Research collaboration strengthened

Dr José Derraik, who was awarded The New Zealand‒China Non-communicable Diseases Emerging Researcher Travel Fellowship in January 2018, has been appointed as an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Children’s Hospital at Zhejiang University School of Medicine (Hangzhou, China).

With the support of the NZ‒China Emerging Researcher Travel Fellowship, Dr Derraik has been visiting Hangzhou and developing a close collaboration with Prof Jun-Fen Fu and her team at the Children’s Hospital.

Together, they are planning a long-term research collaboration that will benefit researchers in both New Zealand and China. The research will be examining a number of aspects of child health, with a strong focus on obesity in children and adolescents. Obesity in youth is an increasing problem in New Zealand and China, with associated adverse effects on both short- and long-term health. In this context, part of their research will involve closely examining a large cohort of obese children and adolescents to get a better understanding of the associated metabolic and cardiovascular comorbidities. Aims include developing a prediction model to identify youngsters with still undiagnosed cardiometabolic comorbidities, which would enable early intervention and maximising long-term health and wellbeing.

Dr Derraik’s Honorary appointment recognises his valuable contribution to this international collaboration which has already resulted in the submission of an HRC grant application, the acceptance of two poster presentations at large international conferences (European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and Asia Pacific Paediatric Endocrine Society), and the preparation of two manuscripts.

Dr José Derraik (in the front row second from left) meets with Professor Jun-Fen Fu (right of Dr Derraik) and her team at Children’s Hospital of Zhejiang in University School of Medicine, Hangzhou.