In late 2001 the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand was established as an independent medical research organisation. Since this time it has become internationally recognised as New Zealand's leading independent medical research organisation publishing innovative research in high impact international journals. The MRINZ enjoys strong collaborations within New Zealand and internationally.
There have been many highlights this year. The first is the award by the Health Research Council of New Zealand of a programme grant and three project grants in the highly competitive 2014/15 funding round. These grants in the fields of respiratory medicine, intensive care medicine, and stroke/rehabilitation recognise the internationally significant research undertaken at the Institute across these fields.
The second highlight is the extraordinary research productivity in terms of the quality, quantity and breadth of research undertaken. In 2015 the Institute has had about one publication per week, including publications in the prestigious international medical journals the Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the Journal of the American Medical Association. This reflects the depth and breadth of the innovative research programmes undertaken at the MRINZ, the international interest in the research undertaken, and the huge commitment of all staff to complete and publish their research projects.
The third highlight is the increasing leadership role of the MRINZ in large scale multicentre national and international randomised controlled trials. As a result of the experience gained in these studies, the MRINZ has the unique capability to act autonomously as the trial coordinating centre in New Zealand for large-scale pivotal, clinical trials in intensive care, respiratory medicine, cardiothoracic surgery, neurology and alternative/complementary medicine.
Contribution to professional consensus guidelines represents the fourth highlight. This has involved senior staff taking leadership roles in the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand Oxygen Guidelines, the Asthma Foundation (NZ) Asthma Guidelines (to be released in 2016), and a contributing role in the British Thoracic Society Oxygen Guidelines, the Global Initiative in Asthma (GINA) Asthma Guidelines (update released in 2015), and the consensus guidelines on mobilisation of critically ill patients. These roles are important in terms of providing health professionals with up-to-date evidence-based recommendations to guide their clinical practice.
The fifth highlight has been the further development of close collaborative relationships with the New Zealand biotechnology sector. In 2015 this has included the development of strong research programmes with Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Limited, Adherium, and HoneyLab Limited. Supporting the emerging New Zealand biotechnology industry represents an important ongoing priority for the MRINZ.
In 2016 the MRINZ is confident it will continue to meet its goals to investigate the causes of important public health problems in New Zealand and internationally and to use this knowledge to improve the prevention and treatment of disease.
CNZM, DSc(Otago), DM(Southampton), MBChB, FRCP(London), FRACP, FAAAAI, FFOM(Hon), FAPSR(New Zealand), FERS, FRSNZ