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Down But Not Out: Toxicology Work Wins Kudos Award

29 September 2010

Down But Not Out: Toxicology Work Wins Kudos Award

Dr Martyn Harvey has knocked out the competition and won the Waikato DHB Medical Scientist award at last week’s Kudos Awards in Hamilton.

Dr Harvey’s field of expertise is emergency medicine and toxicology, looking at the study of poisons and their antidotes. He investigates the things people either take as intentional overdoses, or things that doctors rarely give accidentally as overdoses. His work has focused on bringing lipid emulsion from laboratory bench top to the clinical area.

“I have found that lipid emulsions, which are basically a fatty mixture a bit like full cream milk- medical grade of course, given into a vein can reverse some of the toxic effects of certain drugs taken in overdose” explains Dr Harvey. His work has led to lipid emulsions now being recognized as integral to the management of severe local anaesthetic toxicity; with lipid being proven to be life saving in a number of cases.

Dr Harvey thinks that there are huge advantages for performing this type of research in New Zealand, especially the Waikato. “There is a great attitude of many scientists in this area, just the idea that we can try anything and have a go at solving complex problems. That uniquely kiwi number 8 wire mentality” says Dr Harvey.

Throughout his extensive research, Dr Harvey has produced many significant publications, and his work has furthered the acceptance of lipid as therapy through multiple investigations of lipid emulsion in animal models of drug toxicity.

The Waikato DHB Medical Science award recognises a major, recent contribution to medical research in the Waikato, having the greatest impact at both a national and international level on improving human health in the Waikato.

The Kudos Awards celebrated Waikato’s finest scientists and science educators at an Awards presentation and dinner evening held on the 23rd of September at Southwell Auditorium, Hamilton. The Kudos Awards recognise the region’s most innovative science research and discoveries over six categories, including agricultural, environmental, medical, science educator, emerging scientist and lifetime achievement.

The winner’s cash prizes are used to further develop science and research throughout Hamilton and the Waikato region, and are sponsored by; Hamilton City Council, University of Waikato, Wintec, WEL Networks, Waikato District Health Board, Waikato Times, King Street Advertising, and Orbit Calder & Lawson. Other supporters include Plant and Food Research, McFarlane Engels & Associates, and AWIS (Association of Women in Science).

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