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Christchurch Professor given medical profession’s highest accolade

Tuesday 18 December 2018 10:46am

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Professor Frank Frizelle.

Bowel cancer surgeon and University of Otago, Christchurch researcher Professor Frank Frizelle has been awarded the New Zealand medical profession’s highest accolade.

Professor Frizelle was this month presented with the New Zealand Medical Association’s Chairman’s Award, honouring individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the health of New Zealanders.

In a letter explaining why Professor Frizelle received the award, The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) said “he has made, and continues to make, a significant contribution to both the health of New Zealanders and the standard of medical research and publishing in New Zealand and worldwide”.

Professor Frizelle is head of the Department of Surgery at the University of Otago, Christchurch, and a colorectal surgeon at Christchurch Hospital. He and his University research team were recently the first in the world to link a bacterial toxin carried in the gut to the development of bowel cancer. This discovery will mean people could be screened for the bug and a lifesaving vaccine could be developed.

Professor Frizelle is the editor-in-chief of the New Zealand Medical Journal, the leading medical research publication in New Zealand, and a member of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. He has published more than 400 artlcles in peer-reviewed journals.

He also holds key positions in the international colorectal cancer and surgery field, including fellowships with the American College of Surgeons, and is an honorary member of the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland.