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.

  • New evidence animal behaviour regulated by interaction of tidal and circadian clocks
    20 June 2017
    A slater-like crustacean that lives in the sand on Auckland’s Piha beach has provided new evidence that animals have biological clocks influenced by the tide as well as the more familiar circadian clock that follows the day/night cycle and which regulates human behaviour.
  • Auckland medical researcher first outside US to win prestigious prize
    12 June 2017
    Distinguished Professor Jane Harding from the Liggins Institute, based at the University of Auckland, has received the Norman J. Siegel New Member Outstanding Science Award from the American Pediatric Society (APS), which boasts 1800-plus members at the very top of their fields.
  • Study reveals relationship between how kids spend their time and their quality of life
    02 June 2017
    We all know that balance is vital for a healthy diet, but a new study suggests balance in how you spend your time is also key to a healthy life and sense of wellbeing – for children as well as adults.
  • Young Pacific researchers seek obesity circuit-breaker with Pacific youth
    01 June 2017
    Four young Pacific health researchers are working with Pacific teens and their communities to help break the intergenerational cycle of obesity and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The research builds on an ambitious international project that empowers teenagers to use scientific evidence, community and cultural knowledge to lift their own and their family’s health.
  • 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.