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Two Otago Geneticists Elected as Fellows of the Royal Society

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Genetics Otago congratulates two University of Otago geneticists, Professors Tony Merriman and Parry Guilford, who have been elected as Fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

The Royal Society of New Zealand confers fellowship on its members for distinction in research or the advancement of science, or technology, or the humanities.


Tony and Parry are inspirational examples of the contribution that Otago’s geneticists are making to public health in New Zealand and globally.


Tony MerrimanProfessor Tony Merriman’s research has contributed to the pre-clinical and clinical science of autoimmune diseases and gout in New Zealand, particularly in Māori and Pacific people.

He has shown the genetic and environmental elements of gout, which has informed public health advice and drug availability in New Zealand.

Tony has also made important academic advances extracting key conclusions from large health data sets.

Listen to Tony talk to Radio New Zealand's Kim Hill about sugar, gout and genes.

Parry Guilford SkyProfessor Parry Guilford dedicates his expertise in cancer biology and cancer genetics to translational research that benefits cancer patients. His 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 reduces the need for painful bladder cystoscopies and reduces healthcare costs.

Listen to Parry talk to Radio New Zealand’s Our Changing World about his lab’s research into a potential cure for lobular breast cancer.

Parry's research into DNA-based cancer monitoring was recently covered by the New Zealand Herald