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Wellington professor appointed chief science advisor for MBIE

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has announced the appointment of Professor Gary Evans to the role of its Chief Science Advisor.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Professor Gary Evans, a highly respected chemist from Victoria University of Wellington’s Ferrier Research Institute to the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment,” announced Dr Prue Williams, General Manager Science System, Investment and Performance.

“The role of a Chief Science Advisor is to provide advice and leadership on the needs of the science sector to our large science and innovation team to shape science and innovation policies and investment plans.

“Professor Evans is well-known in the science community for the work he has done relating to improving the lives of people. His work includes researching and looking for ways to treat some of the world’s major diseases and health issues, including cancer, gout, psoriasis, Ebola, and the Zika virus.

“Professor Evans will continue to be actively engaged in research and leading a research team at the Ferrier Research Institute, while on part-time secondment to MBIE,” said Dr Williams.

Professor Gary Evans completed a PhD in Organic Synthesis at the University of Otago, before undertaking a postdoctoral research fellowship position at the University of Oxford, in the United Kingdom.

He has worked since 1994 at the Ferrier Institute, where he has helped developed a number of drugs including those that are in pre-clinical development to fight antimicrobial resistance and malaria.

In 2014 Prof Evans was appointed Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to science.

Professor Evans will be seconded to MBIE for 80 per cent of his time for a two-year term from 1 October 2018.

His inaugural professorial lecture, A Love of Chemistry, Drugs and Other Things, can be viewed below: