News //

Welcome to our new 2023 Early Career Steering Committee members

3 August 2023


The MWC would like to introduce our most recent Early Career Steering Committee (ECSC) members – Dr Filipina Amosa-Lei Sam (University of Otago), Miss Melenaite Tohi (University of Auckland), and Miss Emma Walker (University of Waikato) – who joined the committee in July this year.

Dr Filipina Amosa-Lei Sam is a Samoan-based pathologist currently pursuing a PhD in the Pathology Department of the University of Otago, Dunedin. She was the Head of School of the National University of Samoa School of Medicine before taking professional development leave to pursue a PhD at the University of Otago. Her research interests are in potentially preventable cancers such as cervical and breast, and her present work focuses on cervical cancer.

Miss Melenaite Tohi is a Pacific PhD student at the University of Auckland – Liggins Institute. Her research focuses on the health and well-being of adolescents in NZ by exploring a baseline level of adolescents' understanding of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) theory, particularly Pacific adolescents, and how early life environments can influence long-term health.

Miss Emma Walker is a PhD student at Te Huataki Wairoa School of Health at the University of Waikato. Her research focuses on the intracellular lifecycle of Neisseria gonorrhoeae and how these bacteria can be therapeutically targeted. Emma has recently travelled to the University of Arizona under the MWC Flexible Research Programme Category 4 funding.



Dr Filipina Amosa-Lei Sam (University of Otago), Miss Melenaite Tohi (University of Auckland), and Miss Emma Walker (University of Waikato (from left to right)


The committee also farewelled outgoing member Dr Natalie Netzler (University of Auckland). The MWC and ECSC recognise and thank Natalie for her incredible work for the Centre and ECRs. Natalie initiated the Mara Ki Ma'ala mentoring for Māori and Pacific ECRs at the MWC and has been instrumental in many other events and initiatives.

The refreshed ECSC held their first meeting in late July to continue their plans for exciting initiatives and events to support career development opportunities for MWC ECRs nationwide. They are planning their next Minimum Information Criteria Workshop centred around CRISPR in September this year. More details for registration and information on the speakers will be available soon.

The ECSC invites MWC investigators and ECRs to share their thoughts and ideas on how they can best support you going forward. Additionally, If you have any issues that you would like to be discussed by the committee or would like to volunteer to help organise a future event, please get in touch with your committee members or the MWC Admin team at


Learn more about the Early Career Steering Committee

Read some of the news and events previously hosted by the ECSC