New unit at­tracts med­i­cal tal­ent

Kapi-Mana News - - HEALTH - By JIM CHIPP

Vic­to­ria Univer­sity, Otago School of Medicine and the Med­i­cal Re­search In­sti­tute of New Zealand have joined with Cap­i­tal & Coast District Health Board to es­tab­lish a clin­i­cal tri­als unit at Welling­ton Hos­pi­tal.

It will pro­vide aca­demic and ad­min­is­tra­tive sup­port to sci­en­tists and clin­i­cians to carry out re­search projects in a clin­i­cal environment with in-pa­tient beds, and a high-stan­dard bio-med­i­cal lab­o­ra­tory.

Sarah McGill is Cap­i­tal & Coast District Health Board ’s or­gan­i­sa­tion de­vel­op­ment and pa­tient safety di­rec­tor.

‘‘The longer term ben­e­fits are about de­vel­op­ing good ex­per­tise and shar­ing ex­per­tise around re­search. Where there are es­tab­lished prac­tises, we get a good rep­u­ta­tion as a re­search in­sti­tu­tion,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s a sup­port­ive environment for se­nior staff and other staff in­volved in re­search.’’

That also plays a part in at­tract­ing staff to the hos­pi­tal be­cause it can sup­port their own re­search in­ter­ests.

Unit charge nurse man­age Lili Virosu said: ‘‘It’s a sig­nal that the

PhD re­searcher Lisa John­ston, left, and Pro­fes­sor of Clin­i­cal Re­search Elaine Den­ni­son. district health board re­search se­ri­ously.’’

Dr Kyle Per­rin is head­ing the unit’s first re­search project, test­ing the ef­fect of parac­eta­mol on in­fluenza in­fec­tions.

He said the unit is mas­sively ben­e­fi­cial in com­bin­ing many

takes re­search fa­cil­i­ties that were spread around Welling­ton, at Vic­to­ria Univer­sity, on The Ter­race and at the hos­pi­tal.

Bring­ing them to­gether al­lows col­lab­o­ra­tions that could only hap­pen with peo­ple work­ing to­gether.

Pro­fes­sor Elaine Den­ni­son has been re­cruited from the United King­dom as pro­fes­sor of clin­i­cal re­search at the unit, jointly em­ployed by Vic­to­ria Univer­sity and Cap­i­tal and Coast District Health Board.

She is a rheuma­tol­o­gist spec- ial­is­ing in epi­demi­ol­ogy.

‘‘ If you join up bi­o­log­i­cal sci­en­tists with clin­i­cians you get added value,’’ she said.

Lisa John­ston is study­ing the ef­fects of aspirin on dif­fer­ent eth­nic groups in thin­ning blood and mod­er­at­ing blood pres­sure.

Aspirin is known to be less ef­fec­tive in thin­ning the blood of Maori and Pa­cific Is­land peo­ple.

Her work is made pos­si­ble be­cause the unit has a so­phis­ti­cated biomed­i­cal lab­o­ra­tory on site.

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