Ending obesity: The health of our children depends on it Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Time: 5:30 - 7pm

Venue: Lecture Theatre 505-007, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Location: 85 Park Road, Grafton Campus

Our annual inaugural lecture series provide a way for our faculty to celebrate and recognise the mark of distinction conferred by the University when it awards the title of professor.

Join us to celebrate the inaugural lecture of Professor Melissa Wake.

'Ending obesity: The health of our children depends on it'

Childhood obesity. We see it, but it's invisible. We have facts, but are driven by opinion. We know what doesn't work, but keep doing it. We know what works, but don't do it. We want to show progress, but don't measure it. We spend to counter it, but much more generating it.

These mindsets must change, because obesity threatens not just the health of a child but of a generation. Professor Wake will discuss learnings from this millennium and ideas about a solution-focused New Zealand committed to ending childhood obesity.


Consultant Paediatrician Melissa Wake took up the Cure Kids Chair of Child Health Research in February 2017, a joint position with the Department of Paediatrics: Child and Youth Health and the Liggins Institute. She also holds appointments at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) and The University of Melbourne.

Funded by an MBIE Catalyst Strategic Award, her GENO consortium is building a Liggins-MCRI partnership that aims to deliver enduring benefit to New Zealand and Australia within and beyond its primary focus of Genes, Environment, Nutrition and Obesity.

Her focus is on population paediatrics: what universal and secondary care systems are needed to make a difference to children's health and development. Her research interests span the common conditions of childhood and the antecedents of adults' diseases of ageing.

She has conducted numerous randomised trials in the areas of obesity, blood pressure, language, literacy, working memory, hearing, sleep and mental health. Health Design Leader for the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children since its inception, she now leads its cross-generational physical health and biorepository, the Child Health CheckPoint.

Awards include the 2009 Australian Health Minister's Prize for Excellence in Health and Medical Research and consecutive NHMRC Excellence Awards (2009-12, 2013-16) as top-ranked Research Fellow in Australia. Projects she has led have twice appeared in the NHMRC's annual 'Ten of the Best' publication.

Invite open to FMHS staff and students.