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Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research (EDOR) has an advisory board made up of representatives from consumer groups, researchers, health agencies, tertiary institutions and tangata whenua.  Our founding chair was Sir Eion Edgar, benefactor and namesake of EDOR.

Six members of the EDOR advisory board

EDOR advisory board members at the EDOR 20th anniverary symposium in 2023:  (from left) Mr Mark Brunton, Professor Boyd Swinburn, Ms Anna Edgar, Sir Bruce Robertson, Ms Pip Laufiso, Dr Ole Schmiedel

Board Member Profiles:

Sir Bruce Robertson

Sir Bruce Robertson 186Sir Bruce Robertson grew up in Dunedin, attended Otago Boys High School and undertook his law studies at the University of Otago.  He has been a High Court and Court of Appeal judge in both New Zealand and in the Pacific, and was President of the NZ Law Commission. He served as pro-chancellor of the University of Otago for six years, and spent many years on the University Council. Sir Bruce was a long-time friend of EDOR founding chair and benefactor Sir Eion Edgar, who passed away in 2021. Sir Bruce is keen to support the work of the Centre, and continue the vision of Sir Eion.

Mr Mark Brunton

MAB2019 186Mark Brunton (Ngāi Tahu, Kati Mamoe, Waitaha) is Manager, ITS Advisory at the University of Otago. His current role in Information Technology Services involves ensuring quality, timely and effective service between ITS and Staff, both Academic and Professional, at the University within Humanities, Sciences, the Research Office and the Office of the Vice-Chancellor. Along with colleagues in ITS Advisory, Mark is also responsible for the delivery of a number of strategic initiatives involving emerging technologies and services. Mark has a personal interest in Diabetes, and research into Diabetes and outcomes for at-risk populations. Diabetes is of very significant concern and new developments in medication, technology and lifestyle adjustment are all topics of importance and interest.

Ms Anna Edgar

Anna EdgarAnna Edgar is proud to have a strong  connection  with the University of Otago, where she studied for four years. After graduating  in 2002 with a Degree in Accounting & Information Science she started her career in Finance. Anna initially worked for a Chartered accounting firm in Auckland where she became CA Qualified.  She subsequently held multiple senior finance positions in London working for Global Investment Banks. Anna has an interest in reducing the global burden of diabetes and is proud to support the EDOR advisory board.  Anna has a young family, and is committed to improving the health and wellbeing outcomes for all New Zealanders.

Ms Pip Laufiso

Picture of EDOR advisory board member Pip LaufisoPip Laufiso (Samoan) is a Te Tiriti o Waitangi educator and a professional development facilitator, and is involved in a range of community-based organisations. Her early involvement in childcare, youth work and primary school teaching informed her vocational journey across the education sector and included roles such as the Executive Officer for the Arai Te Uru Kōkiri Training Centre and the Pasifika Education Adviser & Lecturer for the University of Otago College of Education. Pip is a Trustee of the Otago Community Trust and Otago Polyfest, and a member of the Dunedin City Council's Creative Dunedin Partnership. In 2024 she was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the arts and the community.

Dr Ole Schmiedel

Ole Schmiedel 186Ole Schmiedel is a consultant in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and General Internal Medicine at Auckland District Health Board (ADHB) and is also the Service Clinical Director of the Auckland Diabetes Centre. He qualified in medicine from Humboldt University, Berlin, and completed his postgraduate training in diabetes and endocrinology at Cardiff University in Wales. Ole has worked as a specialist in NZ since 2009, initially in the Hawkes Bay, where he played a key role in the transformation of the secondary diabetes delivery model allowing closer cooperation between different service providers. His clinical and research interests include the management of diabetes, obesity and obesity related complications.

Mr Tāmati Shepherd-Wipiiti

Tāmati Shepherd-Wipiiti (Te Whānau-ā-Apanui) is the Deputy-Chief Executive, Transformation, at the Ministry for Social Development, Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora. He leads the team responsible for the design and implementation of Te Pae Tawhiti, delivering a new service approach to meet the needs of clients and whānau. Tāmati has previously worked for PwC where he was instrumental in developing and producing a report on The Economic and Social Cost of Type 2 Diabetes in Aotearoa New Zealand,  which was commissioned in part by EDOR. Tāmati is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders, particularly those who experience health inequities.

Professor Boyd Swinburn

Boyd Swinburn 186Boyd Swinburn is the Professor of Population Nutrition and Global Health at the University of Auckland and Alfred Deakin Professor and Director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention at Deakin University in Melbourne. He trained as a specialist endocrinologist and has conducted research in metabolic, clinical and public health aspects of obesity. His major research interests are centred on community and policy actions to prevent childhood and adolescent obesity, and reduce, what he has coined, the 'obesogenic' food environment. He has contributed to over 30 WHO consultations and reports on obesity, authored over 300 publications and given over 400 presentations. Through these efforts he is significantly contributing to national and global efforts to reduce the obesity epidemic.

Previous EDOR Board Members:

Sir Eion Edgar - Chair 2003-2021

Sir Eion Edgar 186The founding benefactor of EDOR, Sir Eion had a long association with the University of Otago including serving as Chancellor from 1999-2003. Sir Eion brought a wealth of governance experience to the EDOR advisory board, having formerly been Chairman of the New Zealand Stock Exchange and a Director of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Sir Eion served on many other organisations, just some of which included the Foundation for Youth Development (formerly Project K), a trustee of the Halberg Disability Foundation, and as President of the New Zealand Olympic Committee. Sir Eion passed away in 2021 and is greatly missed by EDOR and the many other organisations that he supported around New Zealand. We are incredibly grateful for his vision, commitment and enthusiasm.

Professor Tim Cundy

Tim Cundy 186Tim Cundy, Professor of Medicine at the University of Auckland, is known internationally for his original contributions in the area of metabolic bone disease. He first described the effects of the contraceptive Depo Provera on bone density, documented trends in the incidence of Paget's disease and contributed to elucidation of the genetic basis of osteoporosis, pseudoglioma syndrome and idiopathic hyperphosphatasia. His work spans the range from molecular to applied clinical studies and involves leadership of large international collaborative networks. Tim has published extensively on pregnancy in women with type 2 diabetes – which is now emerging as a major medical and obstetric issue.

Dr Ofa Dewes

Ofa_Dewes 186Ofa Dewes has a health science, public administration and business management background and has worked in the public, private and international sectors. She has strong personal and professional links with a number of Pacific countries and people which have influenced the direction of her mixed methods ethnic-specific research into diabetes and obesity prevention, treatment and management. As a Pacific health researcher at the University of Auckland, Dr Dewes led the Pacific consultations on the development of the clinical guidelines for weight management in New Zealand children, young people and adults, and a randomised controlled trial on weight management for Pacific children.

Dr Jinny Willis

Jinny Willis 186Jinny Willis is a clinical scientist in the Lipid and Diabetes Research Group based at Christchurch Hospital. Her research interests include the epidemiology, immunology of type 1 diabetes and the genetic basis of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Jinny maintains the incidence register for type 1 diabetes in Canterbury children and adolescents, recording all new presentations of the disease in individuals under 20 years of age from 1970 to the present day. She is also co-ordinating the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet studies in New Zealand. Jinny is an executive member of the National Clinical Network for Children and Young People with Diabetes.

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