Professor Janis Paterson currently heads the School of Public Health and Psychosocial Studies in AUT’s Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences.
Janis plays a central role in the growth and development of a variety of research areas, for research activity that is aligned with community and government priorities, for strong collaborations and networks and for fostering a growing international reputation. During her 20 years at AUT University, she has witnessed considerable transformation, particularly the diverse and changing landscape of research.
With a PhD from the University of Auckland, Janis is a developmental psychologist and is interested in all aspects of child and family development. She also heads the Pacific Island Families study, which is one of the largest international, longitudinal studies which looks at the developmental health and well being of more than 1000 Pacific children and their families. The study, which has followed the children since they were born in South Auckland in the year 2000, looks at the children and their families as they grow from infancy and transition from early education to school, into adolescence and beyond. Janis says the study is generating vital information on Pacific child and family health and psychosocial functioning over critical developmental stages.
Janis is also Co-director of the National Institute for Public Health and Mental Health Research which is focused on advancing both the quantity and quality of research activities within the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences. There are currently eight centres in the NIPHMHR which include the Centre for Pacific Health and Development Research, Centre for Migrant and Refugee Research, Gambling and Addictions Research Centre, Taupua Waiora: Centre for Māori Health Research, Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (CPAN), Centre for Child Health Research, Interdisciplinary Trauma Research Centre and the Centre for Midwifery and Women’s Health.