Welcome to the Otago School of Medical Sciences
Celebrating OSMS Stars
18 December 2014
The OSMS held its annual Awards ceremony yesterday afternoon. Over 150 people gathered to celebrate the achievements of OSMS staff and students.
Professor Warren Tate was, to his surprise, presented with the “Service to the School Award” in recognition of more than 40 years of outstanding and sustained contribution to the School.
The Distinguished Researcher of the Year award went to Professor Neil Gemmell who, according to his nominees,“is exceptionally creative and productive, and who has a generous spirit that ignites his field and nurtures the next generation of scientists”.
Associate Professor Tony Merriman received the inaugural Māori/ Pasifika Research award to recognise the meaningful relationships he has built with a number of Māori and Pasifika public health groups, particularly in the area of genetic and environmental causes of gout.
The Commercial Research Award was presented to Dr Stephen Sowerby. Stephen is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry, Director of the University’s Applied Science programme, and the co-founder of two successful companies: Australo Ltd. (later renamed Izon Science), and Menixis Ltd.
Dr Pete Jones received the Emerging Researcher Award for his impressive research, publications, research funding and leadership since starting his appointment in 2010.
The Best Paper Award went to Professor Greg Cook and his team for their paper “A soil actinobacterium scavenges atmospheric H2 using two oxygen-dependent, membrane-associated [NiFe]-hydrogenases” was published in PNAS, a multidisciplinary scientific journal with a high impact factor (9.8).
The Distinguished Research Support Staff Award was presented to Dr Peter Stockwell for his service in support of bioinformatics and other related biocomputational methods at Otago over the past three decades.
Allan Mitchell received the Sustained Research Support Staff Award to recognize more than 40 years of passion and commitment to the Electron Microscope Unit.
Justine Fuller was awarded the Focused Contribution Research Support Award. According to Professor Brian Hyland, Justine is single handedly responsible for all aspects of the functioning of his laboratory.
Associate Professor Sally McCormick was considered the perfect recipient for the Distinguished Academic Teacher award as she “has demonstrated excellence in teaching delivery, teaching planning and administration, and research supervision. All three are very difficult to do, all three take time to do well and Sally succeeds at them all, while maintaining an internationally competitive research programme.”
The award for the Distinguished Teaching Fellow/PPF in the Professional Programmes was awarded to Dr Matt Bevin in recognition of his sustained outstanding delivery and leadership in the Department of Physiology since 1998.
Dr Annika Bokor received the Distinguished Teaching Fellow/PPF in Science Award for her outstanding contribution to undergraduate teaching at all levels, but particularly to BIOC 192. She has also introduced a hugely popular tutorial programme, been heavily involved in the Hands-on-Science programme and organised popular events for summer students.
Congratulations to all staff and students on an outstanding year!
Health Sciences Translational Research Grant for Dr Monica Gerth
18 December 2014
Congratulations to Dr Monica Gerth, who has been awarded the 2014 Division of Health Sciences’ Translational Research Grant. The $50,000 grant will be used to test a novel antimicrobial enzyme she has developed to prevent biofilm formation.
University of Otago Media Release
Neurological Foundation Funding for OSMS Researchers
16 December 2014
Dr Stephanie Hughes will receive $12,000 for a study titled “Validation of a novel drug target in CLN5 Batten disease”.
Dr Margaret Ryan has been awarded $186,421 for her project named “Secreted amyloid precursor protein alpha: furthering its therapeutic potential”.
Associate Professor Greg Anderson will receive $120,274 for a study titled “RFRP-3-induced stress disorders and the effects of a novel therapeutic antagonist”
Read the University of Otago media release to learn more about these projects.
OSMS Foodbank Challenge a Success
11 December 2014
The OSMS departmental financial staff members organised a very successful Foodbank Challenge again this year.
OSMS staff and students showed great generosity … from the traditional cans of tomatoes and bags of rice to more unusual items like Hundreds and Thousands chocolate, Christmas cake and even cat food!
FamilyWorks picked up the donations yesterday and were overwhelmed by the amount and quality of the goods. They just managed to squeeze all the boxes into their car and said they might need to lobby for a larger vehicle for next year’s pick-up!
Thank you very much to everyone who contributed to help make this festive season a little happier.