Liggins Institute Director wins a 'World Class New Zealand' award

Liggins Institute Director Professor Peter Gluckman last night won the science-related sector of the World Class New Zealand Awards, which recognise successful New Zealanders who enhance the nation's growth and development by being world class in their field.

The awards are presented by Kea and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

Now in their third year, the awards are one of New Zealand's most important accolades for outstanding individuals who have made major contributions to New Zealand's success on the world stage.

For the first time this year awards were made across six different sectors. Professor Gluckman won the award for the Research, Science, Technology & Academia sector.

"It is an honour that the work I lead from the Liggins and the National Research Centre for Growth and Development is recognised for its international contributions. I hope we have demonstrated that it's possible from New Zealand to do world class research to improve public health and basic science knowledge on one hand, and to promote the economic development of this country through commercial application on the other.

"The price may be many hours on aeroplanes, but New Zealand is truly a great place to do world leading research that can make a difference.

"I am delighted that Professor Alan MacDiarmid was recognised with the Supreme Award because it reaffirms my belief that New Zealanders punch above their weight in the advancement of knowledge."

One of Professor Gluckman's contributions in addition to his scientific ones is advising the World Health Organisation, United States Agency for International Development and the World Bank on low technology strategies for optimising the outcomes of pregnancy and infant health.

The Awards were presented at the Auckland Town Hall in front of an international audience of approximately 400 leaders from across private and public sectors. The event included an address by Prime Minister Helen Clark and a discussion between award winners facilitated by TV3's John Campbell.

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