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Pacific Postdoctoral Fellow investigates cancer

14 December 2006

HRC Pacific Postdoctoral Fellow investigates cancer in Pacific peoples

Cancer is a major public health problem for Pacific peoples both in the Pacific and New Zealand.

Investigating the occurrence and causes of cancer in Pacific populations is the focus of a new Pacific Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship awarded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC).

Dr Sunia Foliaki, based at the Centre for Public Health Research at Massey University in Wellington, has been awarded the Fellowship and will use it to expand on the limited research in this area to date.

The Fellowship provides support for outstanding graduates who have recently completed a degree at doctoral level and who propose to conduct research in any discipline related to improving the health of Pacific people. This provides up to three years' salary support for researchers to gain further experience in their chosen fields and become established as an independent researcher.

Dr Foliaki’s epidemiology research programme will involve undertaking a comprehensive analysis of cancer incidence and mortality in a number of Pacific countries as well as Pacific people in New Zealand. His study programme will also involve work on case-control studies into breast cancer among Pacific women in the Pacific and New Zealand and gastric cancer in four Pacific countries.

HRC Chief Executive Dr Bruce Scoggins says building capacity and capability in the Pacific health research community is a key focus for the HRC.

“The HRC is committed to creating and promoting a New Zealand research environment that is supportive and enabling of Pacific research workforce development,” Dr Scoggins says.

-ends-

A full list of HRC Pacific Seeding Grant, Pacific Summer Studentship and Pacific Career Development Award funding recipients for 2006 follows:

Pacific Seeding Grants:
Name Host Title Amount
Kirk Mariner University of Auckland What are the key competencies required by Managers of Pacific Island descent working within a mainstream health organisation $5,000
Eipo Tutagalevao Auckland University of Technology Samoan fathering roles $5,000
Neti Herman University of Auckland Comparing the effects of physical activity and food intake on weight and BMI amongst Cook Islands adolescents in Auckland and the Cook Islands $5,000

Pacific Summer Studentships :
Name Host Title Amount
Ana Fonua Massey University Pacific youth health in perspectives $4,000
Prerna Sehgal University of Otago Bridging the gap: Strategies to promote the recruitment and retention of Pacific Islanders into the health professions $4,000
Robert Nawalowalo Wellington Institute of Technology The worst of both worlds? Cultural identity and Pacific male youth in New Zealand $4,000
Joshua Bradley University of Auckland Molecular properties of receptor activity modifying protein 3 $4,000

Pacific Career Development Awards:
Name Award Title Amount
Catherine Poutasi Masters 24 months What motivates the recruitment and retention of Pacific people in the New Zealand health workforce $18,218
Luisa Ape-Esera Masters 14 months Scoping the current and future Pacific and Maori forensic workforce in New Zealand $17,184
Roannie Ng Shiu PhD 36 months A longitudinal study in the determinants and barriers of success for Pacific health students $96,981
Sunia Foliaki Postdoctoral Fellowship 36 months Cancer in Pacific populations $325,697

ENDS

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