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Issue 381 | 29 May 2015 | Previous Issues

A personal message from the Dean


I wish to advise that from next week, the Dean’s Diary will be coming to you fortnightly rather than weekly, but still on a Friday. This gives our superb communications staff just a little more time to prepare the stories.

On Tuesday night, I was delighted to attend the SPARK Ideas Challenge awards where a total of $40,000 of prizes was awarded to a bevy of very enterprising students. In a packed Fisher and Paykel Auditorium, prizes were given for such things as a portable device that uses DNA to diagnose disease, a novel way to prevent “surfer’s ear”, magnetic sensors to predict earthquakes and an app that monitors people to alleviate burnout.

The FMHS prize was awarded to Ilesha Makan, a third year BSc (Biomed) student and James McKeage a PhD student in Bioengineering for developing ‘Adrenerx’: a revolutionary and user-friendly adrenaline auto-injector. Other winners from the faculty included Yeri Kim, Sanjay Marasini, and Professor Colin Green from the Department of Ophthalmology for ‘Eyeline’ - a test that can efficiently identify patients at high risk of primary open angle glaucoma.

Victor Dieriks from the Centre for Brain Research who with others developed a proposed venture called ‘Monoceros Select’ to measure fitness of a racehorse by taking CT, X-ray and motion data and comparing it to an extensive database. Dedeepya Uppalapati and Darren Svirskis from the School of Pharmacy led a team that won an award for developing 'InStrip’, an insulin delivery system which senses blood glucose levels and automatically adjusts the insulin dosing. Warmest congratulations to those students.

The staff survey has now closed and the faculty did well with a 53 percent response rate. This compared to an overall response rate of 63 percent across the University. Thank you all those who took the time to respond and we look forward to communicating the results of the survey with you shortly.

After much consideration, the University has chosen CANVAS as its Learning Management System to replace Cecil. CANVAS is well tested around the world but this will be the first New Zealand university site. Full transition to CANVAS is aimed at semester One 2016. There will be extensive communication and workshops made available for staff to familiarise themselves with this tool.

 

Regards,

John Fraser, PhD, FRSNZ

Dean, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

The University of Auckland

 

Scholarship recipients receive a first taste of real research


Earlier this month our faculty hosted the Summer Research Scholarship Prize giving.

The Summer Research Scholarship scheme gives our undergraduate students a $5000 stipend and the opportunity to spend 10 weeks working within a research environment. This gives the students the chance to mix with researchers and postgraduate students who are working at the forefront of their chosen fields. 

As a key part of the scholarships, students are asked to complete a final report detailing and discussing the research they have conducted, its significance and the impact it’s had on their development. 

As sponsor, the Wallath Trust awards prizes of $750 to each student with the top ranked research report in the categories of Biomedical, Clinical and Public Health.

The Wallath Trust also awards highly commended certificates to the next three highly ranked students (or next four if evenly ranked).

Warm congratulations to all those students who received prizes in this year’s Summer Research Scholarships. We have listed the award recipients below:

2015 Wallath Trust prize winners are:

Biomedical category
Highly commended:

Winner: Wen-Han Joshua Chang (Anatomy with Radiology)

 

Clinical category
Highly commended:

Winner: Vicky Tai (Medicine)

 

Public Health category
Highly commended:

Winner: Todd Gammie (Pharmacy)

 

A+ Charitable Trust Prize 2014/2015

Highly commended: Robyn Scott (ADHB)

Runner up: Jade Lau Young (ADHB)

Winner: Lydia Hingston (ADHB)

 

Of the 133 studentships awarded this year, 41 were sponsored through our faculty’s long-standing relationships with external funders – the highest number of externally supported studentships in recent years.

These include:

 

Image of From left: Prof John Fraser (Dean), Wen-Han Chang (winner), Rachael Wiltshire, Oliver Brown, Molly Swanson
From left: Professor John Fraser (Dean), Wen-Han Chang (winner), Rachael Wiltshire, Oliver Brown and Molly Swanson
From left: Tessa Morgan, David Bassett, Haya Al-Ani, Todd Gammie (winner) and Professor John Fraser (Dean)
From left: Tessa Morgan, David Bassett, Haya Al-Ani, Todd Gammie (winner) and Professor John Fraser (Dean)
Image of From left: Pin (Aaron Ong), Emily Charlotte-Allen, Michael Wang, Conor Rea, Vicky Tai (winner) and Professor John Fraser (Dean)
From left: Pin (Aaron) Ong, Emily Charlotte-Allen, Michael Wang, Conor Rea, Vicky Tai (winner) and Professor John Fraser (Dean)
Image of From left: Lydia Hingston (winner), Dr Margaret Wilsher and Jade Lau Young
From left: Lydia Hingston (winner), Dr Margaret Wilsher and Jade Lau Young

New insights into lymphatic system


Image of Dr Jonathan Astin (Department of Molecular Medicine and Pathology)
Dr Jonathan Astin (Department of Molecular Medicine and Pathology)

Warm congratulations to one of our research fellows Dr Jonathan Astin (Department of Molecular Medicine and Pathology) who has contributed to research into the human lymphatic system published in Nature recently.

Nature is one of the world’s leading scientific journals. Read more