New name and new director for former NRCGD

It is both a pleasure and a privilege to be the Director of Gravida, one of seven Government funded Centres of Research Excellence (CoREs), established to answer the research question “what makes a good start for a health life?”

Gravida (formerly the National Research Centre for Growth and Development) owes much to the vision and energy of its founding Director, Sir Peter Gluckman. Partially through a legacy of scientific giants such as Mont Liggins and Peter Gluckman, New Zealand massively over punches in the crucial scientific areas of reproduction, pregnancy, growth and development. Our CoRE contributes through an almost unique multi-disciplinary and multi-institution model which researchers from completely different disciplines interact and collaborate; the sum is truly greater than the parts.

These are tremendously exciting times for Gravida. In addition to our new identity, membership has been refreshed and renewed. We are undoubtedly stronger for the recent addition of several quite outstanding new members. We have a new Scientific Advisory Board comprising some of the very finest scientific, medical and agricultural minds; we will be relying on their guidance as we strive to further heighten our research achievements. We have restructured our funding and project management processes to ensure greater transparency, and will increase our emphasis on peer review. Our CoRE has an excellent track record of training some of the country’s brightest young scientists and also of school – science – community partnerships; these must continue to be important priorities for Gravida.

From its ‘birth’ in 2003, the CoRE places great emphasis on a foundation of scientific excellence; this emphasis established New Zealand as the world leader in growth and development research. Our challenge is to ensure that the high calibre of our work is maintained, as we translate our discoveries to ensure benefits in health and agricultural productivity. Our research has had quite phenomenal impact on New Zealand and the world; long may this continue.