Liggins Institute

Lectures and presentations

Recordings of our staff and students speaking at public events

Why babies are born small

February 2014

Professor Marjo-Riitta Järvelin

Imperial College London
National Institute of Health and Welfare and University of Oulu, Finland
Visiting Seelye Fellow at the University of Auckland February 2014

Professor Järvelin is Chair in Public Health and Lifecourse Epidemiology at Imperial College London with additional part-time professorships at the National Institute of Health and Welfare and University of Oulu, Finland.

She has been running large-scale population based studies for over 25 years, investigating the genetic and early life environmental origins of multi-factorial diseases/disorders in close collaboration with many internationally well-known institutions, groups and networks. She is a director of the widely acknowledged Northern Finland Birth Cohort (NFBC) Research Program, which includes around 20,000 subjects, born in 1966 and 1986.

In 2006 she received an award of excellence in genetic epidemiology at Imperial College London and in 2012 she was honoured in Finland with the title Epidemiologist of the Year.

Her work links closely with research at the Liggins Institute, and other groups at the University of Auckland including the Growing Up in New Zealand longitudinal study based at the School of Population Health, COMPASS (Department of Sociology) and Gravida: National Centre for Growth and Development.

Her visit to Auckland was hosted by the Liggins Institute, made possible by the award of a Fellowship supported by the Ralph and Eve Seelye Charitable Trust and the late Dr Eve Seelye, with additional funding from the Liggins Institute Trust. During her visit she advised on research directions and developed further collaborations.

In this public lecture “Why babies are born small” she draws on data from two of the world’s largest longitudinal studies to show how interactions between genes and the environment shape early- and later-life health and disease risk.


Why babies are born small - a public lecture by Professor Marjo-Riitta Järvelin

Accolades for Liggins Institute PhD student

Alexandra Wallace receives her Exposure award from ONE-News co-anchor Wendy Petrie.

Paediatrician Dr Alexandra Wallace has been collecting awards for presentations about her research on fetal anaemia and the adult heart. She won the Doctoral Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Science Oral Presentation and the AMRF Emerging Researcher Awards at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences “Healthex” event in September 2012 and went on the win Best Oral Presentation at the University-wide “Exposure”.

Read more about the fetal anaemia research project

Watch a video of Alexandra’s presentation at Exposure


Obesity's early origins

Professor Wayne Cutfield, Director of the Liggins Institute, was a keynote speaker at the Australia and New Zealand Obesity Society’s 2012 Conference and took part in a public lecture/panel discussion where he talked about some of the early life origins of obesity.

Watch a video of his presentation.


Exercise is medicine

Two Liggins Institute investigators, Professor David Cameron-Smith and Professor Paul Hofman were invited speakers at The University of Auckland Vice Chancellor’s Lecture Series 2012: "Exercise is Medicine"

Lecture 2: Nutrition and Exercise: Protein for Power vs. Carbohydrate for Performance

Watch a video of the lecture

Professor Cameron-Smith’s lecture begins at approx. 24 minutes

Lecture 3: Exercise as Life-long Medicine

Watch a video of the lecture

Professor Hofman is the first speaker


Reproductive Medicine – where from, where to?

December 2011


Director Fertility Associates Ltd.
Adjunct Professor of Fertility Medicine at the Liggins Institute

Dr Fisher is a prominent spokesman on infertility issues and pioneer in the development of fertility services and assisted reproductive technologies in New Zealand. He was a member of the National Women’s Hospital team responsible for the country’s first babies born following in vitro fertilisation (IVF). In an effort to make the new technologies available to a greater number of infertile couples, he and colleague Dr Freddie Graham founded New Zealand’s first private fertility clinic Fertility Associates in1987.

At an event held to celebrate his appointment as Adjunct Professor of Fertility Medicine in the Liggins Institute, Dr Fisher described the development of IVF in New Zealand. He paid tribute to his mentor Sir Graham Liggins whose influence guided his early clinical career. However, he said the true pioneers were the parents who underwent the complex procedures, which at that time offered only slim chances of successful pregnancies; they were “courageous beyond belief,” he said.

Watch a recording of Dr Fisher's lecture