Applied Surgery and Metabolism Laboratory

Most of the basic science underpinning STaR Centre breakthroughs takes place in this laboratory, where surgeons and doctors work side-by-side with comparative physiologists and other career scientists. The researchers pool their skills to search for new understandings of human physiology and disease in order to transform insights gained into innovative effective treatments. 

The ASML features a wide range of disciplinary platforms including cell culture, organ perfusion, integrated physiology, surgical disease models and mitochondrial metabolism. The laboratory has its own wet labs and also makes use of access to a wide range of other capabilities such as metabolomics, proteomics and transcriptomics.

Located within the University of Auckland’s School of Biological Sciences, the Lab was established in 2011 as a collaborative venture between the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences.

Two senior researchers, Professor Anthony Phillips and Associate Professor Tony Hickey run the laboratory jointly. As a medically trained surgical scientist, Anthony guides a team of researchers investigating critical illness and lymph biology. Anthony has long-standing consulting experience with the biotechnology industry and in drug development for diabetes, ocular trauma and chronic wounds. The comparative physiologist of the group is Professor Tony Hickey, who has a wide range of interests spanning health applications through to environmental and ecological themes.

Currently the Lab has two fulltime research fellows and several technicians on staff. Most of the PhD students conducting research projects in the Lab are medical doctors. The Lab regularly attracts visiting lecturers and internationally-enrolled students on placements.

Current Major Research Themes include:

  1. Lymphatic biology
  2. Critical illness
  3. Oxidative stress and mitochondrial function