researchers and one research team have been identified as leaders
in the University’s research community.
They have been selected as the inaugural University Research
The inaugural University Research Medal for an outstanding individual
researcher has been awarded to Professor David Parry. Head of
the Institute of Fundamental Sciences, Professor Parry will receive
a research grant worth $20,000.
The supporting evidence for Professor Parry’s nomination
is extensive, from his 184 publications in international refereed
journals, to the more than 5200 times he has been cited in research
papers since 1980 and his 40 invited or plenary addresses to
international conferences. He has authored or edited various
books on his area of expertise, fibrous protein structure and
function, and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Structural
Biology, the Federation of American Societies of Experimental
Biology Journal and the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules.
His research has been recognised nationally and internationally.
He was awarded the Sir Charles Hercus Medal from the Royal Society
of New Zealand in 2000, the ICI prize for Outstanding Achievement
in Chemical Research in 1981, as well as a DSc from the University
of London in 1982. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, of the
Institute of Chemistry and Physics, and of the United Kingdom
Institute of Physics. For 12 years he served on the Council of
the International Union of Pure and Applied Biophysics, with
three years as President. He is currently Vice-President, Scientific
Planning and Review, on the International Council for Sciences – the
first New Zealander to hold such a role.
“David is an inspiring leader in teaching as well as in
research and administration,” says Associate Professor
Dean Halford, deputy head of the Institute. “He leads from
the top. His personal demonstration of excellence provides enormous
Dr Halford says Professor Parry is widely acknowledged as one
of the world’s leading authorities on fibrous proteins,
including connective tissue, muscle and intermediate filaments
from diverse sources, especially those present in hair. “His
discovery that there are two unique structures for hair, depending
on its stage of development, resolved many of the difficulties
experienced in this field over the years. One of the mostly highly
recognised contributions he has made is his formulation of the
steric blocking mechanism for the regulation of vertebrate skeletal
muscle.” Dr Halford says Professor Parry has also made
significant contributions in the field of using fibrous proteins
to study the relationship between amino acid sequences and the
function of protein, as well as to understanding the structure
and function of a wide variety of other proteins.
The 2004 medal for the top research team has been awarded to
the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution.
The Massey members of the CoRE, hosted by the Institute of Fundamental
Sciences and Institute of Molecular Biosciences, are co-directors
of the centre Professors Mike Hendy and David Penny, Professor
David Lambert and Associate Professor Peter Lockhart. The Massey
staff will share a research grant of $25,000 while the members
from other universities will receive certificates. The team’s
proposal was based on its success in securing $17 million in
government Centre of Research Excellence funding, following an
extensive and exhaustive selection process.
In his supporting statement to the nomination, Institute of Fundamental
Sciences head Professor David Parry says Professors Hendy and
Penny were already internationally recognised authorities on
molecular ecology and evolution and it was logical that a CoRE
be established in this country to built on this expertise. He
says the $17 million in funding has enabled the purchase of world-class
equipment including DNA sequenators and the Helix supercomputer.
College of Sciences Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Anderson
says the success of the centre can be gauged by the number of
new researchers recruited. In a short time the centre has grown
to 74 workers, including seven principal investigators, three
associate investigators, 16 postdoctoral fellows, 14 technical
staff, 18 PhD students, seven MSc students, five RSNZ teaching
fellows and four clerical staff. “The subsequent development
of the research programme has been nothing less than spectacular
and the leadership exhibited by Professors Hendy and Penny, in
particular, thoroughly deserves recognition at the highest level
by this University,” says Professor Anderson.
Two highflying young researchers have been awarded Early Career
Research Medals. Dr Jeroen Douwes and Dr
Ulrich Zuelicke will
each receive $10,000 to further their careers.
Douwes has been with the Centre for Public Health Research
since gaining is his doctorate in 1998 and was recently appointed
Associate Director. He leads the asthma research programme, investigating
non-allergic mechanisms for asthma, the role of microbial exposures,
asthma in farming families and the potential protective effects
of exposure to endotoxins, as well as being a co-investigator
in international studies.
Director of the Centre Professor Neil Pearce says Dr Douwes’ publication
record is outstanding not only in terms of the number of his
publications and the journals in which they were published but
also in terms of the quality of the work itself. “He has
played a leading role in re-orienting and refocusing asthma research
internationally away from the previous overemphasis on allergens
towards non-allergic mechanisms.”
He is being invited to speak at many international conferences
and contributes to leading journals in his field. Professor Pearce
says Dr Douwes has made a major contribution to his discipline
and obtained a large number of research grants in a very competitive
funding environment. He was recently awarded the Sir Charles
Hercus Fellowship from the Health Research Council – the
first time it has been awarded to a public health researcher.
Zuelicke, from the Institute of Fundamental Sciences, already
has 36 publications in international refereed journals. He has
presented 12 invited or plenary addresses to international conferences
and presented 30 seminar talks in the past six years. He was
short listed for a Marsden Fast Start grant this year and invited
to write a commentary in Science magazine in 2002. He won the
Outstanding Graduate Student in Research Award from Indiana University
in the United States in 1997 for the high quality of his PhD
Dr Zuelicke’s area of research expertise is the theory
of functional nanostructures. He is currently researching the
interplay between quantum effects, such as tunnelling and wave-like
behaviour and their affect on ultra small transistors and wires
in determining electronic and transport properties in nanostructures.
Professor David Parry says Dr Zuelicke is one of the most outstanding
young scientists that he has had the privilege of appointing
during his time as head of Institute. “He is one of the
most brilliant young scientists I have met. He is clearly in
a league of his own and I have an absolute conviction that he
will reach the top of his field in a very short period of time.”
Professor Kerry Chamberlain, from the School of Psychology
on the Albany campus, has been awarded the Supervisor Research
Medal and $10,000. Dr Chamberlain is actively involved in graduate
supervision, having supervised 14 PhD and more than 60 Masters
and Honours students. He describes himself as an advocate for
research. He is committed to promoting good supervision and quality
research practice to improve postgraduate performance, and promotes
collegial activity and professional development in postgraduate
His teaching interests are focused on health psychology and research
methods. He has developed a graduate course in this area as well
as an undergraduate course on research methods and statistics.
During his time at Massey he has taught more than 25 different
courses on a wide variety of topics related to his area of expertise.
As well as his teaching and supervision activities, Dr Chamberlain
is also a leading researcher in the field of health psychology
and the social and cultural influences on health and illness.
He is specifically interested in food, diet and health, the marketing
of medication and socio-economic factors in health and illness
and the media representations of health and illness.
A former student of Dr Chamberlain, Dr Darrin Hodgetts, a senior
lecturer in community psychology at the University of Waikato,
says that as supervisor and mentor Dr Chamberlain “holds
high expectations for his students and provides both constructive
criticism and avenues for overcoming issues”.
“Without Kerry’s guidance and continued support I
would not be in the position I am today,” he said.
Other former students all commented on Dr Chamberlain’s
ability to combine constructive criticism with a respect for
the students’ work and opinions, while challenging and
stimulating the students to extend them.
27 August, 2004