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  • Graeme Mack Research Fund

    Graeme Mack’s Life

    Graeme Douglas Mack was educated at Auckland Grammar and was a proud Aucklander. He was married to Elizabeth, a dietitian at Auckland Public Hospital. In his forties he developed type 2 diabetes. He successfully managed it with diet and an active life style. Graeme and Elizabeth travelled widely and adventurously and Graeme lived a long and fulfilled life.

    Upon his death in 2011, Graeme gifted significant funds to charities in his will including Diabetes NZ – Auckland Branch for research purposes.

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    Graeme and Elizabeth Mack

    2016 Recipients

    The inaugural recipients of the Graeme Douglas Mack Research Fund in 2016:

     One Year Research Grant Recipient:  Mrs Joyce Roberts, Clinical Nurse Diabetes Specialist, Counties Manukau Health; Paying adolescents to encourage diabetes self-management

     Two Year Research Grant Recipient:  Dr Troy Merry, Rutherford Discovery Research Fellow, Senior Lecturer at School of Medical Sciences, The University of Auckland; Brown adipose tissue in New Zealand children

     

    Brown adipose tissue in New Zealand children

    One in nine New Zealand children are obese, and the prevalence in Maori and Pacific Island children is substantially higher. Weight gain is fundamentally an imbalance between energy intake (food and digestion) and energy expenditure, but there are many underlying and complicated factors regulating our energy ‘in’ and ‘out’. A proportion of energy we use (energy out) at rest comes from the activity of brown fat. Unlike normal white fat that stores energy, brown fat is very good at using energy and releasing it as heat. Because brown fat uses energy differences in brown fat levels may contribute to the overall risk of developing obesity.

    Brown fat is found in our neck region and produces heat (i.e. uses energy) when the body is cooled. We intend to measure increases in temperature in the neck region when a participant’s hand in placed in cool water as an indirect measure of brown fat level. A greater rise in temperature will indicate a greater level of brown fat. We will use this approach to answer the question ‘what is the variability in brown fat levels in New Zealand children, and how does this relate to resting energy expenditure and body composition?’

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    Dr Troy Merry

    2017 Recipients

    The inaugural recipients of the Graeme Douglas Mack Research Fund in 2017:

     One Year Research Grant Recipient:  Dr Katharine Wallis, Senior lecturer in the Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Auckland and General practitioner in Auckland; Optimal HbA1c target for older people with diabetes.

     Two Year Research Grant Recipient:  Awaiting confirmation

     

    Optimal HbA1c target for older people with diabetes

    Dr Katharine Wallis is a GP academic. She is a senior lecturer in the Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Auckland and a part-time general practitioner in a central city practice in Auckland.

    This project will investigate the association between blood sugar control (HbA1c level) and health outcomes including heart attacks, strokes, hypoglycaemia, and all-cause mortality in older people with diabetes. There is limited evidence and substantial uncertainty about optimal diabetes management in older people. In treating diabetes, doctors need to balance the risk of diabetes (such as heart attacks and strokes) and the risk of treatment (such as hypoglycaemia). While tighter blood sugar control (lower target HbA1c) may be best for younger people, a higher target HbA1c may be more appropriate for older people. Findings from this project may be used to guide diabetes management in older New Zealanders to help maintain and improve quality of life.

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    Dr Katharine Wallis

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