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Queen's Birthday Honours 2017

6 June 2017

MWC Board member Ms Maxine Simmons was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and Associate Investigator Professor Vicky Cameron was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit. The MWC congratulates both Maxine and Vicky on these appointments.


Maxine's appointment is for services to science, particularly biotechnology;

Ms Maxine Simmons has been a leader in scientific research and innovation for more than 35 years.

In 1983 Ms Simmons co-founded Immuno-Chemical Products (ICPBio) Ltd and was CEO until 2003. ICPBio was one of New Zealand’s first biotechnology companies, which produced antibodies and veterinary products and grew to export to more than 45 countries. She was interim Chief Executive for reagent manufacturer Symansis NZ and biotechnology company Photonz Corporation. In 2005 she founded BioCatalyst Ltd, a specialist consultancy providing capital raising and management advice to start-up biotechnology and life science companies, where she continues as Managing Director. She was Chair of Im-Able Ltd, manufacturers of the ableX stroke recovery system. She has been Chief Executive of Cure Kids Ventures for the past nine years. She was a member of the Foundation for Research Science and Technology Board and chaired its Investment Committee and Technology New Zealand Sub-committee. She is a member of the governing board of the Maurice Wilkins Centre for BioDiscovery, the advisory board of the MedTech CoRE, and was a member of the Industrial Research Ltd Board. Ms Simmons was an inaugural member of the Industry New Zealand Board and was one of New Zealand’s three representatives to the APEC Business Advisory Council from 2010 to 2014.


Vicky's appointment is for services to health;

Professor Vicky Cameron is a scientist and academic who has been involved in the study of health and genetics for 30 years.

Since 1992 Professor Cameron has been based at the University of Otago, Christchurch and is currently Research Professor and Head of the Molecular Biology and Genetics Laboratory at the school’s Christchurch Heart institute. Her research has primarily focused on cardio-vascular disease, specifically the disease’s increased likelihood in some families due to DNA variations as well as the disparity in occurrence and mortality between Māori and non-Māori and Pacific peoples. She has authored or contributed to more than 104 research articles in peer-reviewed publications, 125 conference proceedings, a book chapter and a patent for micro-RNA molecules, used as coronary diagnostic and prognostic tools. Through the Christchurch Heart Institute she has performed extensive genetic profiling of patients with heart disease, assembling a DNA bank of consented research data. She is lead investigator for a number of cohort studies and is co-leader of the Hauora Manawa/Community Heart Study. Professor Cameron has held a number of leadership roles within her field and faculty, including membership of the National Heart Foundation Scientific Advisory Board, Convenor of the Marsden Fund Council’s Biomedical Sciences Panel, and Deputy Dean of the University of Otago’s Christchurch Campus.