IDReC Jeroen Douwes has been appointed to the Health Research Council
by Simon Verschaffelt
Professor of Public Health and director at Massey University's Centre for Public Health Research Jeroen Douwes has been appointed to the Health Research Council.
He leads a comprehensive programme of public health research with a focus on respiratory disease and environmental and occupational health. Professor Douwes is also principal investigator at the recently-established Infectious Disease Research Centre at Massey, and associate editor of the International Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
He says, “It is a privilege to support the HRC as a member of the board and as chair of the Public Health Research Committee. I will be a strong advocate for public health research in New Zealand, but will also look for opportunities to bridge the traditional gap between biomedical, clinical and public health research to ensure the best possible outcome from the HRC’s investment.”
The Council invests $75 million per annum in health research, with the majority invested in highly contestable investigator-led research contributing to improved health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders.
Professor Douwes says, “There is a great need for this research given the considerable burden of ill health in New Zealand and the continued health inequalities experienced by Māori and Pacific peoples. Solutions are not always easy as we often do not fully understand the causes and mechanisms of ill health and health inequalities hampering the development of effective prevention and treatment options. The research supported by the HRC significantly contributes to these solutions.”
He adds, “I have been well supported by the HRC since moving to New Zealand in 1998 through numerous project grants, a Sir Charles Hercus Fellowship and a Programme Grant and I am excited to be given the opportunity to give back to the agency which has played such a crucial role in shaping my career as a health researcher.”
HRC Board chief executive Professor Kathryn McPherson says, “We are delighted Professor Douwes is joining the Council. He has had a significant connection to the Health Research Council over many years as a very successful applicant for funding for excellent research and as a member of our Public Health Research Committee. I look forward to working with him to advance health research in New Zealand in his new role.”