Liggins Institute Leadership
The Director of the Liggins Institute has overall responsibility for the operation and scientific direction of the Institute. In the University’s organisational structure, the Director has a similar position to a Dean of a Faculty and reports directly to The University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor.
The Director is supported by three Associate Directors: Associate Director - Academic, Associate Director - Public Good and Associate Director - Private Good. There is also an Institute Executive comprising academic staff, professional staff and postgraduate students.
The on-site Clinical Research Unit has a clinical director who manages a team of paediatric endocrinologists, paediatricians, paediatric and research nurses and administrative staff.
The off-site Research Farm is managed by a senior scientist who leads a team of scientists, technicians, PhD students and visiting researchers.
Academic staff comprise professors, senior lecturers and research fellows, research fellows and clinical research fellows, as well as honorary academics.
Professional staff are managed by the Institute Operations Manager, and grouped into the following service divisions: research support, operations, finance, communications and laboratory.
A laboratory manager runs the Liggins Institute’s laboratory, and leads a team of specialist technical staff.
National Science Challenges
Two of the government’s eleven National Science Challenges - A Better Start and High-Value Nutrition - are hosted at the Liggins Institute and led by Liggins Institute academics.
The National Science Challenges are designed to take a strategic approach to the Government’s science investment by bringing together the country’s top researchers to focus on a series of goals that, if achieved, would have major and enduring benefits for New Zealand.
A Better Start (E Tipu e Rea)
A Better Start National Science Challenge delivers research that supports our tamariki to lead healthy and successful lives. The Challenge has three health-related research themes, Healthy Weight, Resilient Teens and Successful Learning with researchers gathered from across the country. A further theme Big Data works across the health domains. Launched in February, 2016, A Better Start manages a research investment of $34.7m over 10 years.
High-Value Nutrition (Ko Ngā Kai Whai Painga)
High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge builds the research excellence and knowledge New Zealand needs to create and deliver foods to the world that people choose to stay healthy and well.
The Challenge has four priority research themes, Digestive Health, Immune Health, Infant Health and Metabolic Health, with two enabling research themes, the Science of Food and Consumer Insights. The Challenge was launched in April 2014, with funding of up to $83.8 m over 10 years.
Challenge research has identified four key potential opportunities in our major export country, China. The areas are: Diabetes and pre-diabetes, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Boosting the immune health in response to pollution and flu, and Weaning foods for infants to build healthy immune systems.