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.


Unless stated otherwise, Departmental Seminars are held in the Hercus D'Ath Lecture Theatre at 13:00 on the day specified.

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Department of Physiology

Monday, 19th March 2018 - Hercus d'Ath Lecture Theatre at 13:00.

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

Swings and Roundabouts: An electrophysiological approach to lithium therapy in bipolar disorder

Oscillatory phenomena characterise human brain function at all levels, from the molecular and cellular, to neuronal networks and beyond. Bipolar disorder affects more than 50,000,000 individuals worldwide and is characterised by extreme mood oscillation (between manic and depressive states). Lithium is the first line treatment for bipolar disorder, yet remains poorly understood after >50 years as a pharmaceutical treatment. Combining electrophysiological techniques in rodent brain slices with EEG analyses in healthy human volunteers, we aim to present a model of lithium therapy in which modulation of the fundamental determinants of neuronal activity - membrane ion currents – impacts oscillation through all levels of brain function, culminating in the stabilisation of mood in bipolar patients.

Department of Physiology

Monday, 26th March 2018 - Hercus d'Ath Lecture Theatre at 13:00.

Dr Carol Bussey, Department of Physiology

Adrenergic signalling in diabetic cardiac dysfunction

Cardiac complications are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the large population of type 2 diabetic patients. Adrenergic signalling is key for regulating cardiac function, and is known to be disrupted in diabetes. I will discuss alterations in adrenergic receptor sensitivity, increases in sympathetic and parasympathetic nerve activity and explore the mechanisms through which chronic beta-blockade can repair cardiac function in the type 2 Zucker Diabetic Fatty rat.

Department of Physiology

Monday, 9th April 2018 - Hercus d'Ath Lecture Theatre at 13:00.

Nilanjan Ghosh, 1-yr PhD Presentation, Department of Physiology

Therapeutic modulation of microRNAs (miRs) to prevent/treat diabetic cardiomyopathy

The impact of diabetes on the development of vascular disease have been established earlier but non-ischemic cardiac complications associated with diabetes such as diabetic cardiomyopathy has received fewer attention. MicroRNAs (miRs) have recently been evolved as a key role player in diabetic heart disease. Abnormal regulation of cardiac-specific miRs lays foundation to the development of structural and functional deterioration in the later stages of the disease. Based on this evidence my project aims to therapeutically modulate miRs with the aim to prevent/treat diabetic cardiomyopathy. In particular my project will be targeting on two such miRs (miR-320 and -29a) that are abundantly expressed in cardiomyocytes. In my PhD I will aim to modulate the expression level of both these miRs using established "Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA)" system or the newly emerging CRISPR/C2c2 system. The results will lay foundation for the development of new strategies in the treatment of diabetic cardiomyopathy.

Department of Physiology

Monday, 30th April 2018 - Hercus d'Ath Lecture Theatre at 13:00.

(i) Aisha Sati & (ii) Sahib Rasulov, 1-yr PhD Presentation, Department of Physiology


Department of Physiology

Monday, 28th May 2018 - Hercus d'Ath Lecture Theatre at 13:00.

(i) Bradley Jamieson & (ii) Shalini Kumar, 1-yr PhD Presentation, Department of Physiology


Department of Physiology

Monday, 11th June 2018 - Hercus d'Ath Lecture Theatre at 13:00.

Caroline Focke, 1-yr PhD Presentation, Department of Physiology


Show all seminar events.

My Summer Research Scholarship in the Department of Physiology was the highlight of my time at the University of Otago as I learnt many new skills, including how to carry out scientific research in a controlled manner, collecting and analyzing scientific data in an orderly fashion, and most importantly, learning to read and think critically.

Aye Thaung - Summer Research Student 2010/2011