Christchurch Medical School reopens after two years of closure due to earthquakes

By Grant Jacobs 28/01/2013

Today the University of Otago announced that their Christchurch base is open again.*

Although their article article talks of the medical students, the school is also home to several research teams.

These research teams have been displaced all over the city over the past two years that the building was closed due to earthquake damage.

One PI** told me that some of his days were cycle tours, connecting with his students wherever they had found a research ‘home’ in the city. Another I bumped into (almost literally!) while visiting a biotechnology firm and learnt the firm had offered space to host her team. I’m sure other teams have similar stories.

The research teams started moving back into the building late last year. I imagine they’re delighted to be under one roof again, although the city areas to the east will seem bleak and limited compared to what they once were.

Despite the disruptions they’ve managed to keep some things going. Some will have no doubt lost team members. Hopefully the research teams now mainly have to face more routine hassles, like those grant applications!


* The website has them as University of Otago, Christchurch. I still think of them as the Christchurch Medical School. I worked there for a time a number of years ago. Christchurch is my hometown.

** Principal Investigator – scientists’ shorthand for ‘team leader’.

Other articles at Code for life:

Earthquake at Christchurch

The psychology of the Christchurch earthquakes

When things grow wild – post-earthquake natural succession in Christchurch gardens

Coiling bacterial DNA

Genetic tests and personalised medicine

Haemophilia – towards a cure using genetic engineering

0 Responses to “Christchurch Medical School reopens after two years of closure due to earthquakes”

  • Thanks Grant – I still work UOC (or as I have said for the last two years at the University of Otago Papanui). I popped in for a coffee paid for by the Dean early yesterday (:)) at the newly opened Medici and then stuck my head in the door of the large lecturer theatre for the welcome for new 4th year students – it was great to see the theatre full.
    Lab groups are especially relieved to be back in the building. Sadly, during the last two year’s the lab side of my own group has disappeared. Still lots of good stuff has been done and I am looking forward to once again occupying an office in the building (hopefully in the next month or so).
    In the meantime, the 40th anniversary of the med school will be held over 20-22 Feb. Maybe join us for the celebrations?

  • I really have to get the “new” name in my head! (I put the old one in the title and only noticed after publishing the piece, but decided on reflection to let it stand.)

    Thanks for the link to the 40th anniversary events. I may try attend, if other things don’t get in the way.