The University of Otago is committed to recognising and nurturing the work of early-career researchers. In 2014, five Early Career Awards for Distinction in Research were presented, as well as the annual Carl Smith Medal and Rowheath Trust Award.
The work of three award recipients is featured in the following pages. Early Career Awards were also presented to Dr Khaled Greish (Pharmacology and Toxicology) and Dr Anna Pilbrow (Medicine, Christchurch).
Dr Greish's research focuses on designing novel anti-cancer nanomedicine. His work has resulted in two approved patents and he is currently working towards translating his research findings into clinically used anti-cancer drugs.
Dr Pilbrow is exploring the mechanisms underlying the genetic susceptibility to heart disease, with a particular interest in identifying molecules circulating in the blood that may signal the early stages of heart disease, even before the onset of symptoms.
The co-recipients of the Carl Smith Medal and Rowheath Trust Award were Associate Professor Haxby Abbott (Surgical Sciences) and Dr Peter Fineran (Microbiology and Immunology).
Associate Professor Abbott is principal investigator of the Management of Osteoarthritis research programme at the Centre for Musculoskeletal Outcomes Research. His work focuses on the management of musculoskeletal conditions, together with health economic evaluations, and the accuracy of clinical examination tests and clinical outcome measures.
A senior lecturer and Rutherford Discovery Fellow in Molecular Microbiology, Dr Fineran's laboratory focuses on the interactions between bacteria and their viruses (bacteriophages) and other mobile elements. Dr Fineran collaborates both nationally and internationally, and has successfully acquired major competitive research funds.