Liggins Institute


The Liggins Institute was the University’s first large-scale research institute. Our vision is 'a healthy start for a healthy life' and our mission is to improve life-long health through excellent research into the long-term consequences of early life events.

Research themes

Our goal is to turn research discoveries into real strategies that will help people to prevent and manage major health problems in the 21st century and our four key research themes focus on achieving this.

How to get involved

Attend a public lecture, take part in a clinical trial or make a donation. There are lots of ways to get involved and help improve health outcomes at every age and stage.

Future postgraduates

Choose from a wide range of postgraduate degrees and research projects to kick-start your career in biomedical research, or cultivate new skills that will complement your clinical practice.

  • Early puberty linked to growing up in poorer homes
    24 May 2017
    Children from disadvantaged households are more likely to hit puberty early and could face poorer health later in life as a result, an Australian study has shown. Researchers from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) in Melbourne found boys who grew up in very disadvantaged homes had more than four times the risk of starting puberty early, at 10 or 11 years of age, while girls had double the risk. Professor Melissa Wake, a researcher in the team who is now based at the University of Auckland, says it is likely the same link would be found in New Zealand children.
  • Record-breaking number graduate from the Liggins Institute
    18 May 2017
    A record number of students graduated from the Liggins Institute in May. Twelve graduands – double the usual Autumn total – received qualifications.
  • Dames come together for mother and baby health research
    02 May 2017
    What may be the biggest gathering yet of Kiwi Dames is taking place this Saturday night – just in time for Mother’s Day. More than 20 Dames are coming together for a unique event to celebrate the achievements of the Liggins Institute, which aims to give all babies a healthy start and set them up for lifelong health.
  • Could mothers’ bacteria protect c-section babies from obesity risk?
    11 April 2017
    A team of New Zealand researchers will investigate whether bacteria from mothers’ vaginas could protect babies born by caesarean section from a greater risk of obesity.
  • Studies confirm long-term safety of life-saving treatment for premature babies
    07 April 2017
    More New Zealand families could benefit from a life-saving treatment for premature babies as new evidence from a major 10-year New Zealand and Australian trial confirms its long-term safety.