Saturday, July 20, 2024

MBIE welcomes new science advisors

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has appointed two new Departmental Science Advisors to provide scientific leadership and sector expertise alongside current MBIE Departmental Science Advisor, Professor David Hutchison and Chief Science Advisor, Dr Gill Jolly.

Professor Emily Parker FRSNZ (Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand) of Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington and Professor Louise Parr-Brownlie of the University of Otago and Director of the Ageing Well National Science Challenge join the MBIE team on part-time secondment.

The Ministry says the Departmental Science Advisors play a crucial role as connectors.

“They foster innovation and communication between MBIE and the science community and draw upon their extensive networks and expertise to bring fresh perspectives to work such as the current Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways science system reforms,” MBIE said in a statement.

Professor Parker’s background includes being a professor of Synthetic and Chemical Biology at the Ferrier Research Institute and holding the position of Associate Dean of Science – Research at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington.

She has served on the board of Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research and chairs AgResearch’s Science Advisory Panel. Additionally, she has been involved in the governance of the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge and is deputy director of the Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery, a Centre of Research Excellence focusing on collaboration among scientists from different disciplines and research institutions to combat severe human diseases.

Professor Parr-Brownlie is a highly regarded biomedically trained Māori neuroscientist (Ngāti Maniapoto me Te Arawa), she has a wide range of experiences in working with Māori, the health research sector and government policy experts. 

Her speciality is Parkinson’s disease, and she has been the Chair of the Rauika Māngai, a member of the Brain Research New Zealand Rangahau Roro Aotearoa Centre of Research Excellence as well as Deputy Chair of the Science Advisory Committee for the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand. 

She is the current Director of the Ageing Well National Science Challenge, a member of the Biomedical Research Committee at the Health Research Council, and Professor and Deputy Head (Māori) of Anatomy Department at University of Otago in Dunedin. 

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