Professor Helen Nicholson BSc(Hons) MB ChB MD(Brist)

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, External Engagement, University of Otago
Professor in Anatomy, University of Otago
In 2021 was the Vice-Chancellor (Acting) of the University of Otago

Otago University profile: View HERE

Otago University appointment as acting VP: view HERE and HERE


Professor Helen Nicholson was appointed Vice-Chancellor (Acting) on 20 March 2021.
Prior to this Professor Nicholson had taken up the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) in January 2021.

Professor Nicholson is an ex officio member of the University Council, chairs the Capital Development Committee and is a member of the University Council’s Finance and Budget Committee, Treaty of Waitangi Committee, and Honorary Degrees Committee. She has been appointed as a director of University of Otago Holdings Limited and a Trustee (ex officio) of the University of Otago Foundation Trust.

The paracrine control of reproductive processes in the male, in particular the regulation of prostate growth in health and disease. Clinical anatomy and medical education.

Prostate disease is common and affects many men as they grow older. Prostate cancer is now one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in men and benign enlargement of the prostate affects ~ 50% of men over the age of 60 causing difficulty in passing urine. The group is investigating the regulation of prostate growth, in both health and disease, using both animal models and in vitro studies of human cells and tissues. Current studies relate to the role of the hormone oxytocin and members of the TGFß family in regulating prostate cell growth and the use of the possum as a novel model for studying prostate growth and regression.
Professor Nicholson also has research interests in the area of clinical anatomy.

Recent Publications include:

Flack, N. A. M. S., McClea, K., & Nicholson, H. D. (2017). Commemoration practices at Otago: Experiences from a bicultural society. In G. Štrkalj & N. Pather (Eds.), Commemorations and memorials: Exploring the human face of anatomy. (pp. 119-132). Singapore: World Scientific.

Nicholson, H., Woodley, S., & Flack, N. (2016). Gluteal muscles and lateral rotators of the hip. In R. S. Tubbs, M. M. Shoja & M. Loukas (Eds.), Bergman’s comprehensive encyclopedia of human anatomic variation. (pp. 386-409). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. [Encyclopaedia/Dictionary Entry].

Matthews, Smith-Han and Nicholson. From physiotherapy to the army: negotiating previously developed professional identities in mature medical students
(August 2020)
• Advances in Health Sciences Education 25(1)