Liggins Institute

Degrees and research projects

Our mission is to improve lifelong health through excellent research into the long-term consequences of early life events and our research projects reflect this. Browse the full range of masters and PhD projects currently on offer at the Liggins Institute.

Smiling Liggins student in lab

Research projects on offer




Differences in nutrient bioavailability and tolerance between sheep and cow milk PhD, MS
Dr Amber Milan
Research priorities for maternal and perinatal health in New Zealand PhD Professor Caroline Crowther
Identifying the highest quality evidence for implementing nutritional interventions to improve health outcomes in early childhood PhD Dr Julie Anne Brown
The role of vibration therapy in improving the health of young children with disabilities PhD Dr Silmara Gusso
Do fungi hold the key to healthy fatty-acid metabolism? Insights from MALDI-ToF-MS analysis of human gut fungi and their metabolites MS Dr Elizabeth McKenzie
The role of pregnancy complications on the developmental programming of cardio-metabolic disease in offspring PhD, MS Professor Mark Vickers
Preserving beta cell mass through branch chain amino acid supplementation PhD, MS Professor Frank Bloomfield
Relating glucose levels in newborn babies to later developmental outcomes PhD, MS Distinguished Professor Jane Harding
Determinants of practice for the use of childhood-related clinical guidelines in New Zealand PhD Dr Julie Anne Brown
One-carbon metabolism (the homocysteine pathway and folate cycle) and metabolic health in children and adults PhD Professor Martin Kussmann
Genetic architecture of obesity related phenotypes across generations PhD, MS Dr Justin O'Sullivan
The interaction of dietary micronutrients with genetic factors in shaping obesity-related phenotypes in adults and children PhD Dr Justin O'Sullivan
Childhood Outcome After Neonatal Hypoglycaemia PhD Distinguished Professor Jane Harding
Childhood outcomes after trials of new treatments before and around the time of birth PhD, MS Distinguished Professor Jane Harding
Effect of Early Protein Intake on Later Growth and Development of Children Born Very Preterm PhD Distinguished Professor Jane Harding
Prevention and treatment of neonatal hypoglycaemia with oral dextrose gel PhD, MS Distinguished Professor Jane Harding
Development of children born at risk of neonatal hypoglycaemia and given oral dextrose gel: Follow-up at 2 years of age of children in the hPOD randomised controlled trial PhD Distinguished Professor Jane Harding
The hPOD randomised controlled trial: Preventing neonatal hypoglycaemia with oral dextrose gel PhD Distinguished Professor Jane Harding
Bringing molecular nutrition to the population: How micronutrient profiles influence health in children and adults PhD Professor Martin Kussmann

Research themes

The Liggins Institute offers research projects for doctoral, masters and honours degrees and postgraduate diplomas in a wide range of subjects including Biomedical Science, Community Health, Health Science, Māori Health, Medical Science, Molecular Medicine, Nutrition and Dietetics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Pacific Health, Paediatrics and Physiology. Our research opportunities fall into the following key themes:

  • Healthy mothers, healthy babies: the importance of a mother’s environment, diet and lifestyle prior to and during pregnancy for her child’s life-long health.
  • Nutrition for life-long health: from the health of parents at conception, to the impact of diet on muscle health in adulthood.
  • Determinants of a healthy life: a ground-breaking area of science with the potential to understand why and how non-communicable diseases develop.
  • Research to Reality: finding the best ways to translate our research findings into changes in clinical practice.

Meet a student

As a student you'll enjoy all the benefits of studying at New Zealand’s leading university with the added bonus of being part of a world-class research institute. That means state-of-the-art facilities and supervision by internationally recognised and connected academic staff.

PhD student Nina Zeng explains why she is proud to tell her family back in China that she studies at the Liggins Institute.