New building’s name pays homage

PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Construction work continues at the University of Otago’s new $49.8million research support facility, which has been named the Eccles Building, after the Nobel Prize winner and former physiology department head Sir John (Jack) Eccles.

Sir John Eccles. Photo: Wikipedia commons
Sir John Eccles. Photo: Wikipedia commons
The 3936sqm, five-storey building will support  important health and biomedical research, and meet stringent animal welfare regulations, the university has said.

Covid-19 has delayed project completion until late this year. Prof Eccles and his Otago team disproved an early theory about brain function, establishing that synaptic transmission — the way the brain’s nerve cells transmit information — is a chemical process rather than an electrical one.

The discovery underpins current understanding of brain function both in health and in treating neurological disease.

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