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Dean's Diary

Weekly newsletter for Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences staff

11 May 2012 | Issue 245
Certificate ceremony a proud and happy event for all

On Tuesday I had the pleasure of attending the graduation ceremony for the Certificate in Health Sciences which was staged in the atrium of the School of Population Health. More than 40 students received their Certificate in a very welcoming ceremony that was enthusiastically enjoyed by the students, their proud families and supporters and the equally proud teaching and support team that run this very valuable programme. I look forward to seeing many of the faces from Tuesday evening around the faculty participating fully across our entire range of programmes in the next few years.

In addition to a number of high performing students being recognised for their achievements in particular topics, there was a special presentation made by the Newmarket Rotary Charitable Foundation (NRCF) to Alexanda Lafaele as the Certificate student who attained the highest grade point average through the year. The award is named for foundation trustee as the Certificate student who attained the highest grade point average through the year. The award is named for foundation trustee Harold Titter, a former Managing Director of Feltex New Zealand, Commissioner of the Auckland Area Health Board and Pro Vice Chancellor at The University of Auckland.

Above: the 2011 Certificate in Health Sciences graduating class; Alexanda Lafaele with trustees of the Newmarket Rotary Charitable Foundation from left Brian McMath, Harold Titter and Lindsay Pope.

Graduate becomes Samoa’s first practicing optometrist

AQFThe vast majority of our students enter the faculty with the aim of making a difference in their own and wider communities, and the latest Bachelor of Optometry graduating class can certainly claim one among their number who is already doing just that. Erna Takazawa (left), born in Japan but raised in Samoa, has become the first optometrist to practice full time in Samoa after taking up a position at the newly established Samoa Vision Centre near the National Hospital at Moto’otua.Erna graduated with First Class Honours this month and quickly returned to the centre where she has been working with two qualified spectacle technicians since the end of March. Prior to Erna taking up the position, eyecare in Samoa was managed mainly by nurses in conjunction with visiting ophthalmologists and optometrists, and her appointment is a real step forward for patients in the island region.

Erna was part of the final Bachelor of Optometry class, pictured below, to graduate through the Faculty of Science and next year their graduation ceremony and celebration will be held along with the other graduation events under the banner of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences.


AnQual stages first Analysis and Quality forum for the year

AQFThe first meeting in 2012 of the Analysis and Quality Forum (AQF), organised and hosted by the School of Pharmacy’s AnQual Laboratories, took place in the Liggins Seminar Room on the ground floor of the new Grafton complex on Wednesday 2 May. The successful evening function was attended by over 40 delegates from academia and the pharmaceutical, veterinary and food supplement industries.

Guest speaker, Brendon Woodhead, Project Development Manager at AFT Pharmaceuticals, gave an informative presentation on “Quality by Design” (QbD), a management tool he created with colleagues in the UK which is intended to guide research scientists and project teams through validation, technical transfers and risk assessment processes in pharmaceutical research and new product development.

The AQF is an AnQual initiative that aims to facilitate networking opportunities, educational meetings and regular information exchange for scientists to keep up-to-date with regulations and growth opportunities in the rapidly changing healthcare sector.

Official Opening date set for Building 505 at Grafton

We have been advised this week that the new developments at our Grafton Campus will be officially opened by the Prime Minister on Tuesday July 3. It is good to finally have a date for this event which will be hosted and managed by the Vice Chancellor’s office. Further details will follow on this event as they become available.

Chance to view some of the University’s art collection

If you would like to learn more about The University of Auckland's art collection, the team at the Gus Fisher Gallery will host a coffee and croissants gathering with a 20 minute talk on the art collection to be given by Linda Tyler. Linda heads up the Centre for New Zealand Art Research and Discovery which has been based in NICAI since it was established in 2005. The University has been collecting art for display in its faculties and departments since 1966 and Linda will be able to share with attendees the wider details of the collection and what the University has been buying and why.

