100 year celebration will begin with the unveiling of the commemorative sculpture during the opening ceremony at 10am on Saturday April 30th.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Media Mega Merger: StuffMe Hearing Argues Over Moveable Feast

New Zealand's two largest news publishers are appealing against the Commerce Commission's rejection of the proposal to merge their operations. More>>

Elsewhere:


Approval: Northern Corridor Decision Released

The approval gives the green light to construction of the last link of Auckland’s Western Ring Route, providing an alternative route from South Auckland to the North Shore. More>>

ALSO:


Crown Accounts: $4.1 Billion Surplus

The New Zealand Government has achieved its third fiscal surplus in a row with the Crown accounts for the year ended 30 June 2017 showing an OBEGAL surplus of $4.1 billion, $2.2 billion stronger than last year, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. More>>

ALSO:

Mycoplasma Bovis: One New Property Tests Positive

The newly identified property... was already under a Restricted Place notice under the Biosecurity Act. More>>

Accounting Scandal: Suspension Of Fuji Xerox From All-Of-Government Contract

General Manager of New Zealand Government Procurement John Ivil says, “FXNZ has been formally suspended from the Print Technology and Associated Services (PTAS) contract and terminated from the Office Supplies contract.” More>>