Royal Society Te Apārangi fellowships for soil, cancer, vaping research

Three prestigious fellowships went to women scientists at the University.

Dr Emma Nolan
Dr Emma Nolan

Cancer biologist Dr Emma Nolan and environmental geographer Dr Emma Sharp each won $800,000, five-year Rutherford Discovery Fellowships awarded to talented early- to mid-career researchers by the Royal Society Te Apārangi.

Bioengineering researcher Dr Kelly Burrowes won a James Cook Research Fellowship of $220,000 over two years.

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Frank Bloomfield said, “Congratulations to these three talented scientists for winning prestigious fellowships which recognise their excellence and the importance of their areas of research.”

Dr Emma Sharp
Dr Emma Sharp

Developing 3D laboratory models of tumours from tissue donated by New Zealand breast cancer patients, Dr Nolan’s research group aims to aid understanding and treatment of the disease. She is based in the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences.

Television programme Country Calendar, which has recorded rural life in New Zealand since 1966, will feature in Dr Sharp’s research into our past and present attitudes toward soil. The aim is to “reframe” soil management for regeneration and environmental kaitiakitanga.

Soilsafe Aotearoa, a community research programme where the public can have soil tested for contaminants for free, is co-lead by Dr Sharp, of the School of Environment in the Faculty of Science.

Dr Kelly Burrowes
Dr Kelly Burrowes

Learning more about the health effects of vaping is the aim of Dr Burrowes of the Auckland Bioengineering Institute and her team, who are looking for “biomarkers” giving early warning of health changes.

Their work will be carried out via medical imaging (such as CT scans), cardiovascular measurements, breath analysis and computer modelling.

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