Hello there! My name is Kanchana Perera and I am a University of Auckland graduate having obtained a M.Sc. in medical statistics exactly TWENTY years ago! Since then, I have worked as a biostatistician in Perth, Auckland and am currently with the US Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences located in Maryland, USA. I am however based in Auckland and working with Diabetes Foundation Aotearoa as I embark on an exciting (and eye opening!) PhD journey with Western Sydney University from July 2022.
I anticipate that my research topic: "Ethnic differences in diabetes in New Zealand" will provide a deeper understanding of the ethnic differences in type 2 diabetes (T2D) in New Zealand by identifying the characteristics and/or biomarkers that are most closely associated with an increased risk of diabetic kidney disease (DKD). This knowledge will not only highlight the current T2D and diabetic nephropathy epidemic amongst those of Māori and Pasifika descent, but could inform strategies to effectively and efficiently mitigate DKD.
In December 2022, I had the opportunity to attend and present at the International Diabetes Epidemiology Group (IDEG), which took place in the gorgeous city of Porto in Portugal - what a valuable academic and networking experience that was! In the time leading up to March 2023, I have regularly met with my immediate supervisor, Professor David Simmons, as well as hold a group meeting on research progress for my panel of amazing supervisors: Dr. John Baker, Ms. Karen Pickering, Dr. Dahai Yu, Dr. Anandwardhan Hardikar and Dr. Gerhard Sundborn, whilst juggling work and being a mum - definitely challenging, but also a remarkable experience that I look forward to providing more interesting information about as my research unfolds.