2006 Scholars

Posted by on 2 January 2006

The Foundation has much pleasure in announcing the 2006 Scholars:

Scholarship awarded to Catherine Goodfellow - University of Auckland

Role of Astrocytes in Huntington’s Disease. 

catherineCatherine graduated with a BSc followed by a PhD where she worked in the Department of Pharmacology on Huntington ’s Disease. Despite intensive research for over a decade, the pathological mechanisms of the disease remain elusive, resulting in a lack of effective therapies to slow or stop progression of the disease.

Although only a small proportion of New Zealanders suffer from Huntington’s Disease (1 in every 15,000 people),its effects are widely spread among family and friends as loved ones mentally and physically deteriorate. The late onset characteristic of the disease often results in additional trauma to family members due to the hereditary nature of the disease, resulting in a 50%chance of the disease developing in the patient’s offspring.

Scholarship awarded to Liz Kiata-Holland - University of Auckland

Promoting independence in residential care.

LizThe Foundation supported Liz over a three year period during her PhD research in the Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care. During that time she published in two journals and an educational text book and gave presentations at Conferences both in New Zealand and overseas.

Data was collected from 323 participants (residents and employees) based in Auckland and Christchurch, seeking their views about long-term residential care. The goal of the research was to develop, evaluate and implement programmes to safely assist in maintenance of quality of life in residential care. Areas investigated were the ways residents interact with one another and with other people, both inside and outside their residential care facility. About 5% of older people live in long term residential care facilities. Research suggests that these people may be socially isolated but there is little understanding about how older people themselves make sense of their lives when living in long term care.

Scholarship awarded to Lisa Stewart - University of Auckland

Evaluation of the extent in which District Health Board’s are meeting the Older Persons’ Health Action Plan

lisaLisa has both a BA and postgraduate qualifications in Nursing. She undertook a Master in Science within the School of Nursing and responded to The Foundation ’s invitation to follow up District Health Boards and evaluate the extent to which they are meeting requirements of the Government’s Strategy for the Health of Older People.

The 21 District Health Boards have a deadline of 2010 to ensure that their service delivery will meet the needs of their older people and be in line with the key objectives within the Strategy which was launched by the NZ Government in May 2002.

Lisa contacted all 21 District Health Boards and consulted with Chief Executive Officers, Clinical Directors, service managers and/or nurse managers involved in older people ’s health, along with advocacy support agencies such as the local branch of Age Concern, to obtain their view in relation to how the plan is being carried out within each District Health Board area.

In September 2008, Lisa’s report will be released to the District Health Boards.

Scholarship awarded to Melissa Ryan - University of Otago


Emotion understanding across the lifespan.

After a BA and PG Dip (Psyc), Melissa did a PhD based in the Department of Psychology to consider the effects of age-related brain changes and the ability to consolidate new information quickly, e.g. how to recognise emotions in faces. Emotion recognition appears to be an important component of successful social interaction but there was a paucity of research investigating how this ability fares with advancing age.




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