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Genetics Otago
University of Otago Research Centre

Otago-led study makes significant breast cancer findings

A global study led by GO co-director Associate Professor Logan Walker has discovered a gene, that when modified, could reduce the risk of breast cancer.

To find out more check out the University of Otago media release.

Otago Innovation Proof of Concept Grant 2021 winners receive Stanford entrepreneurship certificate

A group of GO members who were the Otago Innovation’s Proof of Concept Grant winners in 2021, Dr Erin Macaulay, Dr Chi Lynch-Sutherland and Professor Mike Eccles, of the Department of Pathology, along with Dr Sarah Diermeier, of the Department of Biochemistry and founding Chief Scientific Officer of Amaroq Therapeutics, have gained entrepreneurship qualifications from Stanford Online.

Read more on the Otago Bulletin Board.

Academic Promotions

Congratulations to our members who have had academic promotions announced!

Stephanie Hughes (Department of Biochemistry)
David Orlovich (Department of Botany)
James Ussher (Microbiology and Immunology)

Associate Professor:
Louise Bicknell (Department of Biochemistry)
Lynette Brownfield (Department of Biochemistry)
Heather Cunliffe (Department of Pathology)
Matthew Parry (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)

You can read more about the promotions on the Otago Bulletin.

$3.8 million to Otago researchers in Career Development Awards

Genetics Otago member Dr Simon Jackson (Department of Microbiology and Immunology) is one of three Otago recipients of the prestigious Sir Charles Hercus Fellowships, for his research “A genomics-led approach to bacteriophage therapies for infectious disease”.

Read more on the University of Otago Bulletin Board.

Research award for GO Member

Genetics Otago researcher Dr Emma Wade (Department of Women’s and Children’s Health) has been awarded an Innovations Jump Start Award by Medicines New Zealand.

Dr Wade has discovered a protein that may help wound healing following surgery as an incidental finding while looking for the cause of a rare disease in a patient.

You can read more about the finding in this Otago Daily Times article: Research award for local scientist.

More good news for leading genetics researcher

Genetics Otago member Professor Stephen Robertson (Department of Women’s and Children’s Health) has been awarded the Hercus Medal from the Royal Society Te Apārangi, for research on genetic conditions impacting children and seeking to establish equitable delivery of genomic medicine for Māori.

Read more on the Otago Bulletin Board.

New Chair appointed to Genetics Mātai Ira Governance Board

Dr Michelle Thunders has been appointed Chair of the Genetics Mātai Ira Governance Board. The board oversees both Genetics Otago and the Genetics Teaching Programme.  Dr Thunders replaces outgoing Chair Professor Greg Jones who we thank for his contribution to the board over the past 7 years.

Read more on the University of Otago Bulletin Board.

Ulcer patch first in Department of Physiology to receive Smart Ideas funding

Genetics Otago member Associate Professor Rajesh Katare has received Smart Idea funding from MBIE to research the development of a novel, multi-use, off-the-shelf, biodegradable ulcer patch as an advanced wound-care product.

Read more on the University of Otago Bulletin Board.

Mystery of extinct fish unravelled

Nearly 100 years after its last confirmed sighting, University of Otago researchers, including Genetics Otago member Dr Nic Rawlence, have revealed the genealogical story of the upokororo or New Zealand grayling.

Read more via the University of Otago News

Publication details

Ancient DNA from the extinct New Zealand grayling (Prototroctes oxyrhynchus) reveals evidence for Miocene marine dispersal
Lachie Scarsbrook, Kieren J. Mitchell, Matthew D. McGee, Gerard P. Closs, and Nicolas J. Rawlence
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society

Efficient species monitoring method proves worth in Otago study

Genetic information is a critical part of conservation research but has proven invasive and costly – until now. Find out more about how Genetics Otago Member Dr Clare Adams has used eDNA to help monitor pāua colonies.

Full story in this media release.