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Recognition for outstanding work in science

Hon Dr Wayne Mapp

Minister of Research, Science and Technology

18 November 2009
Media Statement


Recognition for outstanding work in science

The Government has awarded $100,000 in prize money to the recipient of Royal Society’s prestigious Rutherford Medal. The move follows the establishment of the Prime Minister’s Science Prizes, recognising New Zealand’s most talented and successful researchers.

The Rutherford Medal is awarded each year by the Royal Society of New Zealand to a leading New Zealand scientist, in honour of a lifetime of exceptional contribution to the advancement of science in New Zealand.

Research, Science and Technology Minister Wayne Mapp presented the 2009 award to Professor Peter Hunter of the University of Auckland at the Royal Society of New Zealand Science Honours Dinner in Auckland tonight.

“The funding is in addition to the Prime Minister’s Science Prizes, which are worth a total of $1 million. In the past, our scientists’ achievements have received little attention. This funding demonstrates the Government’s commitment to celebrating their successes,” he said.

Professor Hunter is the head of the Bioengineering Institute at the University of Auckland, Director of Computational Physiology at Oxford University and holds honorary professorships at universities in Japan and Australia. Dr Mapp said he was a worthy recipient of the Rutherford Medal.

“Peter Hunter’s international reputation is such that he could work anywhere in the world. It is New Zealand’s good fortune that he has remained here. His stellar research record and commitment to supporting young researchers mean he has made a huge contribution to this country.”

Professor Hunter is a world leader in the field of computer modelling of the way the human body works, from individual genes through to organs such as the heart. His work is applied in a range of areas in health treatment and diagnostics.


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