A series of mini-lectures on the latest research in early life science. Event as iCalendar

30 November 2016

5:30 - 7:30pm

Venue: Lecture Theatre 2, Building 505

Location: Grafton Campus, University of Auckland

Host: Liggins Institute

Contact email: n.bassett@auckland.ac.nz

Website: https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/liggins-institute-november-lecture-tickets-28541926671

This fascinating evening gives you an insight into the latest research in the field of early life science, from identifying the risk factors of adult disease to the safety of your supplements.

Four scientists from the Liggins Institute will share their research about:

  • The power of your gut bacteria to influence disease
  • The truth about fish oil supplements
  • Why nutrition for preterm babies is so important

Find out more about the presentations below.  Register here to the event at the Liggins Institute on November 30, which also includes drinks and networking. 

How should we feed preterm babies for long-term health?

Around two million extremely low birthweight babies are born each year and each one has a high risk of developmental problems, obesity, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Almost all these babies grow slowly in the first month, at a time when brain growth and development should be extremely rapid. Despite this, there little evidence to guide nutritional practice and that’s what Barbara Cormack is interested in. She’s a paediatric dietitian who’s investigating how nutrition affects the growth and development of preterm babies in the long-term. Hear more about Barbara’s research into whether a higher protein intake in the first five days after birth improves a child’s growth, body composition and neurodevelopmental outcome at two years of age.

Can your fish oil cause you harm?

Dr Ben Albert is a paediatrician who is interested in the metabolic effect of Omega-3. He’s already found more than half of the fish-oil brands sold in New Zealand are “off” by the time we buy them, but 20% of women take fish oil supplements during pregnancy to boost their baby’s brain development. Interested in the effects the oil could have, Ben’s tests on pregnant rats have found higher newborn mortality rates and increased maternal insulin resistance in pregnant rats fed oxidised fish oil. Here Ben will explain more about his fish oil studies and whether high-quality fish oil can have a positive effect on babies.

Can your gut bacteria set a blueprint for obesity?

The gut microbiome has been getting a lot of attention recently for its potential to influence the development of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. This is particularly apparent in preterm children who are more likely to become obese or to develop diabetes and heart disease in later life. In this fascinating presentation, PhD candidate Thilini Maddegoda Vidanelage will explain how the microbiome differs in pre and full-term babies, and why this affects insulin resistance.

How can we improve life for kids with cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is the most common cause of physical disability in childhood, yet treatments to relieve the effects are limited. Cerebral palsy affects movement  control which  over the years impacts muscle and bone health. However, in a unique trial at the Liggins Institute’s Clinical Research Unit, research fellow Dr Silmara Gusso discovered huge improvements in children with cerebral palsy who  used a vibration plate for just a few minutes a day. She’ll describe how the clinical trial worked and some of the biggest breakthroughs for participants.


Register for the Liggins November lecture here.