Victoria University of Wellington professor to become MBIE’s Chief Science Advisor

The Deputy Director of the University’s Ferrier Research Institute, Professor Gary Evans, has been appointed Chief Science Advisor for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

Professor Evans will start his new role on Monday 1 October as part of MBIE’s science leadership team. He joins a cross-government group of departmental science advisors, supporting MBIE’s goal to make, manage and assess scientific investments to meet New Zealand’s economic, social and environmental goals.

He will spend 80 percent of his time in the MBIE role, while using the other 20 percent to continue at Ferrier, where he has worked since 1994. Ferrier became part of the University in 2014.

Professor Evans’ research has focused on understanding the role of enzyme function in diseases with the aim of developing better medicines. A number of potential compounds from his work are in clinical and pre-clinical trial for the treatment of cancers, gout, malaria and microbial infections.

"I am very excited to become MBIE’s Chief Science Advisor. I look forward to providing the makers and implementers of MBIE's science policy with the perspective of a research active scientist,” he says.

“The role will also provide me with a wonderful opportunity to get to know researchers throughout the length and breadth of New Zealand who, on a day-to-day basis, make a demonstrable impact to the health and wealth of all New Zealanders, through MBIE funding.”

Professor Mike Wilson, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Architecture and Design says, “We are very proud of Professor Evans on being appointed to this prestigious role. It is a reflection of both his calibre as a research scientist, and the quality of science at Victoria University of Wellington.”