International distinction in research recognised

30 October 2016

Model of a strand of DNA

Healthier Lives is delighted that two of our Science Leadership team members have been recognised as researchers of international distinction.

Professors Parry Guilford and Peter Shepherd have both been elected as Fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

The Society noted their contributions to research as follows:

Professor Parry Guilford, from the University of Otago, is an expert on cancer biology and cancer genetics and is committed to translational research for the benefit of the cancer patient. Research in collaboration with a large Māori family identified the first known gene for inherited gastric cancer. This defined a new cancer syndrome, saved many lives worldwide, and provided a completely new insight into the mechanisms of cancer development. He has been involved in the development of Cxbladder, a urine test for bladder cancer. This test will reduce the need for painful bladder cystoscopies and reduce healthcare costs.

Professor Peter Shepherd, of the University of Auckland, has made important contributions to understanding how defects in the PI 3-kinase signalling pathway contribute to cancer and diabetes. PI 3-kinases are a family of enzymes involved in cellular functions such as cell growth, proliferation, differentiation, motility, survival and intracellular trafficking, which in turn are involved in cancer. After working overseas, he returned to New Zealand in 2004 to collaborate on developing new drugs to treat cancer, resulting in the development of a novel PI 3-kinase inhibitor through to clinical trial. In his spare time he has made major contributions to high school biology teaching and to New Zealand’s research environment by developing Queenstown Research Week into New Zealand’s largest biosciences meeting.

You can read more about the Society’s awards on their website:

Diverse range of top researchers and scholars elected as Fellows (Royal Society of New Zealand website)

View our 2019-24 Research Strategy

He Pikinga Waiora Research Findings Brief

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