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UC PhD gets a top job at NASA-funded institute

Former UC PhD student appointed to a top job at NASA-funded US institute

November 8, 2012

A former University of Canterbury (UC) student and Christchurch resident Dr Graham Scott has been named the new vice president and associate director of the US National Space Biomedical Research Institute.

Dr Scott served as a pilot for nine years in the Royal New Zealand Air Force. He received a bachelor's degree in chemistry and physics and a PhD (1998) in chemistry at UC.

The institute was set up in 1997 by NASA to look into science, technology and education projects across the United States.

Dr Scott brings more than 30 years of scientific, military aviation and commercial experience to the NASA-funded institute. His background includes positions leading large scientific teams conducting groundbreaking research in the areas of gene sequencing and proteomics and in technology development.

His duties at the institute include managing the institute's science and technology programme as chief scientist and overseeing operation of its education programmes.

Institute chief executive Dr Jeffrey Sutton said Scott's expertise in biotechnology and leadership would provide a new exciting dimension to efforts to protect astronaut health and to improve life on Earth.

``His energy and vision will also strengthen our education programmes and enhance the utilization of the institute's new state-of-the-art consolidated research facility."

Prior to joining the institute, Scott served as market development director for sequencing at Life Technologies. In addition to his position at the institute, Scott holds a faculty position at Baylor College of Medicine, NSBRI's lead institution.

Dr Scott said he was honoured to be joining the talented and dedicated institute team.

``Over the last decade, I participated in the genomics and proteomics revolution that is now transforming the practice of medicine. These 'omics' technologies are ushering in a new era of personalised treatment and countermeasures, further reducing risks associated with human space travel.’’


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