Research projects to be conducted by the University's new School of Public Health have been awarded $3.9 million in funding from the Government's Health Research Council.
The projects, over three years, investigate industrial disease and children’s mobility and physical activity.
Wellington-based Centre for Public Health Research director Professor Neil Pearce, of Wellington, gets $1.19 million to assess whether occupational solvent exposure in New Zealand spray painters is associated with neurological disorders.
Dr David McLean, also from the centre, was awarded $1.19 million for a project investigating the causes of cancer in meat workers.
Associate Professor Karen Whitten, from the Social and Health Outcome Research and Evaluation Centre in Auckland, has been awarded $1.18 million to investigate how urban neighbourhoods can help develop children’s independence, influence physical activity levels and participation rates.
Another $143,868 was awarded to Dr Lesley Batten from the Research Centre for Maori Health and Development for a one-year feasibility study involving testing for Maori patients with non-small-cell lung cancer.
An emerging researcher first grant of $148,000 over three years was awarded to Dr Jackie Benschop from the Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences. Her project will investigate the prevalence of the occupational disease leptospirosis, address issues around diagnostic testing off the disease and identify which species of animal cause infection in humans.
The School of Public Health, launched in March, incorporates the Centre for Public Health Research, the Social and Health Outcome Research and Evaluation Centre, the Sleep/Wake Research Centre, and Te Pumanaawa Hauora, the Research Centre for Maori Health and Development.