Professor Ted Baker has been awarded the Rutherford Medal, the highest honor for scientists conferred by the Royal Society of New Zealand.
Professor Baker is a member of The University of Auckland’s School of Biological Sciences, both as a researcher and a lecturer for students at all stages of study.
He has been instrumental in developing the field of X-ray crystallography in New Zealand, and his research uses this to analyze the structure and function of proteins, particularly those implicated in human disease.
Professor Baker’s research team aims to identify how proteins work in living systems and, using this knowledge, develop potential new drugs for diseases such as tuberculosis and cancer.
Professor Baker is also Director of the Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery, a New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence.
The Wilkins Centre looks at developing therapeutics for cancer, diabetes and infectious disease, through collaborative partnerships of biology, chemistry, molecular medicine and bioengineering.
The Wilkins Centre, hosted by the University and funded through the government, has links with over 200 researchers throughout New Zealand.
"We are delighted that Ted has been awarded this honor," says Professor Tom Barnes, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) at the University.
"His research is of vital importance in building the knowledge of diseases that have a major impact on society, not only in New Zealand but worldwide. The University is proud that Ted’s research has been recognized in this manner."