The Maurice Wilkins Centre's ten current management committee principal investigators are recognised internationally as leaders in their respective fields. The group includes two winners of the Rutherford Medal, the highest honour of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
Principal Investigators (management)
DIRECTOR Professor Rod DunbarMBChB, PhD, FRSNZ firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Rod Dunbar trained as a doctor at Otago University, before gaining a Health Research Council training fellowship and completing his PhD in Wellington. After six years at the University of Oxford, he returned to New Zealand in 2002 under a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship, to set up his laboratory at the University of Auckland. His main research area is human cellular immunology, especially the development of therapies for cancer that utilise the immune system, such as vaccines against melanoma.
ORCID ID: 0000-0001-9626-2600
DEPUTY DIRECTOR Professor Peter ShepherdBSc(Hons), PhD, FRSNZ email@example.com
Professor Shepherd’s lab is interested in how defects in signal transduction pathways can lead to the development of cancer and diabetes. He is also specifically interested in understanding how genetic factors in Māori and Pacific populations lead to increased risk of metabolic diseases.
Prof Shepherd earned his degrees at Massey University, then had postdoctoral positions at Harvard and Cambridge Universities. In 2002, while in a faculty positon at University College London, he was named London Young Biotechnology Entrepreneur of the year and has followed this by founding now 3 Biotechnology companies. Since returning to New Zealand in 2004 his work has focussed on translational research with novel drug discovery programmes in cancer and finding new uses for old medicines.
Prof Shepherd has launched a number of MWC funded outreach initiatives, including the Sugar in Schools campaign and the Professional Teacher Development Days. He was awarded the 2017 RSNZ Callaghan Medal and the CLNZ NZ Educational Book award, recognising his success as a science communicator. Prof Shepherd has been the deputy director of the Maurice Wilkins Centre since 2013, the Chair of the Queenstown Molecular Biology Society since 2005, and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society Te Apārangi in 2016.