Research group award for microbiology team
A PIONEERING University of Otago microbiology team, led by Prof Greg Cook, has been selected as the recipient of the university’s latest research group award.
The group’s work on a novel way to fight Tb infections showed great promise, award organisers said.
The award recognises a team effort leading to ‘‘recognised contributions’’ and outstanding research performance at the university at a high international level.
Prof Cook leads the bacterial energetics and antimicrobial resistance group, which is making advances in the war against diseases such as Tb, including the drugresistant strains of its causative bacterium and other pathogens against which existing drugs are proving increasingly ineffective.
The award was ‘‘great recognition’’ for the group, and he was ‘‘delighted’’ for the members, and this ‘‘great honour had reflected ‘‘all the hard work’’ put in over a long time, he said yesterday.
As well as his group’s work towards developing a class of antibiotics aimed at crippling the metabolism of such Tb and other bacteria, and sidestepping existing bacterial drugresistance mechanisms, members are also making progress in applying the approach for agricul tural applications.
Between 2012 and last year, Prof Cook’s 22strong group published 67 peerreviewed publications and received funding from the Health Research Council of New Zealand, the Marsden Fund, MBIE, the Royal Society and the NZ Fund for Global Partnerships in Livestock Emissions Research.
Deputy research and enterprise vicechancellor Prof Richard Blaikie said the group’s continuing work was ‘‘worldclass science that has drawn considerable attention from leading researchers around the world, with whom they have formed a number of key collaborations’’.
Winning team . . . Members of a University of Otago microbiology research team, led by Prof Greg Cook, front row, second from right, and including, in the front row, left to right, postdoctoral fellow Dr Htin Aung, assistant research fellow Scott Ferguson and, at right, research fellow Dr Yoshio Nakatani.