University of Otago.Department of Physiology.Department of Physiology.

Physiology TV

An overview of Physiology at the University of Otago.


14th March, 2018

Is a man's grey matter the same as a woman's? The documentary features Professor Allan Herbison and Dr Jenny Clarkson and was made with the support of NZ on Air.

9th February, 2018

Dahlia based diabetes drug developed by Physiology researcher ready for human trials

In partnership with Plant and Food Research, researchers will soon begin human trials of a drug made from dahlias.

9th January, 2018

Otago breakthrough in diabetic heart disease

The molecule responsible for heart disease in diabetics has been identified by University of Otago researchers, greatly improving chances of survival.

13th November, 2017

Otago study could mean hope for infertile couples

Crucial new information about how the brain controls fertility has been unlocked by University of Otago researchers, with their findings just published in prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

13th November, 2017

Phenomenal success for Physiology researchers in latest Marsden funding round

Four 3-year project grants were awarded to Department of Physiology researchers in this year’s Marsden Fund - totalling over $3.8M.

Next Event

19th March, 2018

Matt Hall, 1-yr PhD Presentation, Department of Physiology

PhD Programme.


26th May, 2011

Physiology PhD student award Exceptional PhD thesis

Congratulations to Carissa Murrell, PhD student co-supervised by Dr Phil Ainslie (Department of Physiology) and Dr Jim Cotter (School of Physical Education).

Carissa recently completed the examination aspects of her PhD thesis, and her thesis has been placed on the Division of Health Sciences List of Exceptional PhD Theses, a very prestigious accolade. A thesis is of exceptional quality when all three examiners of a candidate's thesis agree that the thesis is of an exceptional standard in every respect (research content, originality, quality of expression and accuracy of presentation) and is amongst the top 10% of theses examined, and we are very proud of Carissa's success. Well done!

Carissa's thesis is entitled Effects of Age, Fitness, and Exercise on the Control of Cerebral Blood Flow. Her research focused on the effects of age, fitness, and exercise on the control of blood flow to the brain. A compromised control of cerebral blood flow can result in syncope (fainting) and is a risk factor for cerebrovascular disease (e.g., stroke). Two major controllers of cerebral blood flow are blood pressure and blood carbon dioxide. Furthermore, age, fitness, and exercise all affect cerebral blood flow and its control. In her first study, Carissa assessed the control of cerebral blood flow in response to acute changes in blood pressure (due to a change in posture) in young and older trained and untrained individuals at rest and following exercise. In her second study, Carissa assessed the effect of 12 weeks of exercise training on the control of cerebral blood flow in response to changes in carbon dioxide at rest and during exercise in young and older individuals.

Carissa's thesis will be available online through the University library website in the coming weeks.

Setting out every morning to hunt for the unknown - and finding it! What could be more fascinating?

Michel Herde - PhD Student