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Massey researchers forge new links with medical community

Group photo at launch of Medical Physiology Research Unit

Back row: Corrin Hulls, School of Health Sciences, Dr Wei-Hang Chua, School of Health Sciences and Mr Philip Suisted, MidCentral District Health Board. Middle row: Dr Joana Braun Chagas, School of Veterinary Science, Mr Quinten King, MidCentral District Health Board, Chris Kendrick, School of Health Sciences and Associate Professor Paul Chambers, School of Veterinary Science. Front row: College of Health Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane Mills, Professor Emeritus Roger Lentle, School of Health Sciences and Adjunct Associate Professor Mike Wyatt, MidCentral District Health Board.

A Medical Physiology Research Unit was launched at Massey University’s Manawatū campus last night, formalising strong research and training links with the medical community in the region and nationally.

Led by Professor Emeritus Roger Lentle, Dr Wei-Hang Chua and Chris Kendrick, from the School of Health Sciences, the unit will bring together medical professionals and researchers to collaborate on medical research projects.

Professor Roger Lentle

Professor Lentle speaking at last night's launch.

Research and training opportunities

Professor Lentle says the unit will cater for master’s and doctoral students as well as medical sector employees. “The latter will include registrars in training schemes in various medical specialties as well as senior specialists who wish to undertake research projects allied with their work,” he says.

“The establishment of this unit will allow medical staff to gain expertise in human physiology and medical laboratory sciences, as well as associated groups in engineering, computational fluid dynamics, public health and imaging technologies. Similarly, it may allow PhD and master’s students with appropriate research projects to integrate with work carried out by practicing specialist medical practitioners.

“As far as we are aware, this is the first time that such a formal association has been created within the medical sector. We envisage it will catalyse and increase cooperative research projects, as well as facilitating the completion of medically-based projects as part of professional training for medical specialists.”

College of Health Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane Mills

College of Health Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane Mills speaking at the launch last night.

Significant milestone

Speaking at the launch, College of Health Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane Mills said the research unit is a significant milestone for the college. “The organisation of the Medical Physiology Research Unit recognises and reflects existing co-operations the teams have built with internationally renowned research groups in overseas universities, like the French National Centre for Scientific Research at the University of Grenoble, but also specialist departments of other New Zealand universities and the medical and clinical community,” Professor Mills said.

“The diverse nature of research in the unit has and will necessitate the formation of linkages with other departments in this and other universities. There is ongoing, fruitful cooperation with Massey University medical researchers, engineers, veterinarians, food technologists, physicists and computational technologists. Further, there is increasing interest from registrars in the various specialties in regard to research components that are now necessary for specialist qualifications.”

The laboratory facilities are located at the Manawatū campus and will be funded by various scholarships and grants.

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