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Neuroscientist Appointed To Senior Otago Post

1 September 2004

Neuroscientist Appointed To Senior Otago Post

Professor Gareth Jones, former head of the Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology at the University of Otago, and a highly-regarded medical ethicist and researcher, has been appointed to one of the University’s most senior administrative posts.

Vice-Chancellor Professor David Skegg announced today that Professor Jones would be made Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic and International, for a two-year term, following the retirement in January 2005 of the current DVC, Academic, Dr Phil Meade.

“I am delighted that Professor Jones has agreed to take on this important leadership role,” Professor Skegg says. “He is a highly respected and distinguished neuroscientist who has made an outstanding contribution to the University of Otago. Furthermore, Professor Jones is a very capable administrator, as he proved while heading the Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology for many years.”

It was essential to make an appointment without delay, Professor Skegg explained, because the role was so pivotal. Moreover, the University needs to prepare for an academic audit and review in July 2006, and the DVC Academic and International would be leading that process.

“With regard to that audit, Professor Jones has extensive experience. He is an auditor for the New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit, having convened the audit panels for Canterbury, Lincoln, and Massey Universities. He is also an auditor for the Australian Universities Quality Agency, having served on the panels for Curtin and Sydney Universities.”

Professor Jones, 63, graduated with a medical degree from University College London before teaching and studying at the University of Western Australia. He then joined the University of Otago in 1983 when he was appointed to lead the Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology. During that time, he broadened the focus of the department, and helped make research a greater priority.

Professor Jones has an international reputation for his medical ethics research and publications. His book, Medical Ethics, co-authored with two other University of Otago academics, is used as a text for students world-wide. His own ethics research has centred on stem cell research, abortion, genetic testing and organ transplants.

He was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to science and education.


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