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A summer of learning for seven Matai interns

Seven university students are enjoying the chance to be involved in cutting edge projects as summer interns with the Gisborne-based Matai Medical Research Institute.

While at Matai they will learn how to produce and work with MRI data.They will also have the opportunity to experience a range of research activities.

The internships are sponsored and supported by Matai, Turanga Health, the University of Auckland, Auckland Bioengineering Institute, and the Fred Lewis Enterprise Foundation.

“The students will have the opportunity to be involved with cutting-edge projects, working alongside a team of expert scientists, clinicians, research staff, PhD students, and Iwi health providers,” a Matai spokeswoman said.

“They will be supporting a number of projects, including Matai's concussion research, the impact of methamphetamine on the brain, the effects of maternal sleep position on health, and a world-first child wellbeing (Tairawhiti) study.

“The students will be exposed to a number of research areas, including science communication, MRI data acquisition, processing, and interpretation, and community engagement, including understanding the health concerns for our community, iwi, hapu and whanau.”

The interns are studying in Dunedin, Christchurch, Hamilton and Auckland.

This year they are Haylea Rodgers, Jet Wright, Ben Bristow, Grace Cleland-Pottie, Jade Keelan, Ruby Westrupp and Sophie Couper.

Haylea is finishing her third year of medicine at Otago University, before taking a year out to complete a Bachelor of Medical Sciences with Honours.

Also at Otago is Jet, who is studying neuroscience and psychology. Ben is there too, studying neuroscience with a minor in psychology, and Jade (Ngāti Porou/Te Whanau a Apanui), who has completed her first year of a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery.

Grace (Ngā Puhi, Niuean) is in her first year studying a Bachelor of Data Science majoring in Population Health at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha (University of Canterbury).

Ruby (Ngati Porou, Rongowhakaata and Rongomaiwahine) is studying health, human, and sports performance at Waikato University, and majoring in human performance science.

Sophie Couper (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Hinemihi) has been at Auckland University for six years studying for her medical degree. She has just finished a year in Te Tai Tokerau, learning in hospitals in Whangarei and Kaitaia.

Matai internship applications for 2022/23 will open in July next year.

STUDY BREAK: Matai interns, from left, Ben Bristow, Ruby Westrupp, Jade Keelan, Grace Cleland-Pottie, Haylea Rodgers, and Jet Wright. (Absent Sophie Couper). Picture by Paul Rickard
Sophie Couper Picture supplied