The MRINZ runs a wide variety of research programmes with one requirement, the potential to change clinical practice and patient outcomes. We are proud to achieve over one peer reviewed publication a week and have one of the highest quality academic outputs of any New Zealand organisation.

This is achieved through our capability to act autonomously as the trial coordinating centre in New Zealand for both domestic and large-scale, multi-national clinical trials using research networks in intensive care, hospitals, general practice and pharmacy. See our collaborations here.

Our Programmes

Alternative and Complementary Medicine

The commitment of the MRINZ to enhance the evidence base for natural therapies and over the counter medication has continued with strong progress over 2017. The main study has been a comparison of medical grade kanuka with aciclovir, the gold standard treatment for this common condition.

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The MRINZ is part of an international collaborative group which has proposed a paradigm shift in the approach to the management of asthma and COPD.

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Cardiothoracic Surgery

The Cardiac Surgical research programme consists of the Improving Outcomes after Cardiac Surgery Network (IOACSNet), a multi-disciplinary consortium of cardiac surgeons, anaesthetists, intensivists, clinical perfusionists and researchers involved in the care of patients undergoing cardiac surgery at public hospitals in New Zealand.

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

The chronic breathlessness of COPD is physically limiting, socially isolating and associated with depression and anxiety. Pulmonary rehabilitation improves quality of life, exercise tolerance and breathlessness in patients with COPD. Adding to and sustaining these benefits are much needed topics of research.

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Emerging Therapeutics

In patients with septic shock, the blood pressure is so low that the blood supply to the body’s vital organs is compromised. Intensive Care doctors administer adrenaline-like medicines to keep the blood pressure high enough to keep patients alive.

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Intensive Care

Paracetamol is one of the most widely used medicines and is commonly given to Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients with infections. The MRINZ led a 700 patient clinical trial in 23 ICUs comparing paracetamol to placebo in ICU patients with fever and infection, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2015.

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Medicinal Cannabis

The most recent research programme to be developed at the MRINZ is the medical cannabis programme. This programme will provide tolerability and pharmacokinetic data for two New Zealand grown and manufactured pharmaceutical grade cannabis medicines. This data is essential for determining the dosing schedules for the subsequent clinical trials of the products which will be undertaken.

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The MRINZ has a long-standing collaboration with researchers from the University of Auckland and University of Otago, working to identify associations between various lifestyle factors and obesity in children and adolescents. The collaboration utilises data on over 250,000 children from 71 centres in 35 countries, from the ISAAC programme.

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Oxygen therapy has been demonstrated to place patients with acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at risk of carbon dioxide retention and poor clinical outcomes. This has led to a change in practice with more careful use of oxygen given to such patients transferred by ambulance to hospital.

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Pleural Disease

The MRINZ has had a key role in setting up and coordinating the largest randomised controlled trial of the treatment of pneumothorax (collapsed lung). It challenges current dogma that the preferred treatment is an invasive approach based primarily on the insertion of a chest drain.

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The Taking Charge After Stroke (TaCAS) study has now been completed, randomising 400 people within 16 weeks of acute stroke and following them up at 6 and 12 months. This multicentre trial took place at 7 sites across New Zealand, a catchment representing more than half the country’s population. We tested the novel ‘Take Charge intervention’ in addition to usual best practice stroke rehabilitation. The Take Charge intervention is a ‘talking therapy’ and aims to facilitate self-rehabilitation after stroke.

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Venous thromboembolism

Research from the MRINZ has recently shown that prolonged seated immobility at work is an important yet previously unrecognised risk factor for venous thromboembolism, comprising deep vein thrombosis and/or pulmonary embolism (aka blood clots).

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