5 May 2009
Collaboration between AgResearch and Liggins Official
In a move to optimise the nutritional and health-giving qualities of foods from pastoral-based sources for human
consumption, AgResearch has put the official seal on a collaboration with The University of Auckland’s Liggins
Institute, which will maximise research revenues from public good and industry sources.
Known as the Pastoral Food For Human Health Research Centre, the aim of the collaboration is to carry out quality
research in human nutrition including determinants of body composition, development and metabolism. It will exploit
synergies between the two parties relating to research at the human/animal interface, and will place priority on
scientific excellence and a research programme that is informed by, and relevant to, the needs of the pastoral, human
health and human nutrition sectors. The type of products targeted include novel ranges of food ingredients that deliver
human health benefits, animal feeds, animal welfare products, ethical animal manipulation methods, and smart ways of
handling and processing food products. Its ultimate goal is to commercialise the resulting research data.
The Liggins Institute was the first large-scale research institute established by The University of Auckland. It is
committed to world-class biomedical and clinical research in areas of major health importance. Professor Peter Gluckman,
who is spearheading the collaboration, is one of the Institute’s founding directors and an award-winning expert on how
discoveries in biomedical research can be turned into improvements to long-term health.
Commenting on the newly-formed Centre, Dr Jimmy Suttie, AgResearch’s Applied Biotechnologies Group General Manager, says
“this Centre formalises a collaboration that has taken place for many years. It allows AgResearch and the Liggins
Institute to examine holistically the interface between producing animal-based food, and then using that food for the
health and nutrition of humans.”
“The combination of capability in pastoral agriculture and human nutrition, growth and health is unparalleled in New
Zealand, and the creation of the Pastoral Food For Human Health Research Centre dovetails neatly with the proposal for
AgResearch to amalgamate with Lincoln University, because this new entity will have access to research capability with a
wider range of foods,” he added.