This will be held at the Gus Fisher Gallery in Shortland Street at 8.00 am on Wednesday 13 June. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Alice Tyler at


The University of Auckland's art collection includes the works above by Peter Siddell (left), Seraphine Pick and Frances Hodgkins

  To add to your diary
  • Centre for Longitudinal Research and General Practice and Primary Health Care seminar: Gender differences in health in the oldest old: lessons from the Newcastle 85+ study. Presented by Professor Carol Jagger. Tuesday 15 May, 10.30-11.30am, Room 730-220, Tāmaki Innovation Campus. RSVP by Monday 7 May to Mandy Heathcote.  Add to your calendar
  • Tömaiora seminar: Comfort, security and choices: discourses of Pākehā privilege. Presented by Belinda Borell and Mandi Gregory. Tuesday 15 May, 12.30-1.30pm, Room 730-220, Tāmaki Innovation Campus.  Add to your calendar
  • MMP series: Using zebrafish as a model to investigate lymphangiogenesis and its contribution to diseases and MRAP: More Than a Melanocortin 2 Receptor Accessory Protein? Presented by Kazuhide Okuda and Emma Kay. Tuesday 15 May, 3.30-4.30pm, Seminar Room 501-505, Grafton Campus.  Add to your calendar
  • Auckland Nutrition Research Network seminar: The nutritional burden of ageing – what exactly changes and can it be prevented?  Presented by  David Cameron-Smith.  Tuesday 15 May, 5-7pm, Lecture Theatre 505-011, Grafton Campus.  Add to your calendar
  • COMPASS seminar: Forecasting the future burden of disability through changing patterns of disease: the SIMPOP mode. Presented by Professor Carol Jagger. Wednesday 16 May, 12-1pm, Centre for Pacific Studies, Building 273 Room 107, City Campus. Add to your calendar
  • Maurice Wilkins Centre symposium: Tuberculosis drug discovery and immunology. Presented by Ian Orme, Bill Denny, Dean Crick, Ted Baker, Anne Lenaerts and Greg Cook. Thursday 17 May through Friday 18 May, Fale Pasifika Complex, 20 Wynyard Street,
    City Campus.  Add to your calendar
  • Pro Vice-Chancellor Tamaki Innovation Campus seminar series: The geometry of nutrition: the protein leverage hypothesis and why the Atkins diet won’t work for gorillas. Presented by Professor David Raubenheimer. Friday 18 May, 3-4pm, Lecture Theatre 732.201, Tāmaki Innovation Campus. RSVP to Suzanne Mitchell.  Add to your calendar
  • Obstetrics & Gynaecology research seminar: Dietary intake and lifestyle habits in women undergoing IVF treatment. Presented by Alice Redward. Friday 18 May, 3.30-4.30pm, Level 12, 12.058, Auckland Hospital Support Building.  Add to your calendar
  • Auckland Cancer Research Network: Researchers showcase. Friday 18 May, 3-5pm, Seminar Room 505-003, Grafton Campus.  Add to your calendar
  • Neuroimaging seminar: Mapping dopamine release in the human basal ganglia with PET and diffusion MRI, and; An overview of the human connectome project. Presented by Dr Mark Jenkinson. Monday 21 May, 11am-12pm, Seminar Room 501-505, Grafton Campus. 
    Add to your calendar
  • Centre for Medical and Health Sciences Education research seminar: Various topics. Presented by Phillippa Poole, Boaz Shulruf, Rolf Turner and Tim Wilkinson. Monday 21 May,
    12.30-1.30pm. Seminar Room 505-003, Grafton Campus. RSVP by 18 May to Emma BuchananAdd to your calendar
  • Combining Parenting and a Career seminar: What can parents do to help their children succeed in school?. Presented by Professor Stuart McNaughton. Tuesday 22 May, 1-2.30pm, Old Government House, City Campus.  Add to your calendar
  • MMP series: Eating for two! Hormone-induced changes in body weight regulation during pregnancy. Presented by Professor Dave Grattan. Tuesday 22 May, 3.30-4.30pm, Seminar Room 501-505, Grafton Campus.  Add to your calendar
  • Liggins Institute seminar series: Drug discovery and commercialization in the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre. Presented by Distinguished Professor Bill Denny. Wednesday 23 May, 4-5pm, Liggins Institute Seminar Room, Level 1, Building 529.  Add to your calendar
  • Pharmacology seminar: Various topics. Presented by Amelia van Slooten and Anower Jabed. Friday 25 May, 3.30-5pm, Seminar Room 501-505, Grafton Campus.  Add to your calendar