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

Physiology TV

An overview of Physiology at the University of Otago.

News

19th July, 2017

Congratulations to Daniel Barth, PhD

Our congratulations go to Daniel Barth on making the Health Sciences Divisional List of Exceptional Doctoral theses.

17th July, 2017

Associate Professor Ruth Empson awarded 2-year Neurological Foundation of NZ Project Grant

Congratulations to Associate Professor Ruth Empson who has been awarded a 2-year project grant ($193,844) for her project "Chloride Co-Transport - a Driving Force for Treating Human Cerebellar Ataxias”.

29th June, 2017

Winner of OMSRS Research Staff Speaker Awards from the Department of Physiology

Dr Carol Bussey was announced as the winner of 2017 Research Staff speaker award at the 239th Scientific Meeting of the Otago School of Medicine Research Society on 28th June.

23rd June, 2017

Two HRC Project Grants awarded to Physiology Professor

Congratulations to Professor Allan Herbison who is the recipient of two Health Research Council of NZ (HRC) Project Grants totalling almost $2.6 million.

12th May, 2017

Julia Gouws (MSc student) receives another accolade for her research

After being awarded 1st= for the School of Biomedical Sciences Dean’s Prize for best 2016/17 Summer Scholarship Report recently, Julia has received another prestigious award this week.

Next Event

31st July, 2017

(i) Sajida Parveen & (ii) Eugene Saw (PhD 1-year presentations, Department of Physiology)

 
PhD Programme.

News

23rd June, 2017

Two HRC Project Grants awarded to Physiology Professor

Two HRC Project Grants awarded to Physiology Professor

Congratulations to Professor Allan Herbison who is the recipient of two Health Research Council of NZ (HRC) Project Grants totalling almost $2.6 million.

Both projects provide 3-years of funding. Details of the projects are:

GnRH neuron control of ovulation ($1,167,633):

Nearly 40% of women suffering form infertility are unable to ovulate normally. While it is known that the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons in the brain control fertility, the molecular and cellular characteristics of the sub-population of GnRH neurons that drive ovulation are not established. This project aims to identify and characterize the specific GnRH neurons responsible for generating the "GnRH surge" that initiates ovulation. This will be achieved by implementing cutting-edge optogenetic neuroscience methodologies that will allow the electrical activity of "GnRH surge neurons" to be recorded. In addition, the use of a novel genetic cell activity detection strategy will allow the electrical membrane properties and gene expression profiles of GnRH surge neurons to be identified. These studies will generate an in-depth understanding of the key cells that drive ovulation and thereby provide a platform for developing therapeutic agents for fertility control.


Deciphering the dendron for fertility control ($1,092,337):

The gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons control fertility in all mammals including humans. We have recently discovered that GnRH neurons have a cellular process previously unknown in the central nervous system termed a "dendron". We propose that the unique features of the GnRH neuron dendron allow neural inputs to generate and modulate the pulsatile release of reproductive hormone levels in the blood. Correct levels of hormone pulsatility are critical for fertility. This project will use innovative neuroscience technologies to identify the neural inputs acting upon the dendron and then establish their physiological role in regulating the secretion of GnRH. Together, these studies will determine how this unique neuronal structure operates and provide a foundation for exploring the utility of dendron-targeted therapies for fertility control in humans.

I believe the best way to grow as a scientist is to be thrown in the deep end early on. My summer projects gave me this opportunity in a safe and fun environment, so when I started my thesis research I was already familiar with the scientific method. Having finished my PhD, I also really appreciate the boost they give my academic CV!

Kajsa Igelstrom - Summer Research Student 2006/2007 & 2007/2008