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

 

Crown Accounts: Government Ekes Out Six-Month Surplus Of $9M

The New Zealand government eked out a tiny surplus in the first six months of the fiscal year as growth in domestic consumption lifted the goods and services tax take, while uncertainties over the Kaikoura earthquake costs meant expenses were less than expected. More>>

ALSO:

Almost 400 Jobs: Shock At Cadbury's Dunedin Factory Closure

Workers at Cadbury in Dunedin are reeling after learning this morning that the iconic Cadbury factory is to close, with the loss of almost 400 jobs... “The company had reported it was doing well and this has come out of the blue,” says Chas. More>>

ALSO:

Transport: Boards Of Inquiry For Auckland Roading Projects

Boards of Inquiry have been appointed to decide on two significant Auckland roading projects in a move which will get a decision by the end of the year, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Three Months On: Quake Reciovery In Kaikōura And Elsewhere

Three months after the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on 14 November, encouraging recovery progress is being made in affected communities. More>>

ALSO:

Jetstar, Qantas For Govt Transport: Government Still In Talks With Air NZ

The government is still negotiating with national carrier Air New Zealand in a cross-agency air travel contract that will add a number of new airlines to the list of approved flyers. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news