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

Physiology TV

An overview of Physiology at the University of Otago.


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.

25th October, 2017

Charlotte Steel, BSc (Hons) NEUR student in the Department has gained a Cambridge Rutherford Memorial PhD Scholarship

Our congratulations to Charlotte who is currently completing a BSc (Hons) degree in Neuroscience in the Department of Physiology with supervisor Assoc Prof Phil Sheard.

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.

Next Event

22nd January, 2018

Dr. rer. nat. Fenja Knopp (Excellence Cluster Cardio-Pulmonary System, Justus-Liebig University, Giessen, Germany)

PhD Programme.


28th August, 2017

Dr Andrew Bahn awarded Arthritis NZ Project Grant

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”.

Gout is a painful inflammation of the joins due to high serum uric acid (SUA) based mostly on an unhealthy Western diet. The gold standard for gout treatment is allopurinol. Once converted into oxypurinol, it inhibits production of uric acid in the liver and lowers SUA. Gout has been associated with many comorbidities including hypertension, which requires adjustment of allopurinol dosage. These drug-drug interactions render gout treatment with allopurinol ineffective exposing the patient to further gout attacks and the risk of life threatening side effects. As drug-drug interactions are based on competition of drugs at transport proteins we hypothesise transporters of the organic anion transporter family (OATs), which are expressed in liver and kidney, are responsible for the observed drug-drug interaction. By investigating these drug-drug interactions in primary human kidney and liver cells, Dr Bahn aims to identify allopurinol/oxypurinol transporters to resolve these drug-drug interactions and improve management of gout treatment.

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

Michel Herde - PhD Student