Auckland DHB welcomes Health Research Council awards

Auckland DHB’s Chief Medical Officer welcomes news of research awards made to two Auckland DHB medical staff today.

Dr Margaret Wilsher congratulated the two staff, who both receive fellowships under the Health Research Council’s 2018 HRC Career Development Awards scheme.

“We are particularly pleased to see grants supporting research in areas of need in child mental health and among the Māori and Pacific population,” Dr Wilsher said.

Auckland DHB child psychologist Dr Melanie Woodfield receives a $119,570 Foxley Fellowship grant for a first-in-New Zealand study. Dr Woodfield will test the effect over time of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT).

PCIT is designed for children aged 2.5 – 7 years with conduct problems and other complex needs. The PCIT programme originated in the United States and is widely used there. In New Zealand it is available through several services, including a clinic established by Dr Woodfield and a colleague in 2013 within Auckland DHB’s Kari Centre.

The evidence for the intervention having benefit over time is strong from overseas studies, but to date, none of the evidence has been gathered in New Zealand.

Dr Woodfield’s research will build a domestic evidence base on the strong foundation of clinical practice that has already been established here in New Zealand.

Auckland DHB respiratory registrar Dr William Good receives a grant to support another first-for-New Zealand. Dr Good will examine the effectiveness of a possible oral vaccine for bronchiectasis.

He will work with two leading specialists from Counties Manukau DHB and from the University of Auckland, Conroy Wong and John Kolbe. Dr Conroy Wong is Clinical Head of Respiratory Medicine at Middlemore Hospital. Specialist respiratory physician Professor John Kolbe consults in the public and private systems and teaches at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland.  

Dr Good’s fellowship, for $319,500 over three years, will examine the role of a bacterial vaccine for adult bronchiectasis patients. This feasibility, randomised, placebo-controlled trial will evaluate the clinical effects of Bactek-R. This is simply applied with a spray under the tongue. Potential benefits include reducing the periods of debilitating cough and distress that accompany the disease, improved quality of life and reduced healthcare costs.


For further information, visit the HRC website(external link) or contact Auckland DHB Senior Communications Advisor Mark Fenwick on (09) 630 9952 or (021) 366 664.


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