Research // Diabetes & Metabolic Disease //

The role of genetics in the etiology and management of obesity and diabetes in NZ populations

Rates of obesity and type-2 diabetes are higher in Māori and Pacific populations than for the general population in New Zealand. This therefore represents a major health challenge of particular importance to the country.

The Maurice Wilkins Centre has supported a range of projects to identify genetic variants that may predispose Māori and Pacific peoples to increased risk of developing conditions such as obesity and type-2 diabetes.

The aim is to use this information to understand how to better prevent and treat these conditions. We are particularly interested in understanding how gene variants might affect the way that commonly used drugs work.

This work will be done in partnership with joint research centres the Maurice Wilkins Centre has established with two Māori health care providers (the Moko Foundation in Northland and Ngāti Porou Hauora in Tairāwhiti (East Coast) and with input from the Pacific community.