Scholarship studies will benefit clinical practice

11 July 2013


New Zealand’s public health system will benefit from Kate Yang’s recent Fulbright Scholarship experience when she returns from America next year.

Kate is using her scholarship award to attend Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts and complete a Master of Public Health in Clinical Effectiveness, specialising in statistical and epidemiological methods for translating scientific research into clinical relevance.

Last year Kate was an honorary academic at The University of Auckland after completing a Bachelor of Human Biology in 2006 and a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery in 2009.

Her PhD project at The University of Auckland focussed on a basic sciences project investigating mitochondrial dysfunction in acute pancreatitis.

“It’s a life-threatening disease that’s really important to New Zealand, and affects Maori women more than any other ethnic group in the world,” says Kate. 

“Basically it was taking a step back from the patients, into the laboratory to look at what causes disease severity and how we can modify that,” says Kate.

“This year I’m learning research tools to translate those findings to clinical relevance,” she says. “I believe the New Zealand healthcare system will benefit greatly from incorporating basic science research into everyday clinical practice.”

“One day I hope we have a real understanding of the disease and a cure so that patients can be treated before they need an operation,” says Kate.  “My ultimate goal is to return to New Zealand and start up a world leading research laboratory managing surgical disease.”

Fulbright Awards are made to promising New Zealand graduate students to undertake postgraduate study or research at American institutions in any field with eight awarded each year.

In November 2012, Kate also won an AMP National Scholarship as one of New Zealand’s outstanding graduates, to further her studies overseas.

For more information contact:

Suzi Phillips, Media Relations Advisor,
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences,
Communications, The University of Auckland.
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 87383 or Mob 021416396