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Alumni in the news

Tuesday 17 December 2019 4:25pm

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Cancer breakthrough: Otago Microbiology alumnus Professor Nigel McMillan is at the forefront of a major breakthrough in the battle against cancer. Using gene-editing technology to target and remove cervical cancer tumours, he and his team at Menzies Health Institute in Queensland have eliminated cervical cancer in mice. Read the full story

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HIV discovery: US-based scientist and distinguished Otago alumna, Professor Carole McArthur and her team of researchers, are behind the recently-announced discovery and identification of a new HIV subtype, which has been characterised by US healthcare company Abbott Laboratories. Read the full story

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Rhodes Scholar: University of Otago graduate Oliver Pooke has been awarded a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to carry out postgraduate study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. Read the full story

Vodafone NZ Music Awards: Alumnus and internationally-renowned tenor Simon O’Neill, accompanied on piano by Professor Terence Dennis, won the Best Classical Artist Tui at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards last week for the album Distant Beloved, which features a selection of German Lieder by Beethoven, Schumann, Richard Strauss and Wagner.

Six60 also scooped three awards, including the People’s Choice Award, Highest Selling Artist and NZ On Air Radio Airplay Record of the Year. Formed while flatting at 660 Castle Street, the band includes Otago alumnus’ Eli Paewai (drums) and Matiu Walters (vocals and guitar).


Steepest street: Surveying “Class of ‘92” alumnus Toby Stoff is challenging claims that a Welsh street is the steepest in the world.

In July Guinness World Records stripped Dunedin’s Baldwin Street of the title “World’s Steepest Street”, and gave it to Ffordd Pen Llech, a lane in the town of Harlech in North Wales. Mr Stoff has questioned the methodology used in Wales. The measurements were made on the inside verge of a curve greatly exaggerating its steepness.

Mr Stoff travelled from Dunedin to Wales and back again in November, largely thanks to the support of his old classmates who helped raise $8,000 for the trip. He has already put his case to Guinness World Records and has also presented it to the popular British TV show “Judge Rinder”, which is similar to the popular American show “Judge Judy”, where a case is presented and adjudicated upon.