Deans diary header
Issue 385 | 24 July 2015 | Previous Issues

A personal message from the Dean

The University has returned to full steam ahead over the last week, as students returned for the second semester and staff, who had taken time off during the school holidays, returned to work.

I am pleased to report that, at the Faculty Staffing Committee last week, three colleagues with primary appointments outside the University, were made Honorary Associate Professors.

Craig Jefferies is a paediatrician and endocrinologist at Starship Children's Health, who has a distinguished academic record as well as being a major national leader in the clinical setting. Doctors Goetz Laible and Bjorn Oback work at AgResearch and are involved in research collaborations with FMHS. These two distinguished scientists will share their expertise in the development of transgenic animals with collaborators here, in what is hoped to develop into a significant extension of the relationship between AgResearch and FMHS.

I am also delighted to report that Associate Professor Peter Gilling from the Department of Surgery and the Bay of Plenty DHB, has been awarded the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons’ Surgical Research Award. Peter has also recently been honoured by the Société Internationale d’Urologie, with a Distinguished Career Award. It is a real achievement for a clinician working in a busy provincial centre to achieve the international eminence that lies behind these two accolades.

I commend the other news and information items below to you, and look forward to seeing a strong welcoming contingent for the new professors that we welcome in the August season of inaugural lectures.

Best wishes,

Ian Reid

Deputy Dean, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
The University of Auckland


From open heart surgery to solo round the world cyclist

Jeremy Scott
Jeremy Scott

On Monday 6 July our faculty hosted an incredibly inspiring talk with adventure cyclist and National Heart Foundation champion, Jeremy Scott

Jeremy Scott is a young man and heart surgery survivor, who undertook to fulfil his dream of riding his bike from one side of the planet to the other.

What makes Jeremy’s story so special is how he realised his dream and at the same time, raised thousands of dollars for the National Heart Foundation to fund research and help save the lives of many others.

A rapt audience of staff, supporters, friends and family listened whilst Jeremy took us from London to Auckland on the back of his trusted bicycle.

We heard about the highs and lows of this amazing roller-coaster ride from terrifying packs of wild dogs in the mountains of Turkey, to the humble hospitality of a homeless man in Iran. The captivated audience, spanning all ages, questioned Jeremy intently for many minutes after his talk – seeking insights into just about everything from bike technology to cycling shoes, to how it feels to have frost bite.

As a four year old, Jeremy had open heart surgery to repair a huge hole in his heart. The life-saving surgery was performed by pioneering New Zealand cardiac surgeon, Sir Brian Barratt-Boyes

Professor Rob Doughty, our own Chair in Heart Health, introduced Jeremy’s talk and spoke with deep admiration of Barratt-Boyes, who in 1958 performed New Zealand’s first open heart surgery, and in 1962 became only the second heart surgeon in the world to replace a heart valve. 

As a survivor and adventurer, Jeremy says he wanted to “inspire people to do something out of the ordinary.” His example of courage, perseverance and fierce determination did just that.

We were proud to present this event with the National Heart Foundation, one of our most important funding partners. The support granted to our faculty furthers the heart health of everyday Kiwis and people all over the world, some like Jeremy who are compelled to give something back.


Medical student wins Muriwai Popata Scholarship

Warm congratulations to fourth-year medical student Paraone Te Maru Payne (Ngati Te Ao, Te Rarawa) who has won the ‘Muriwai Popata Scholarship’.

Te Hiku Hauora Trust presented the award to Paraone at Te Kao’s Pohati Marae last month.

The organisation awards the annual scholarships in the fields of medicine, dentistry and sport, to students with ancestral links to Muriwhenua tribes.

Paraone intends to apply for a position in the Pukawakawa programme, which will take him to Northland DHB hospitals and health clinics.


2015 Inaugural Lecture series

Professor Ian Civil
Professor Ian Civil

Promotion to professor at the University of Auckland is a mark of distinction, recognising professional and academic eminence at an international level.

Our faculty’s annual Inaugural Lectures introduces our newest professors to our community.

The lectures are a chance for people to come along and find out about the work of our eminent academics, and its impact on the world around us.

Our series of inaugural lectures will begin on Wednesday 5 August, with a lecture given by Professor Ian Civil from the Department of Surgery in the School of Medicine.

Professor Civil’s lecture (‘Trauma care in the 80s and where we have got to now’) will explore the developments in injury prevention, system development and a structured approach to injury care over the past 30 years that have led to these improvements.

Read more for further details about this event.


Professor Chris Bullen
Professor Chris Bullen

Professor Chris Bullen, Director National Institute for Health Innovation (NIHI) at the School of Population Health will give his inaugural lecture at the Tāmaki Campus on Thursday 6 August.

Professor Bullen’s lecture "Bugs, bedrooms and smoke: my career in public health research" will outline his journey from clinical medicine to public health practice and research in two very different settings: New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.  


Read more for further details about this event.