To advance the health of humans, plants and animals, a molecular understanding of the underlying mechanisms that cause disease is required.

Research expertise


Massey University staff are working on world-leading collaborative research covering a range of areas related to infectious diseases and their transfer between the environment, animals and humans.

We have a broad range of specialists in animal, human and environmental health who are researching trends and solutions to emerging national and international public health issues caused by bacteria, fungi, parasites or viruses.


Human disease

We are researching biological systems of humans, yeast, bacteria and pathogens to understand how diseases develop and how to prevent and cure them.

We use a diverse range of molecular, cellular, and animal model tools to investigate the mechanisms of neurological, skeletal and muscular disorders, including cancer and dementia and infectious microbial diseases.


Human muscle physiology

The maintenance of muscle function is a key determinant of fitness and overall health, particularly as we age. The increased muscle mass, changes in fuel metabolism and enhanced insulin sensitivity brought about by exercise, helps to protect us against diabetes, obesity and other diseases. By studying muscle cell physiology and biochemistry, we aim to understand the molecular mechanisms operating in contracting muscle that underlie these health benefits.


Human nutrition and bone and joint health

Dietary factors, such as dairy foods and micronutrients or lipids can affect bone health and joint cartilage. Our staff use a range of research technologies to determine the effect of dietary factors on bone health and cartilage degradation.


Micro/nano robotics

Massey researchers have expertise in the area of small-scale robotics and specifically micro-nano actuation and sensing systems development for molecule/cell/tissue analysis and manipulation.


Molecular biology

We have a large number of people working in this area. We are using cutting-edge techniques to investigate microbial interactions, how to minimize their detrimental effects and to better exploit their beneficial effects.

Areas of speciality include gaining a better understanding of antibiotic resistance, bacteriophage technologies for vaccine development, medical diagnostics, and display technologies.

We use molecular, fluorescent, and flow cytometry techniques to explore cell biology, including cell shape, protein behaviour, and DNA segregation.


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Research projects

Student research

Departments and staff

Find out more about the departments and staff involved in biomedical science research at Massey.

Research centres

    Centre for Metabolic Health Research

    The Centre for Metabolic Health Research facilitates interdisciplinary research in metabolic health, with key aspects being the prevention of metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and the maintenance of mobility and functionality throughout the lifecycle. 

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    The EpiCentre is the largest veterinary epidemiology training and research centre in Australasia. It is widely considered to be one of the leading groups in the world. We have expertise in the understanding and control of disease in animal populations, the transmission of disease from animals to humans, and hazards in food of animal origin.

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    Infectious Disease Research Centre (IDReC)

    The Centre engages in applied research concerning multi-host pathogens and fundamental research regarding pathogen evolution and disease emergence. We cover the spectrum of population-based infectious disease research from microbiology, through population genetics, epidemiology, molecular epidemiology, disease ecology, statistics, mathematical modelling, and public health.

    Infectious Disease Research Centre

    New Zealand Food Safety Science and Research Centre

    The Centre, hosted by Massey University, focuses on better ways of detecting hazards in the food production chain and reducing the risk of food-borne illness to consumers. The Centre aims to provide an internationally credible science base for decisison-making in public health and the food industry.

    New Zealand Food Safety Science and Research Centre


    The mEpiLab's works to improve the health of New Zealanders by developing and applying new techniques to inform decision making and guide the prevention and control of infectious disease.

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    Awards and recognition