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Major new investment in University of Auckland Science

Major new investment in University of Auckland Science

A handheld skin cancer diagnostic device and a project to explore how underwater sound can influence beer fermentation are just two of eight University of Auckland Faculty of Science research projects to be awarded funding from this year’s Endeavour Fund.

Projects across the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Science receive a total investment of $18.6 million. The funding is from three to seven years.

Dean of Science Professor John Hosking said today’s announcement by Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith represented significant success and reflected the quality and innovation of research within the Faculty.

“These projects have the potential to significantly benefit the daily lives of New Zealanders and they are at the forefront of science internationally and I am extremely proud of the investigators who attracted funding this year,” he said.

Research led by Photon Factory founder Professor Cather Simpson from the University’s Department of Physics and the Department of Chemistry attracted funding of more than $12,802,791 for two projects.

She will lead development of ultra-fast laser manufacturing which receives $11,802,990 in funding while a project to develop portable and handheld devices for skin cancer diagnosis with the potential to provide a non-invasive method to detect cancerous skin lesions receives $999,804.

Research led by Professor Andrew Jeffs from the Institute of Marine Science receives $999,998 to help determine how different components of sound, such as pitch and loudness, can beneficially alter the fermentation process.

Other projects to receive funding under both the Endeavour Fund and the Smart Ideas initiative include $1 million for research led by Senior Lecturer Geoff Willmott from the Department of Physics who will explore improving the process for producing milk powder.

A project led by School of Biological Sciences Research Fellow Kim Handley will investigate how microbial processes influence groundwater quality while Professor Joel Baker from the School of Environment has been awarded $999,823 to develop a new tool for detecting and dating earthquakes in New Zealand’s distant past.

School of Biological Sciences Research Fellow Laura Domigan’s project to develop a new surgical adhesive formulated from proteins receives funding of $977,236 and Professor Jadranka Travas-Sejdic and Professor David Williams from the School of Chemistry receive $869,315 to develop a new method to selectively extract metastatic cancer cells from blood.

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