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School of Medical Sciences

Keep up to date with all the latest news and information from the School of Medical Sciences.

Message from the Head of School

Kia ora Koutou

As semester one teaching draws to a close and the students enter the exam period I think we can breathe a huge sigh of relief that we made it through the majority of the semester with face to face teaching.

We intend to use the brief pause between semesters to reflect on how the strategic directions outlined by Taumata Teitei, the University’s Vision 2030 and Strategic Plan 2025, will impact on the School of Medical Sciences and how we can best align our future activities with the Strategy. To facilitate this the School Executive is planning a strategic retreat to discuss strategic objectives and we will present some of these options at a School forum planned for the 15th of July.

A high priority in our strategic thinking is developing a strategic approach to Māori advancement which seeks to increase the numbers of Māori involved in biomedical research. To achieve this any strategy we adopt will have to involve consultation with our Māori stakeholders and will have to span from community engagement at the school and whanau level, through to a support system for Māori students in our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes which also provides opportunities for Māori to engage in our research. This framework will be a big undertaking, but we are not starting from scratch as a number of groups within or associated with the School have established relationships with Māori which we can leverage. Hence, our goal is to work with existing programmes and groups, but develop a framework that can utilise the resources of the School to enhance and sustain existing efforts to create a culturally appropriate environment for Māori students to engage in and with biomedical research and research groups. To this end, we have established an SMS Māori Advancement Working group to work with our Māori stakeholders to develop a strategic plan to create the environment necessary to support Māori involvement in biomedical research. One of the first actions of this working group will be to hold a hui so that we can consult with our Māori stakeholders

I would also like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of a number of long serving Professional staff who have elected to avail themselves of the Voluntary Leaving Scheme. Between them Nick Duggan (Anatomy), Irina Rudykh (Physiology teaching Labs), Megan Spiers (Group Services), Arthur Frankcom-Burgess (Physiology technical support) have provided many decades of support, technical expertise, laughter and friendship to many groups within the school and wider faculty and will be sorely missed. So thank you all for your years of service and we all wish you well as you embark on the next stages of your respective life’s.

In closing, it is always good to reflect on the high quality of research that is produced by researchers within the School. Most recently this has been recognised by the award of the 2021 University of Auckland Research Excellence Medal to Professors Laura Bennet, Alistair Gunn and Dr Jo Davidson from the Department of Physiology. While the award of Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit to Sir William Denny of the  Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre is a fitting recognition for Bill’s long career and his phenomenal contributions to academic and translational drug discovery.

Ngā mihi

Paul

New PhD students

New PhD students

We welcome Anna Worthington and Karren Wood, PhD students.

New PhD students

New PhD students

We welcome our PhD students Francis Middleton and Kelly Peterken.

Spatial proteomic mass spectrometry imaging

Spatial proteomic mass spectrometry imaging

Dr George Guo has recently published his software package to automatically annotate spatial proteomic mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) data in the journal Nature Communications.

Postgraduate Success

Postgraduate Success

Congratulations to, Nour Ghamri and Wouter van Leeuwen, Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre who successfully defended their thesis.

Velocity Innovation Challenge

Velocity Innovation Challenge

Congratulations to Victoria King, Simerdeep Dhillon, Michael Beacom, Benjamin Lear, Christopher Lear, Mark Gunning who won the 2021 Velocity Innovation Challenge.

A project led by Dr Stephen Ritchie and Associate Professor Mark Thomas

A project led by Dr Stephen Ritchie and Associate Professor Mark Thomas

Dr Stephen Ritchie and Associate Professor Mark Thomas in the Department of Molecular Medicine and Pathology, with co-investigators has been awarded a grant of $1.2 million to conduct a 3 year project aimed at reducing prescribing of antibiotics by GPs for patients with upper respiratory tract infections.