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

Physiology TV

An overview of Physiology at the University of Otago.


8th September, 2017

PhD student wins two awards at Queenstown Research Week

Congratulations to Mauro Silva, PhD student in the Department of Physiology. Mauro is supervised by Dr Rebecca Campbell.

8th September, 2017

Triennial Medal awarded to Professor Colin Brown

Congratulations to Colin who as been chosen by the Physiological Society of NZ (PSNZ) to be the recipient of the NZ Triennial Medal.

28th August, 2017

Dr Andrew Bahn awarded Arthritis NZ Project Grant

Congratulations to Dr Bahn who has been awarded a $60K grant for his project “Identification of oxypurinol transporters to decipher drug-drug interactions in gout treatment”.

25th August, 2017

Congratulations to Lorna Daniels, PhD

Lorna Daniels’ PhD thesis has made the Health Sciences Divisional List of Exceptional Doctoral theses.

14th August, 2017

Professor Colin Brown recognised by the British Society for Neuroendocrinology (BSN)

Prof Brown has been awarded the 2017 Mortyn Jones Memorial Medal, which is awarded annually by the BSN.

Next Event

25th September, 2017

Professor John Evans (Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Otago Christchurch)

PhD Programme.


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 love it how we are learning cutting edge research from people who are top in the world in their field of research.

Juliet Kane - BSc (Physiology) student