2010 News Archive

  • NZSBMB successes for Biochemistry students
  • 06/12/2010
  • Biochem Dept PhD students were seriously over-represented amongst student prize-winners at the joint conference of the New Zealand Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the New Zealand Microbiological Society in Auckland recently. Read more >>
  • HRC Grant for Cancer Research
  • 02/12/2010
  • ParryGuilford
    Associate Professor Parry Guilford has been granted $290,000 for work developing a diagnostic test for predicting survival and drug response in ovarian cancer. This work will be done in collaboration with Professor Jean Paul Thiery from the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Singapore (funded by Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research). Read more >>
  • Lotteries Grants
  • 02/12/2010
  • Dr Cushla McKinney and Associate Professor Parry Guilford were successful in the latest round of Lotteries Health funding. Dr McKinney received a $94,000 project grant for "Identification of genes contributing to progression from hyperuricaemia to gout ", and Assoc Prof Guilford was granted $41,000 for "Genetic predictors of capecitabine toxicity". Read more >>
  • Dr Mary Thompson retires
  • 29/11/2010
  • DSCF5006
    Friday 26th November was Dr Mary Thompson's last day in the Department. She was farewelled with a morning tea and a dinner at the Staff Club. The Department presented Mary with an Oamaru stone garden sculpture, a weather station and a milk-frother at the morning tea, and a beautiful glass vase with an orchid in it at the dinner. She reciprocated by giving the Department one of her landscape paintings. Read more >>
  • Supercomputing award
  • 02/11/2010
  • MikTony
    Dr Mik Black and Associate Professor Tony Merriman have been awarded a share in one million hours of supercomputing time at the University of Canterbury's BlueFern supercomputer facility Read more >>
  • Katie Hope wins Best Lab Demonstrator
  • 01/11/2010
  • Katie Hope, who is in the first year of a Masters degree in Dr Stephanie Hughes's lab, has won this years Best Lab Demonstrator Award for her contribution to small group teaching in the Medical programme in 2010. Congratulations Katie! Read more >>
  • Open Day
  • 11/10/2010
  • OpenDay
    On Friday 8 October about 120 first year and 20 second year students attended the Biochemistry Department Open Day, a student outreach event coordinated by Dr. Rebecca Laurie and chaired by Tony Zaharic and Dr. Craig Marshall. Interest in the event was  high as teaching staff gave an overview of each of the 200- and 300-level papers on offer and fielded questions from the students. Read more >>
  • 2010 Marsden Success
  • 24/09/2010
  • Three members of Biochemistry Department staff won grants in the latest round of the Marsden Fund. Associate Professors Peter Dearden and Mike Legge were the recipients of three-year project grants, and Dr Martin Hohmann-Marriott received a Fast-Start grant. Read more >>
  • Schools Outreach Programme
  • 27/10/2010
  • SANY0011
    On 21st October the Year 13 Biology students from Otago Girls High School came into the Department to do an experiment and hear a lecture on recombinant proteins as therapeutic agents as part of our Schools Outreach Programme. Read more >>
  • Visiting lecturer Thomas Proft
  • 29/09/2010
  • Proft
    On Tuesday 28th September,  University of Auckland senior lecturer Thomas Proft presented a discussion of his latest research on Streptococcus pyogenes virulence mechanisms, along with new protein crystallography data on Gram positive pilus proteins. Read more >>
  • Assoc Prof Catherine Day wins award
  • 06/12/2010
  • Life Tech 20101
    Congratulations to Catherine Day who was awarded the New Zealand Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Life Technologies award. This is the premier award of the Society and is awarded annually for outstanding scientific research. Catherine gave a great talk on her research team's work on RING domain proteins, their role in apoptotic pathways, and the regulation of their activities. Read more >>
  • Tracy Josephs wins poster prize
  • 09/09/2010
  • TracyPoster
    PhD student Tracy Josephs was last night awarded 1st equal prize for her poster “Does the first naturally occurring mutation of cytochrome c challenge the current understanding of apoptosis?” at the Division of Health Sciences Research Forum “Pathways from Discovery to Delivery”. Read more >>
  • 2010 Teaching awards for Biochemistry staff
  • 19/10/2010
  • TonyPeter
    The OUSA 2010 teaching awards were held last night in the staff club. From a very strong field of excellent teachers a list of the top ten teachers at Otago was named. This short list included perennial favorites like Mark Heneghan, Dean of the Faculty of Law, and our own Tony Zaharic.  A new award for best use of humor in teaching was given out for the first time this year. Its recipient was the beaming Assoc Prof. Peter Dearden. At the end of this year's event, Matt Tucker of OUSA announced that for the third time Tony Zaharic had been named the OUSA Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Congratulations, Tony and Peter Read more >>
  • Biochemistry success at poster evening
  • 26/08/2010
  • winners groupsmall
    On Thursday 19 August, the Otago School of Medical Sciences, Genetics Otago, and the Centre for Reproduction and Genomics combined to host a seminar and poster evening.  The seminar was presented by Professor Michael Cowley, Director of the Monash Obesity and Diabetes Institute, Monash University and was attended by more than 100 staff and students.  Read more >>
