Gravida: National Centre for Growth and Development marks 10th birthday

Gravida (www.gravida.org.nz) celebrates its tenth birthday at its annual Science Symposium in Auckland today.

Board chair Alison Paterson CNZM QSO is also honoured for her exemplary leadership of the Centre of Research Excellence since its inception in 2003.

Gravida was one of seven CoREs established by the government a decade ago to get top scientists from across institutions collaborating on specific focus areas.

The centre has become globally renowned for its research on how early life events can influence life-long health.

In the past year, since the appointment of new director Professor Philip Baker, Gravida has strengthened its global networks, launching an International College of more than 30 renowned experts across all related fields of study. Gravida’s Scientific Advisory Board has also been re-freshed.

Gravida membership now includes more than 35 principal investigators and 44 associate investigators from universities across New Zealand and partner institutions AgResearch and Landcorp.

The organisation has launched its new brand, replacing the acronym NRCGD (National Research Centre for Growth and Development) with Gravida. Instantly recognisable as meaning ‘pregnancy’, Gravida provides a memorable link to the centre’s area of focus.

New strategic partnerships have been forged with leading public organisations including Plunket, District Health Boards, the Heart Foundation, Cure Kids, the College of Midwives and Tipu Ora.

Gravida continues to develop new initiatives, such as the Ministry of Health maternal and infant health workforce programme and the major sildenafil clinical trial for babies affected by severe intra-uterine growth restriction.

Prof Baker says Gravida has enhanced its ability to improve the health of all New Zealanders and the productivity of our farming sector. He thanked Mrs Paterson along with Gravida’s board and members for their commitment.