New Zealand
Walk of life:
Biographical details:

Neurophysiology and muscle physiology at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Strokes are the third most common cause of death in New Zealand. Is the key to their
prevention busy munching lettuce at the bottom of the garden?
University of Otago researcher Dr Paul Donohoe has made a remarkable discovery that
snails have a unique ability. When their brain cells detect a drop in oxygen levels, the
cells rapidly dial down their need for it. In contrast, our brain cells die.
Using a Marsden Fund grant, Dr Donohoe will research how the snail brain cells both
sense the lack of oxygen and then alter the cell’s behaviour to cope. Once these processes
are understood, the principles may lead to the saving of lives.
The project is being funded by a Fast-Start grant, awarded to recently-graduated
Researcher: Dr Paul Donohoe
Dept of Physiology, University of Otago
(03) 479 7300

Specific research interests