Pioneering biochemistry researcher awarded Emeritus Professo
19 September, 2013
Pioneering biochemistry researcher awarded Emeritus Professor
A long career in enzyme properties has been recognised with the University of Waikato awarding Professor Roy Daniel the title Emeritus Professor for his outstanding academic leadership and research contribution in the field of biochemistry.
In a career spanning 35 years, Professor Daniel’s work on enzyme properties has been recognised both internationally and within the university where he was awarded a personal Chair in Biological Sciences in 1985 for his research on thermostable enzymes and their commercial implications.
Work by Professor Daniel, a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, led to a substantial grant for the building and equipping of the university’s Thermophile Research Unit (TRU) where he acted as co-director with Professor Hugh Morgan. During its 32-year existence, the unit has gained an international reputation as a leader in an international network of extremophile research groups.
The applied work of the Thermophile group involved close relationships for more than 30 years with national and international companies including research contracts with British Petroleum, Shell, Liquid Fuels Trust Board, Sandoz, Clariant Biotech, Novo and Carter Holt Harvey. Professor Daniel was instrumental in the formation of Pacific Enzymes Ltd, a joint collaboration with oil company Shell and the Universities of Waikato and Auckland.
With both fundamental and applied biochemical research interest in enzyme stability, Professor Daniel has been internationally recognised for his research and has been Primary Investigator on several Marsden Awards, with an A rating in the PBRF assessment. His pioneering work on the way in which temperature affects enzyme activity has been cited in undergraduate and advanced textbooks, and could have a profound influence on future attempts to engineer enzymes and proteins.
University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says Professor Daniel’s work has seen biochemistry become a strength of the university’s biological sciences undergraduate programmes and has led to an equally strong graduate programme.
“It gives me great pleasure to recognise Professor Daniel’s outstanding contributions in both biochemistry research and in his role as an extremely popular and effective research supervisor through the awarding of the title of Emeritus Professor,” he says. The title of Emeritus Professor was awarded at a function on 18 September.
Daniel with Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy