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

Physiology TV

An overview of Physiology at the University of Otago.

News

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.

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.

PhD Programme.

News

13th November, 2017

Otago study could mean hope for infertile couples

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.

Prof Allan Herbison, director of the Centre for Neuroendocrinology in Otago's department of physiology, said the study was also a ``real career highlight''.

It was ``fantastic'' that 10 years of basic Otago research was helping develop potential new therapies for the one-third of infertile people whose problems resulted from aspects of brain control of fertility. It is little known that the brain controls fertility, by first controlling the pituitary gland, which in turn controls the ovaries in females and testes in males. The brain did this by generating pulses of hormone secretion in the blood about once an hour, in males and females, which told the ovary or testis what to do.

Professor Herbison and his principal co-authors Dr Jenny Clarkson and Dr Su Young Han have identified a group of about 2000 kisspeptin neurons in the brain's hypothalamus that synchronise their activity to generate the hormonal pulse. Kisspeptins are a family of proteins that are essential for fertility.

This discovery has important implications for better understanding and manipulating fertility.

Physiology not only taught me lifelong skills which I can apply to daily situations, it has also given me many new and interesting ideas in writing novels.

Iun Kao - 3rd year BSc (Physiology) student