Monthly Archives: April 2013

2013 Manawatu Lecture: Are our dunes as simple as they seem?

Are our dunes as simple as they seem? Insights after two decades of investigations

by Dr Jill Rapson, Massey University

7.30 pm Tuesday, April 16th
Te Manawa – Art Gallery, 326 Main Street, Palmerston North

Turning your back on the sea when at the beach opens up a dynamic and stressful environment full of challenges for the plants which live there, many of which live nowhere else. The dunelands are also full of challenges for scientists attempting to understand them, and the Manawatu dunes seem more complicated than most. In this talk, Jill Rapson will review two decades of research and the ideas which have come and gone in terms of explaining the duneland’s dynamics.

The Manawatu Lecture was established by the Royal Society of New Zealand Manawatu Branch as its annual prestigious lecture to recognise aspects of science particularly relevant to the Manawatu. This is the fifteenth Manawatu Lecture.

Mastering molecular chess to mine nature’s medicine chest: the 2013 Rutherford Lecture

by Distinguished Professor Margaret Brimble, University of Auckland

7.30 pm Thursday, 2 May

Where: Palmerston North City Library, 4 The Square

 It has long been realised that natural products provide an invaluable platform for developing front-line drugs. Two-thirds of all new drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in the last 25 years were natural products or were inspired by natural products. The intricate chemistry of nature has evolved over millions of years, but today we can craft this same chemistry in the laboratory over a much shorter period.

This talk will show how natural products derived from either microorganisms that live in extreme environments, or algal blooms, can be harnessed to develop anticancer, antibacterial and antiviral drugs and drugs to treat neurodegenerative diseases. Professor Brimble will also describe her recent experience as part of a commercial drug discovery team, developing drugs to treat traumatic brain injury and melanoma vaccines that will be used for human clinical trials.

Distinguished Professor Margaret Brimble was awarded the Rutherford Medal in 2012 as a result of her achievements in the synthesis of bioactive natural products. Distinguished Professor Brimble is the Chair of Organic and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Auckland and is also a Principal Investigator in the Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Royal Society of Chemistry in the UK and a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

This is a free public lecture. All are welcome, but please register your intention to attend at: