Prof Gregory Cook receives his Otago School of Medical
Sciences Distinguished Researcher of the Year award this
week from Dean of Otago School of Medical Sciences Helen
Nicholson. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Gregory Cook has won many awards for medical research
during the past two decades, but says the one he received this
week at the Otago School of Medical Sciences annual awards
ceremony takes the cake.
The 47-year-old University of Otago microbiology and
immunology professor was presented the 2012 Otago School of
Medical Sciences (OSMS) Distinguished Researcher of the Year
award at the Hunter Centre in Dunedin.
''I would place this award at the top of my awards list.
''It's a fantastic honour because it's always hard to win
awards when the recognition is from your own colleagues.''
Prof Cook was promoted to professor in 2009 and has received
many significant awards during his research career.
These include the 2012 Distinguished Orator Award from the
New Zealand Microbiological Society, a Sir William Dunn
Scholarship at Cambridge University in 2009, and a James Cook
Research Fellowship (2012-14).
His contribution to microbiology and the bioenergetics of
extremophiles was recognised when a micro-organism
(Amphibacillus cookii) was named in his honour.
Prof Cook has a strong and active research group and in the
past five years he has published 33 refereed journal
articles, and more than 100 publications in total.
During the same period he was awarded more than $4.2 million
in research funding and has collaborated with Nobel
prize-winner Prof Sir John Walker (University of Cambridge)
and staff at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine,
University of Georgia, Max Planck Institute and Universities
of Auckland and Waikato.
Despite his OSMS colleagues describing him as a ''stellar
performer'', he was humble about the award.
''This is an award that I will hang up in my lab.
''Awards are won by teams, not individuals. This is
definitely one for the team.''
Other awards were presented to Peter Fineran (OSMS Emerging
Researcher); Dr Michelle McConnell (OSMS Commercial Research
Award); Associate Prof Grant Butt (Distinguished Academic
Teacher); Catherine Gliddon (Distinguished Teaching
Fellow/PPF); Christina Edgar (OSMS Research Support Staff
Award); Bruce Todd (OSMS Sustained Research Support Staff
Award); Dianne Galvin and Carol Dunstone (OSMS Distinguished
Research Support Staff Award); Dr Elspeth Gold (Excellence in
Postgraduate Supervision); Dr Michael Knapp (OSMS Best Paper
Award); and Associate Prof John Cutfield (Service to School