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International food safety scientist appointed PVC

University of Canterbury
Te Whare Wananga o Waitaha

news release
5 February 2004

International food safety scientist appointed PVC (Science)

An international expert on food safety has been appointed to the new position of Pro-Vice-Chancellor (College of Science).

Professor Ian Shaw has had 20 years experience in academia, industry and government and is currently National Food Safety Programme Manager at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR), based in Christchurch.

Announcing the appointment, Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Sharp said: “Professor Shaw’s international experience and his cross-sectoral blend of academic, industrial and crown research roles were significant factors in his selection from a strong international field of candidates.”

Today’s announcement is the fourth in a suite of five new appointments to head four Colleges and a School of Law in a new university structure which took effect on 1 January. The previous appointments were: Professor Kenneth Strongman (College of Arts), Professor Nigel Healy (College of Business and Economics) and Professor Scott Davidson (School of Law).

Professor Shaw's role at ESR was to direct New Zealand's food surveillance programmes and initiate and direct government-funded food safety research projects, which involved responsibility for 56 staff and a budget of $5 million.

He is also an adjunct professor in the University’s Chemistry Department and is currently supervising two PhD students there, as well as five other postgraduates in England and Indonesia, where he has an active research programme studying pesticides and their effect on women and children. He also has a private toxicology consultancy.

Before emigrating to New Zealand, Professor Shaw was appointed to the first British lectureship in toxicology, at University College London, then took up an industry position with a German pharmaceutical firm, before transferring to Britain's Central Veterinary Laboratory, where he became Head of the Biochemistry Department.

He was appointed as Professor of Toxicology and Head of the Applied Biology Department at the University of Central Lancashire in 1992, and in 2000 emigrated to take up the position with ESR.

Professor Shaw completed a first class honours degree in biochemistry at the University of Bath and did his PhD in toxicology at the University of Birmingham. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Institute of Biology and the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry.

He served on many UK committees including Working Parties on Natural Toxicants in Food and on Veterinary Residues in Animal Products, and was a member of UK Government Advisiory Committees on Animal Feedingstuffs, and Pesticides. He was Chairman of the UK Pesticide Residue Committee and has recently been appointed to the New Zealand Food Safety Advisory Board.

He has written more than 100 scientific articles as well as writing for newspapers and featuring on numerous radio and television programmes.

A text book he co-authored, Principles of Environmental Toxicology, is in its second edition and his second book, Is it safe to eat?, is currently being developed into an eight-episode television programme. He also holds a patent for a test device for thiols in urine.

Professor Shaw will take up his appointment on March 22.


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