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

 


Innovative Otago health research gains funding

Innovative Otago health research gains funding


Four University of Otago researchers have gained a total of around $550,000 to support their innovative studies in the latest funding announcement by the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC).

Two of the three 2014 HRC Explorer Grants have been awarded to Professor Greg Cook (Microbiology & Immunology) and Associate Professor John Reynolds (Anatomy) for projects aiming to overcome antibiotic resistance and revolutionise treatment of Parkinson’s disease, respectively.

Explorer grants are intended to advance ideas considered to be transformative, innovative, exploratory or unconventional, and have potential for major impact.

Professor Julian Crane (Medicine, Wellington) and Associate Professor Bob Hancox (Preventive and Social Medicine) gained HRC Feasibility Studies Awards to glean critical practical information needed for their investigations to progress towards fundable projects.

Professor Crane is studying the potential of a seaweed extract called Carrageenan to be topically used in the nose to prevent the common cold, while Associate Professor Hancox is focusing on determining whether beta-blockers may actually be a safe and effective treatment for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Professor Cook’s Explorer grant will support him to develop novel antibiotics that aim to transform the way we treat bacterial infections and combat multi-drug-resistant bacteria.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released its first global report on antibiotic resistance, revealing it as a serious, worldwide threat to public health.

In contrast to current antibiotic targets such as the cell wall, and protein and DNA synthesis, Professor Cook’s team have developed new antibiotics that target the part of all living cells that produce energy. These new antibiotics or ‘metabiotics’, so-called because they target a metabolic process, will help the medical community keep pace with the growing problem of bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

Professor John Reynolds will use his Explorer Grant to demonstrate the effectiveness of a new drug delivery system that he and his team have designed for restoring brain function in patients with neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.

The system mimics normal neuro-chemical signalling in the brain. The researchers aim to reinstate the missing dopamine signal in Parkinson’s disease (PD) by activating the release of dopamine-like drugs from biological carriers in targeted brain areas at natural timing. They aim to restore movement in a PD model without the debilitating side effects associated with current dopamine-replacement therapies.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Negotiations Fail: Christchurch Convention Centre Build To Proceed Without PCNZ

After protracted negotiations, the government has ditched the construction consortium it picked to build Christchurch's replacement convention centre, which it now anticipates delivering at least two years behind the original schedule. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: Greenpeace Launches Legal Challenge Against $1b Dam Plan

Greenpeace NZ is launching a legal challenge against a controversial plan to build a dam that’s set to cost close to $1 billion and will pollute a region’s rivers. More>>

ALSO:

Inequality: Top 10% Of Housholds Have Half Of Total Net Worth

The average New Zealand household was worth $289,000 in the year to June 2015, Statistics New Zealand said today. However wealth was not evenly distributed, with the top 10 percent accounting for around half of total wealth. In contrast, the bottom 40 percent held 3 percent of total wealth. More>>

ALSO:

What Winter? Temperature Records Set For June 20-22

The days around the winter soltice produced a number of notably warm tempertaures. More>>

Conservation Deal: New Kākāpō Recovery Partnership Welcomed

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says the new kakapo recovery partnership between DOC and Meridian Energy is great news for efforts to save one of New Zealand’s most beloved birds. More>>

ALSO:

Tech Sector Report: Joyce Warns Asian Tech Investors View NZ As Hobbits And Food

Speaking in Wellington at the launch of a report showcasing the value of the technology sector to the New Zealand economy, Joyce said more had to be done to tell the country's technology stories overseas. More>>

ALSO:

Mediaglommeration: APN Gets OIO Approval For Demerger Plan

APN News & Media has received Overseas Investment Office approval for its plan to split out its NZME unit ahead of a potential merger with rival Fairfax Media's New Zealand operations. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news