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Leading paediatrician gains physicians award

Leading paediatrician gains physicians award

One of New Zealand’s leading paediatricians, Distinguished Professor Jane Harding from the University of Auckland, was awarded the Howard Williams Medal for 2014 at the Royal Australasian College of Physicians Congress in Auckland today.

The College’s Paediatrics and Child Health Division awards the Medal each year, to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to Paediatrics and Child Health in Australia and/or New Zealand.

The medal was presented by the President of the Paediatrics and Child Health Division, Associate Professor Susan Maloney.

Professor Harding gave the Howard Williams Oration at the medal presentation today when she talked on the “Lifelong Legacies of Perinatal Management: Dilemmas and Trade-Offs” discussing aspects of being born small, antenatal glucocorticocoids, perinatal anaemia, neonatal nutrition and neonatal glycaemia.

Professor Harding’s research activities include clinical as well as basic physiological studies. Her main interests concern the interaction of nutrients and growth factors in the regulation of growth before and after birth, and the long-term consequences of treatments given around the time of birth.

Most recently, she was the lead scientist in the “Sugar Babies” study that developed a cheap and easy-to-administer dextrose gel to treat low blood sugars in newborns, published in the internationally respected medical journal, The Lancet last year.

Professor Harding obtained her medical degree at the University of Auckland, and trained in fetal physiology on a Rhodes Scholarship, completing her Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford. After specialist training as a paediatrician in New Zealand, she completed her FRACP in neonatology.

Her postdoctoral training was as a Fogarty Fellow at the University of California at San Francisco.

Professor Harding was appointed to the Medical and Health Sciences faculty of the University of Auckland in 1989 and was appointed Professor of Neonatology in 1997.

She is currently Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) for the University of Auckland and is a member of the LiFePATH research group of the University’s Liggins Institute.

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