Recognition for Hepatitis C treatment research

23 February 2017
Image of Professor Ed Gane
Professor Ed Gane

World renowned hepatologist, academic Professor Ed Gane, was named the Sanitarium Innovator of the Year at the 2017 New Zealander of the Year Awards last night.

Professor Ed Gane was honoured for his innovative contributions to the development of a cure for Hepatitis C.

He is an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the University of Auckland and Deputy Director and Hepatologist of the New Zealand Liver Transplant Unit at Auckland City Hospital.

For a number of years, Dr Gane supervised meticulous drug trials on Kiwi volunteers with chronic Hepatitis C.  He trialled various combinations of different antivirals until he finally got the results he was looking for.

Due to Professor Gane and his international colleagues’ innovative work and perseverance, almost everyone with Hepatitis C can now be cured with a short course of tablets.

The World Health Organisation recently announced that more than one million people have already been cured with these new drugs and that global eradication of Hepatitis C should now be achievable within the next 30 years.

This outstanding advance in treatment of Hepatitis C will have a future global impact at a similar scale that the Polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk has had since 1955.

The University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon spoke at the awards ceremony on Wednesday 22 February, congratulating the winners, who included the University of Auckland Young New Zealander of the Year, Rez Gardi (Law and Arts).

“The University is extremely proud to be associated with these outstanding New Zealanders. As a country we pride ourselves on equal access to education and Ms Gardi is a shining example of the transformative power of a tertiary qualification. Likewise Professor Gane’s achievements are of global significance and demonstrate the valuable contribution innovation and research can have on improving people’s lives,” says Professor McCutcheon.

 

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