Fellowship funding will help Otago researchers overcome organ deficiencies

Professor Richard Blakey, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Enterprise at the University of Otago, said the fellowships would accelerate the research of three of Otago’s best and brightest emerging leaders.

An Otago researcher received a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship from a stranger at the Royal Society, one step closer to 3D-bioprinting functional organs in a laboratory.

Dr. Khun Lim, of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Medicine at the University of Christchurch, Otago, is one of three Otago researchers who will receive $ 800,000 in five years for a fellowship.

Dr. Lim’s research, which aims to overcome the barriers of living tissue in a laboratory using 3D-bioprinting, has the potential to alleviate the world’s organ deficiency crisis.

Although there have been previous successes in creating living tissue, the largest functional, laboratory-made tissue is only 2 mm in size.

Dr. Lim says that the inability to incorporate functional vascular systems into these tissues hinders scaling, which is important for organ survival. He says the news is still sinking, but he is “absolutely stunned” to receive the fellowship.

Also celebrating receiving a Fellowship is Dr. Alana Alexander (Ngāpuhi: Te Hikutu, Pākehā), Department of Anatomy. His research will look at the past effects of fish farming on endangered Hector and Maui dolphins and use genomics to predict the effects of future climate change on whales and dolphins.

He will co-develop ‘Science Story’ with Hapu – a way to translate his scientific work into memorable narratives that will empower Kaitakitanga and Rangatiratanga owners on the Taonga species.

Dr. Hitin Lin Aung of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology has received a Fellowship for her research using Bacteria Genomics that will develop community and patient-centered TB (TB) healthcare services to address health inequalities.

Dr Aung said the fellowship allowed him to advise next-generation researchers, especially M মাori and Pacifica students, and early career researchers, which would help diversify Aotearoa’s health research workforce.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.