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Scope 36 - A sweet solution to asthma and cancer

1 June 2008

In the last issue of Scope we introduced Dr Bridget Stocker, a Victoria University chemistry graduate who returned to New Zealand last year following a two-year post-doctoral research position at one of the worlds top synthetic carbohydrate laboratories, the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Switzerland. Working alongside Dr Mattie Timmer from Victoria University, Dr Stocker has established an Immunoglycomics research programme at the Malaghan Institute that is focused on understanding the role sugars play in influencing immune responses. This is a vast untapped area of drug discovery that impacts on our asthma, cancer and tuberculosis research programmes.  

Dr Stocker's return to Wellington was prompted by a desire to strengthen the links between chemistry and immunology, and the positioning of New Zealand's leading immunology institute next door to Victoria University's School of Chemical and Physical Sciences provided the ideal opportunity in which to achieve this.

With a purpose-built laboratory currently under construction, Dr Stocker's newly developed research programme promises to make a significant contribution to the New Zealand health research scene and we are very fortunate to have her skills being utilised in this country where they are needed most.