THE UNIVERSITY OF AUCKLAND
Centre for Brain Research, Auckland Bioengineering Institute, Centre for Advanced MRI Research (CAMRI) and Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
Under a grant awarded by the University of Auckland’s Strategic Investment stream, Dr Holdsworth and Sir Richard Faull have been helping to build a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) research programme at the Centre for Brain Research (CBR).
Mātai and CAMRI at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences are currently jointly developing imaging protocols for the early detection of mild traumatic brain injury.
The TBI research team now comprises faculty members, post-doctoral researchers, and students across the CBR, the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, and the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, the Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd, Auckland University of Technology, and Mātai.
This research programme will be part of a larger TBI initiative that will continue to bring together researchers through shared interests and activities from within the University of Auckland and Mātai, as well as nationwide through collaborations with Brain Research New Zealand (BRNZ) and MedTech Centres of Research Excellence (CoREs).
Through expansion of these collaborations, we will boost the health-related discoveries in both mTBI and in the region, the impact of which will be beneficial to the whole of New Zealand.
NGĀTI POROU HAUORA
Mātai is collaborating with Ngāti Porou Hauora and its research partners, including the Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Bio-discovery, The Universities of Otago and of Auckland, Genomics Aotearoa, and many others. Ngāti Porou Hauora’s Te Rangawairua o Paratene Ngata Research Centre based in Te Puia Springs continues their long-standing involvement in research and innovation initiatives that address health priorities for Māori and rural communities. As part of the vision of the late Dr Paratene Ngata for Ngāti Porou Hauora to lead our own research developments as part of becoming a “tikanga and research-based centre of excellence for Hauora Māori”, these research priorities include to improve understandings of how both genetic and environmental factors exacerbate risks associated with prevalent chronic metabolic conditions (gout, type-2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular and kidney disease) and to proactively contribute to better preventative and precision medicine approaches for these and other priorities for our people to live longer and live well.
Mātai will aid these efforts in Māori and rural health by providing advanced image protocol development, expertise, and analysis. Complementary research activities will include the use of the Mātai imaging facilities to understand metabolic conditions and track the progress of new treatment approaches. DEXA scanning will be used to understand body composition, and MRI will be used to track cardiovascular, kidney, musculoskeletal/joint, and liver health in such studies. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) will be used for assessing retinal vascular health which is thought to be a marker for a number of metabolic conditions, including cardiovascular disorders and diabetes.