Seminar 3 Presenters

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Jacquie Bay BSc, MEd (Hons), DipTch
Director Liggins Education Network for Science 

Project Leader, National Research Centre for Growth and Development

Jacquie Bay is an experienced secondary school Biology teacher who, prior to joining the Liggins Institute, was Head of Science at Diocesan School for Girls in Auckland. She has a special interest in the role of student led research in science education, completing her Masters in Science Education in this field in 1999. She is well known for work in the integration of ICT tools in teaching and learning. Experienced in curriculum management and national marking panels, she is currently Chair of the New Zealand Biology Educators’ Association. Jacquie is aware of current issues faced by secondary biology educators and the potential positive impact of effective interaction between the secondary and tertiary science sectors.


Dr Deborah Sloboda BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD</big>

Senior Research Fellow, Liggins Institute

Deputy Director, National Research Centre for Growth and Development

Deborah Sloboda is a fetal physiologist who did her PhD at the University of Toronto focusing on the fetal hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis and the effects of stress hormones during pregnancy on fetal pancreatic development. In 2001 she received a fellowship from the Women's and Infants' Research Foundation, where she became the Forrest Fetal Fellow at The University of Western Australia. Here, Dr Sloboda continued her investigations on fetal endocrine development and established a new research platform involving a prospective cohort study investigating the prenatal origins of reproductive disorders and the onset of puberty in adolescent girls. In 2006 Dr Sloboda joined the Liggins Institute where her interest in fetal physiology continues, investigating fetal pancreatic development. She maintains ties with Australia through her prospective study in adolescent girls and now at the Liggins includes investigations on the effects of maternal nutrition on reproductive development of the offspring.


Dr Mark Vickers BSc, MSc (Hons), PhD
Research Fellow, Liggins Institute

Project Leader National Research Centre for Growth and Development

After doing a BSc in geography, Mark Vickers worked for several years in biomedical research laboratories in New Zealand and Germany and then returned to Auckland to do his MSc in paediatrics. His subsequent PhD studies showed that fetal undernutrition dysregulates the feedback loop between insulin and the obesity hormone leptin in adult life, and has consequences as far reaching as reduced activity levels. He has identified strategies to correct this dysregulation. He is now investigating the phenomenon more deeply, and aims to pinpoint the precise mechanisms driving the dysregulated hormonal loops. He won the Royal Society of New Zealand’s 2006 Hamilton Memorial Prize for his work in this area.