Dr Rita Krishnamurthi was born in Fiji and came to New Zealand in 1991, armed with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Applied Science, from Sydney's University of Technology.
In 1991, Rita accepted a position at the University of Auckland as a Research Assistant at the School of Medicine. While working, she completed a Doctor of Philosophy looking at specific molecules for neuro-protection in Parkinson’s disease using animal models.
In 2009, she made the move to AUT and has not looked back. One great thing about AUT in Rita’s opinion is the opportunity to grow, change and expand with the university.
Driven by personal reasons, Rita has developed her own specialty area of research: investigating cardiovascular diseases as a cause of dementia.
What motivates Rita is that knowing that she could help prevent some people from having to go through the horrible experience of dementia themselves, or watching their loved ones go through it.
Rita identifies with her Pacific origin, as much as she does her Indian heritage, and therefore has applied for funding for a project in South Auckland where there is a high population of Pacific and Indian people.
Rita believes that they have higher risks for conventional cardiovascular risks, and the same applies for dementia.
One thing Rita is particularly passionate about is prevention. Unfortunately, a lot of cases of stroke and heart disease can be prevented, but people don’t know very much about how to do that. One of the things Rita wants to focus on is raising awareness in vulnerable communities.