Our Research

The aim of the Surgical Research Trust is to give the talented researchers we have in this country the opportunity to further medical and surgical knowledge. We do this by funding their chosen research projects.  
About Us

Medical research, and surgical research in particular, is the domain of passionate enthusiasts who work to find answers to science or clinical questions. Such research is of potential benefit to all patients, both here and overseas, and to both current and future generations of patients.

Trust funds research in several surgical departments throughout New Zealand and each summer it supports three or four students through its Studentship Programme.

Since it was established in 1991, the Trust has funded about 90 projects around the country. This research is wide-ranging and encompasses numerous health fields such as paediatrics, orthopaedics, heart disease, cancer, renal disease, diabetes, brain conditions and obesity.

The Trust is immensely proud of the 90 projects it has funded over the years and of course here are too many to name here but details of a few highlights follow:


Funds were awarded to Jonathan Foo and Prof Richard Stubbs to identify gene transcription changes in the liver that occur in response to gastric bypass performed for the treatment of morbid obesity. Obesity results in diabetes, which is rapidly reversed following gastric bypass, and the gene transcription changes are thought to be the basis of this reversal of diabetes.


Dr Patries Herst and research officer Carole Grasso were given funding to look at the effect of high dose ascorbate (vitamin C) and radiation on glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumours in mice. GBM brain tumours are highly aggressive and invasive due to their extreme chemotherapy and radiation resistance.

Inneke Meredith and Prof Tony Blakely were given research funds to investigate the cancer incidence and survival in Pacific Island people compared with non-Maori and non-Pacific people in New Zealand. This study analysed the rates of cancer in Pacific people from 1981-2004, and the rates of cancer survival in Pacific people in NZ from 1991-2004.


Prof Swee Tan was awarded funds to further understand the origin of infantile Haemangioma. This study of the pathology of haemangiomas (birth marks) examined biopsies of haemangiomas in order to determine the origin of the microvessels.

Renal conditions

Prof Kevin Pringle: Studies on the effect of bladder outlet obstruction on the development of the kidneys and bladder in the foetal lamb.

If you are a researcher and would like to find out more about how we fund particular projects, contact the Trust secretary Christine Moore on surgicaltrust@gmail.com.