The University of Otago has established two new research
centres, and boosted some of its funding by 50% for all its
Deputy vice-chancellor, research and enterprise, Prof Richard
Blaikie said the university had allocated $2.5 million in
funding, from the university's research committee, for all of
its research centres, which amounted to a 50% increase during
the next five years.
The committee funding would supplement other grants and
contributions from the university's academic divisions to
support their world-class research activities.
Prof Blaikie said the funding was partly intended to help
with overall co-ordination and to support student involvement
After a rigorous application process, 14 research groups had
each been formally designated as a University of Otago
research centre for at least the next five years.
Twelve of the centres were already nationally and
internationally recognised for their research excellence, and
the new centres showed promise.
Each of the centres brought together "many of our finest
researchers" in collaborative, multidisciplinary research
efforts, which were "pushing the frontiers of knowledge" in
their respective areas, he said.
A "demonstrated commitment" to engage with relevant sectors
of the community, business and government was among the
selection criteria for the centres, and the aim was to
translate Otago research activities into "real-world benefits
Several centres were involved in "world-leading
health-related research" which aimed to help improve
treatment of diseases and disorders.
Areas of focus included brain health, cancer, cardiovascular
disease, diabetes and obesity, lifecourse studies, infectious
diseases, neuroendocrinology, and oral health.
The new centres are the Centre for Research on Colonial
Culture, directed by Prof Tony Ballantyne, and the
International Centre for Governance, Science and Society,
directed by Prof Mark Henaghan and Associate Prof Colin
The other centres and directors are: Brain Health Research
Centre, Prof Wickliffe Abraham; Centre for
Neuroendocrinology, Prof Allan Herbison; Centre for
Sustainability: Agriculture, Food, Energy, Environment, Dr
Janet Stephenson; Centre for Translational Cancer Research,
Assoc Prof Parry Guilford; Christchurch Heart Institute, Prof
Mark Richards; Edgar National Centre for Diabetes and Obesity
Research, Prof Jim Mann and Assoc Prof Rachael Taylor;
Genetics Otago, Assoc Prof Peter Dearden; Jack Dodd Centre
for Quantum Technology, Prof Rob Ballagh; National Centre for
Lifecourse Research, Profs Richie Poulton and David
Fergusson; New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities, Prof
Philippa Howden-Chapman; Sir John Walsh Research Institute,
Prof Jules Kieser; Webster Centre for Infectious Diseases,
Prof Kurt Krause.