We invest in a broad range of research on issues important to New Zealand, and support the development of health research careers. Our mission is 'benefiting New Zealand through health research'.
We celebrate New Zealand health research excellence by awarding two medals annually:
The Beaven Medal, named after the late Professor Sir Donald Ward Beaven, KNZM, CBE (1924 – 2009), acknowledges Sir Don’s long time interest in translating research into clinical practice. We first awarded the Medal in 2010 and it is presented annually to a recipient who has been recognised for excellence in translational research.
The HRC introduced the Liley Medal in 2004, in recognition of Sir William Liley, KCMG, BMedSc, MBChBPhD FRZNZ, FRCOG (1929 - 1983) and his leadership of scientific endeavour in New Zealand. We annually present the Liley Medal to a recipient whose recent research has made an outstanding contribution to the health and medical sciences.
The Liley Medal recognises an individual who has had research published in the previous calendar year that has made an outstanding contribution to the health and medical sciences. The medal is named after Sir William (Bill) Liley KCMG, BMedSc, MB, ChB, PhD (ANU), Hon. DSc (VUW), Dip Obs, FRSNZ, FRCOG, Hon. FACOG, to recognise his lifetime contributions to health and medical sciences. Read more about Sir William Liley.
The bronze medal was designed by Philip O'Shea Esq, New Zealand Herald of Arms Extraordinary to Her Majesty The Queen, and sculpted and crafted by Thomas Fattorini Ltd, medal makers of Birmingham, UK. The obverse of the medal is a memorial to Sir William Liley. The reverse design features fern fronds – some coiled (alluding to new birth), and other fully extended (healthy) fronds. In Māori art, the coiled fern frond often alludes to an embryo.
For queries and nominations for 2016, please contact Dr Katie Palastanga.
Previous recipients include:
2015 - Distinguished Professor Ian Reid from the University of Auckland for his outstanding contribution to health and medical sciences in advancing treatment of the bone disorder osteoporosis.
2014 - Professor Edward Gane from Auckland City Hospital for demonstrating a safer, more effective treatment for people with hepatitis C virus. Watch Professor Gane talk about his research on One News.
2013 - Professor Michael Baker from the University of Otago, Christchurch, for his highly-cited research that revealed New Zealand's dramatic rise in infectious diseases.
2012 - No award made.
2011 - Dr Chris Pemberton from the University of Otago, Christchurch, for his contribution to health and medical sciences in the field of cardiovascular medicine.
2010 - Professor Stephen Robertson from the University of Otago, Dunedin, for his outstanding research which demonstrates the critical nature of developmental timing of key genetic events and will encourage new ways of thinking about cancer.
2009 - Professor Allan Herbison from the University of Otago, Dunedin, for his work that may lead to new treatments for infertility.
2008 - Jointly awarded to Professor Edward Baker from The University of Auckland, and Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman from the University of Otago, Wellington. Professor Baker has made significant findings that could lead to new treatments to fight the organism that causes Strep throat, Streptococcus pyogenes. Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman led the landmark Housing Insulation and Health Study, which showed people's health could be transformed by keeping homes warm and dry and has had a positive impact on housing policy in New Zealand.
2007 - Professor Innes Asher from The University of Auckland, for studying the change in prevalence of asthma, rhinitis and eczema in children worldwide.
2006 - Associate Professor Lianne Woodward from the University of Canterbury, for her work in predicting neurodevelopmental risk in children born very premature.
2005 - Professor Richard Faull from The University of Auckland, for his work identifying that, contrary to previously held views, the diseased human brain has the potential to generate new neurons and to repair itself in response to brain cell death.
2004 - The inaugural Liley Medal for Health Research was awarded to Professor Richie Poulton from the University of Otago, Dunedin, for his work identifying a genetic connection between life stress and depression.
The Beaven Medal, named after the late Professor Sir Donald Ward Beaven, KNZM, CBE (1924–2009), acknowledges Sir Don’s long time interest in translating research into clinical practice.
The medal is offered annually for excellence in translational health research. It is accompanied by an award of $5,000 to support research, as the recipient best sees fit.
Professor Ed Mitchell from the University of Auckland/Auckland District Health Board received the 2015 Beaven Medal for his groundbreaking research into cot death (now known as sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS), which has saved many thousands of young lives.
Professor Parry Guilford from Otago University was presented with the 2013 Beaven Medal for his outstanding research into stomach cancer.
The 2011 Beaven Medal for excellence in translational research was awarded to Professor Edward Gane from Auckland City Hospital for his research into whether better surveillance can prevent liver cancer and death in Māori with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.
The inaugural Beaven Medal for excellence in translational research was presented in December 2010 to Dr Martin Than, a consultant specialist in Emergency Medicine at the Canterbury District Health Board, for research that will provide an innovative and workable change to the medical decision-making process for patients presenting acutely to Emergency Departments, with chest pain, that may be due to a heart attack. Read more about Dr Than's research findings.