Ashim Maharjan was born in Nepal and moved to New Zealand when he was 8 years old. Stemmed from his own personal interest in fitness and health he has completed both undergraduate and Masters degrees at the University of Otago and is currently working on his PhD. This is his story, in his own words, about his educational journey at Otago.
My life has always involved fitness and health – whether it was studying at undergraduate in physical education and neuroscience, or my obsessive love of training at the gym and jujitsu. I have always been fascinated with how people of different builds are attracted to the fitness and health industry, and why some succeed in their goals, and others don’t.
Obesity is a disease affecting a large number of the population, not just in New Zealand, but all across the globe. Food is enticing due to its visual allure and smell, which can act as stimuli that ultimately contribute to the obesity problem. My Masters research confirmed that stimulation of an area of the inner foreman suppressed the sense of smell, and now my PhD research is looking whether a similar suppression could apply to both smell and food senses. Any outcome has the potential for clinical applications to help suppress hunger and appetite and therefore achieve weight-loss and improve overall health.
When I started at Otago, my undergraduate degree in physical education really focused on the body; then I shifted focus to neuroscience and the role of the brain. Jumping disciplines is quite interesting as it requires a change in mind-set, and now I’m researching in a multi-disciplinary way across anatomy and food science which combines it altogether. I was born in Nepal and have lived in NZ since I was 8.
To start your educational journey at Otago, follow the link below.
Nicky Richardson is an International Marketing Coordinator at the University of Otago. With degrees in music and marketing, both from Otago, she is passionate about education, and the places it can take you.