Press Release – Gravida
Famous scientist, clinician and broadcaster Professor Lord Robert Winston is strengthening his ties to New Zealand by becoming a patron of Gravida, New Zealands national Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE) dedicated to discoveries in maternal, childrens …Media Release
6 May 2013
Global people’s champion in fertility and health becomes Gravida patron
Famous scientist, clinician and broadcaster Professor Lord Robert Winston is strengthening his ties to New Zealand by becoming a patron of Gravida, New Zealand’s national Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE) dedicated to discoveries in maternal, children’s and livestock health and wellbeing.
Professor Winston will champion Gravida members’ breakthrough research into what factors in reproduction, pregnancy, growth and development influence early life and long term health outcomes. For example, two key areas of interest for Gravida’s scientists and clinicians are the lessons in growth and development that can be learnt from animal health and bees, and the consequences environmental factors such as nutrition and obesity can have for the health of future generations.
As part of his role Professor Winston will talk about New Zealand’s discoveries in these areas, and connect our scientists to his global projects, colleagues and public speeches wherever he can. He will also visit New Zealand to speak and to look at how current scientific research projects and school outreach projects are helping our children.
Professor Winston has also agreed to be a member of Gravida’s new 30-strong International College of celebrated experts in fields of study related to Gravida’s (read more here). Alongside the other members, he has committed to mentor current and future science and researchers in these fields.
“There’s growing global recognition that world class research is coming from New Zealand to influence the direction of health care and animal health and I am truly impressed with the work and collaboration across scientific disciplines I see when I spend time here,” says Professor Winston, who is based at the Imperial College in London.
“Growth and development is a critical area of science. With far greater certainty than ever before, we now know that nutrition and environmental influences in early life and during pregnancy determine lifelong health for an individual, whether human or animal. We’re even seeing how these can be passed on and have repercussions for subsequent generations and family members. By seeking to understand these influences we can identify really pertinent factors and processes that can improve health, prevent disease and increase the future prosperity of all New Zealanders and people around the world,” Professor Winston says.
Gravida Director Professor Phil Baker says Professor Winston and the other members of the new International College are particularly enthusiastic about the collaborative, cross-discipline model Gravida’s CoRE operates in. Its members are drawn from across New Zealand universities, research institutions, medical schools, farm sites and labs.
“Many comment to me that they haven’t seen such a measureable, successful model in any other country,” Prof Baker says. “It’s allowing us to overachieve for our size. They can see that our model is likely to bring new science to the fore faster and have it applied to clinical practice, farming practice and community action programmes straight away.”
About Professor Winston:
Professor Robert Winston is Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College London and has achieved international prominence as an expert in human fertility. He is a familiar face on television screens, after presenting many BBC television series including Superhuman, the Secret Life of Twins, Child of Our Time, Human Instinct and The Human Body.
A medical doctor, IVF pioneer, scientist, television presenter, former MP and life peer, Professor Winston is also the author of a string of popular science books.
Find out who else is part of the International College here.