Liggins presents: An evening of mini lectures Event as iCalendar

22 March 2017

5:30 - 7:30pm

Venue: Lecture Theatre 011, Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences

Location: Building 505, 85 Park Road, Grafton, Auckland

Cost: Free

Contact email:

Website: November Public Lecture - online registration

Mum and baby

An evening of mini lectures by Liggins researchers

Join the Liggins Institute for our first public lecture of 2017. You'll hear from leading professors, award winning research fellows and outstanding PhD candidates about everything from how we can detect heart defects in newborn babies, to the possibility of developing individualised health plans for life.

The event is free but numbers are limited. Register now to secure your place.


March public lecture - speakers

Meet the presenters (from left to right): Professor Martin Kussmann, Dr Clare Reynolds, Professor Caroline Crowther, Dr Elza Cloete

5.30pm - Drinks and networking
6pm - Presentations
7.30pm - Event closes
Lecture Theatre 011, Building 505, Grafton Campus | Free


How can Systems Biology help us plan for our future health?

The newest professor at the Liggins Institute, Professor Martin Kussmann is investigating the molecular phenotype. A phenotype is any characteristic of an individual that can be measured, like your height, weight or blood composition. The molecular phenotype is your ‘inner’ phenotype, and can reveal much more information about your health. In this fascinating presentation Martin will explain HOW we can access information about the inner phenotype, and WHY phenotyping people over their lifespan (including before and after health interventions) is beginning to reveal markers of metabolic health and nutritional response. This new discipline known as Systems Biology is about measuring what matters in the individual rather than measuring what’s possible in every study subject and might eventually translate into personal health trajectories that help us make informed decisions about how to improve or restore our health.

Does reducing maternal dietary inflammation improve the long-term health outcomes of her offspring?

Understanding how early life in the womb increases a child’s risk of disease in later life is a critical area of Liggins research.  If we can unravel this we may be able to reverse the obesity and diabetes epidemic. We know that maternal obesity is a major driving force in the development of chronic adult conditions, and these conditions are strongly associated with persistent inflammation in the body. In this presentation, Dr Clare Reynolds will explain how a deficiency in a particular gene reduces maternal metabolic stress and improves placental function. This could result in better outcomes for a mother’s children, regardless of her diet during pregnancy. By looking at developmental programming models in the context of immune deficiency we can better understand the early life triggers that predispose some people to diseases in later life.

Can we improve outcomes for babies born with heart defects?

Every year nearly 100 babies are born in New Zealand with critical congenital heart disease (CHD). Diagnosing them early can improve their chances of survival and result in better neurodevelopmental outcomes. Less than 50% of babies with the most severe forms of cardiac disease are diagnosed with an antenatal ultrasound scan. Pulse oximetry is a noninvasive screening tool that has been shown to improve the early detection of CHD. A sensor is attached to the baby’s foot in the first day of life, which measures how much oxygen is in the blood; the majority of infants with critical CHD will have low oxygen saturation levels. Dr Elza Cloete is a Neonatal Paediatrician investigating the feasibility of implementing a national pulse oximetry screening programme to enable the early detection of cardiac disease in NZ-born infants.

The event is free but numbers are limited. Register now to secure your place.