'The University of Canterbury reputation is second to none...'
Senior Lecturer, Ara Institute of Canterbury
Radiographer, Mobile Medical Technology
James’ position as a Senior Lecturer in Medical Imaging has proven a valuable role within the only department to offer the Medical Imaging degree in the South Island, including some rewarding research and support for Ara Institute of Canterbury students.
However James was also keen to study a Master of Health Sciences as part of his research into more efficient treatments for kidney stones using extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL), an acoustic pulse that can be used to fragment them safely.
‘I could see that ESWL was not as effective as it could be,’ he says. ‘I hope to discover the most efficient and effective way of treating kidney stones using ESWL, and I would like to use this knowledge to teach others, through conference presentations and publications, how to treat kidney stones in the most effective way.’
His research has garnered quite a lot of interest, including several Best Paper awards from the NZ Medical Radiation Conference, an International Society of Radiographers and Radiation Therapists award leading to presentations in Canada, Finland, the USA, Australia and throughout New Zealand and several research awards through Ara Institute of Canterbury.
James was also invited to join a research group based in the University of Washington following a presentation of his master’s thesis in New Orleans, where they will investigate a renal stone removal process that may be simpler and less painful for patients. James intends on studying a PhD in collaboration with UW and UC.
James has also received recognition for his master’s research at UC, including a Master’s Scholarship and a Research Scholarship for his work with Professor Ann Richardson investigating ways of reducing breast cancer risk in New Zealand.
As such, James cites the support he received from the Health Sciences faculty as a distance student one of his favourite aspects of UC.
‘The University of Canterbury reputation is second to none. My supervisors have been very supportive throughout my time here and I know I made the right choice.
‘I have a close relationship with the staff at the Faculty of Health Sciences and often our meetings are over a coffee!’
Outside of research and work, James visits the outdoors frequently with his ‘large, foolish Labrador’ Zeus.
James looks forward to his research being of great benefit to people’s health, but until then enjoys the opportunity to work alongside both staff and students in medical research.
‘The people I work with – staff, in both clinical sites and the University and patients – are wonderfully supportive,’ he says.