University of Otago researchers Dr Simon Jackson and Dr Anna Pilbrow were recently honoured with awards bestowed by the organising bodies of the prestigious Queenstown Research Week.
The illumina Emerging Researcher Award went to the Department of Microbiology and Immunology's Dr Jackson. The award acknowledges an emerging researcher (less than five years post-PhD) who uses molecular biology tools in New Zealand.
In 2015 Simon joined Associate Professor Peter Fineran's group researching CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune systems. Since then, he has contributed to publications in the international journals Nature Communications, Molecular Cell, Science and recently eLife.
Dr Anna Pilbrow, of the Christchurch Heart Institute, won the Thermo Fisher Scientific Award for excellence in molecular biology. The award recognises and acknowledges the high calibre of molecular biology research in New Zealand.
Dr Pilbrow's research investigates genes and proteins within the heart and blood vessels that are altered in people genetically predisposed to heart disease and aims to identify new biomarkers that will help identify people at risk of having a heart attack.
Anna is also working to identify genetic variants that increase the risk of heart disease in New Zealand families who have a strong family history of premature heart disease.
She was awarded the prestigious Sir Charles Hercus Fellowship award in 2011 to recognise her demonstration of outstanding potential and the ability to initiate new avenues of investigation. She also holds a Senior Fellowship from the Heart Foundation of New Zealand.