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 significant achievements this year. The first is the award by the Health Research Council of New Zealand of a programme grant, three project grants, one feasibility grant, two Practitioner Fellowships and a Clinical Training Fellowship in the highly competitive 2015/16 funding round. These grants in intensive care medicine recognise the internationally significant research undertaken at the Institute in this field.
The second is the extraordinary research productivity in terms of the quality and quantity of research undertaken. In 2016 the Institute has had about one publication per week, including publications in the prestigious international medical journals 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 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.
The fourth was the MRINZ awarding its first postgraduate Doctor of Medicine degree. This was awarded to Dr Sarah Jefferies for her thesis on the effect of paracetamol in the treatment of influenza infection. This novel research has challenged the current paradigm of treating fever associated with respiratory infections such as influenza.
The fifth significant achievement has been the further development of close collaborative relationships with the New Zealand biotechnology sector. In 2016 this has included the development of strong research programmes with Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Limited, Adherium, and HoneyLab Limited. It has not only led to major therapeutic advances, but also economic opportunities for these New Zealand R and D companies. Supporting the emerging New Zealand biotechnology industry represents an important ongoing priority for the MRINZ.
In 2017 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