  • Associate Professor Kevin Farnden retires
  • 27/08/2010
  • SANY0003
    Tuesday 31 August will be Professor Kevin Farnden's last day in the department, after 37 years as lecturer, convenor of Plant Biotechnology, and latterly as Deputy Head of Department to Assoc Prof John Cutfield. Read more >>
  • Te Tipu Putaiao Fellowship
  • 02/07/2010
  • AndreaDonaldson2
    Andrea Donaldson, who recently completed an MSc on blood spatter, has been awarded a FoRST Te Tipu PÅ«taiao Fellowship for her PhD studies into time of death determination. Read more >>
  • Dr Miriam Sharpe on National Radio
  • 27/08/2010
  • miriamGlowworms
    Dr Miriam Sharpe, from Prof Kurt Krause's lab, spoke on the Radio New Zealand National programme "Our Changing World" last night. The twenty minute programme was recorded as she and Kurt collected glow worms with Ruth Beran of National Radio. Read more >>
  • Major HRC Funding
  • 11/06/2010
  • Professor Warren Tate and Associate Professor Catherine Day have been awarded major funding in the recent round of HRC grants. Professor Tate's research group is part of a multidisciplinary team, headed by Professor Cliff Abraham, which received a five year, $4.5M project grant to investigate aspects of Alzheimer's Disease. Associate Professor Day received $1M to fund research into the way in which certain compounds work to regulate cell death. Read more >>
  • Prof Iain Lamont is Distinguished Speaker
  • 08/07/2010
  • Lamont
    Prof. Iain Lamont of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Otago is the recipient of the New Zealand Microbiological Society's distinguished speaker (orator) award for 2010 and will present the annual distinguished speaker oratory at nzms2010 (small things, BIG ideas; Auckland University, 30. November - 03. December, 2010). Read more >>
  • Anderson Trust Grants
  • 03/06/2010
  • Dr Sigurd Wilbanks and Associate Professor Sally McCormick have received $70,000 and $45,000 respectively from the Anderson Trust to further their research. Read more >>
  • New post-doctoral fellow
  • 03/05/2010
  • SANY0001.jpg
    Dr Karen Yates is a new post-doctoral fellow in Prof. Krause's research group and is interested in the structural characterization of the interactions between viral and host proteins. Prior to joining Prof. Krause's  group, she did her PhD in the research group of Prof. Sträter at Leipzig University, Germany. Read more >>
  • Graduation Function
  • 08/05/2010
  • 2010Graduation.jpg
    We had our Department Graduation function for the students and families of our BSc, BSc Honours, M.Sc and Ph. D. graduates this past Saturday. The tea room was filled to overflowing. It was a great time to meet with students and their families on a memorable occasion. The event was co-hosted by Kurt Krause, HOD Biochemistry and Clive Ronson, Director of Genetics with expert assistance from Robyn Thompson, Chelsea Ivey and Lois Martin plus special credit to Dan Garama and Tracey Josephs. Read more >>
  • New HOD
  • 05/02/2010
  • As of the first of February our Head of Department is Professor Kurt Krause. His research is on the structural biology of infectious diseases. He has active projects presently on alanine racemase as a target for drug design, innate immunity in HIV and surface antigens of Streptococci. He also has a longstanding interest in bioluminescence, such as that exhibited by the NZ glowworm, Arachnocampa luminosa. Kurt came to Otago in 2006 from Texas where he worked for 16 years at the University of Houston and Baylor College of Medicine. In addition to having earned a doctoral degree in chemistry, Kurt became a board certified physician in the United States where he specialized in the treatment of infectious diseases. Read more >>
  • Researchers reveal genome of pea aphid
  • 24/02/2010
  • University of Otago scientists are part of an international group which yesterday published the complete genome of the pea aphid, an achievement which could help create new weapons to fight this damaging agricultural pest. Read more >>
  • Otago Genomics Workshop 2010
  • 22/02/2010
  • February 19th saw some 118 people attend the 9th annual MicroArray workshop held in the Biochemistry Dept. Attendees came from widely dispersed locations, from as far afield as Cambridge, UK, from Australia, the US and a large contingent from Invermay and Otago University. Read more >>
  • Light Cycler Meeting
  • 19/02/2010
  • LightCycler2010.jpg
    The First Annual Otago LightCycler meeting was held on 17th February 2010, and attended by 40 researchers representing six Otago departments. Read more >>
  • Post-doctoral fellowship awarded
  • 22/01/2010
  • Dr Elizabeth Duncan has been awarded a Health Sciences Division post-doctoral fellowship for two years working in the Developmental Genetics Laboratory of Assoc Prof Peter Dearden. Read more >>
  • Hands on Science
  • 29/01/2010
  • From the 18th to the 22nd of January the Biochemistry Department played host to 24 secondary school students in the 21st annual Hands-On Science summer camp. The students come from all over New Zealand to experience what science is like at university. The Biochemistry students learned techniques used for genetic engineering such as DNA extraction and manipulation, and performed experiments to determine whether proteins they produced were working properly. A great time was had by all, and if past experience is anything to go by, we will see many of those students back at Otago in the future. For more information on Hands-On Science, click here[http://www.otago.ac.nz/handsonscience/]. Read more >>