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“So, what is it that you do at work again?”

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Old Government House Lecture Theatre G36

Building 102 (102-G36)

24 Princes Street

Auckland, 1010

New Zealand

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Professor Anthony Phillip's inaugural lecture

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This is an annual question from my Dad, and it is never a simple answer.

Acute critical illness can result from many different initiating causes such as severe infection, trauma or inflammation states like acute pancreatitis. Despite the best of medical care, in about a third of patients their acute illness becomes fatal because they develop a progressive failure of their vital organs (e.g. heart and lungs). This pattern of “multiple organ dysfunction” looks very similar regardless of what initially made them sick and can even occur in organs that were not involved in the original presenting illness. How intriguing….

This is a tale of how serendipity and a couple of phone-calls altered my life with profound effect. What eventually resulted has become a life-long meander down a clinical research path paved with trying to understand the basic science of acute critical illness, investigating therapeutic drugs, and developing medical devices. I will try to give some sense of that path’s direction, as well as introduce a few of the characters that have travelled with me to date. We will pause to investigate a couple of research highlights and some of the inevitable frustrations encountered along the way. Journey’s end will be to offer a few thoughts on what lies ahead for our surgical research program, and of course, what I will tell my Dad next year.

Anthony shares his time between the Department of Surgery and School of Biological Sciences where he has been very fortunate to work with many talented people across a wide range of research topics. This has given him the opportunity to study disease and biology at the molecular, microscopic and clinical level. He has worked in several translational research areas and along the way gained experience in the commercialisation of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. A key focus has also been the development of the Applied Surgery and Metabolism Laboratory, a supportive environment where surgical doctors at any career stage can come to undertake basic laboratory research into critical illness.

Refreshments will be served in the Old Government House Member’s Lounge (102-G10 and 102-G11) at 1730, prior to the lecture.

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Old Government House Lecture Theatre G36

Building 102 (102-G36)

24 Princes Street

Auckland, 1010

New Zealand

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