Professor Wayne Cutfield, an internationally recognised paediatric endocrinologist and the Director of A Better Start National Science Challenge, has been awarded the prestigious Howard Williams Medal 2022.

The medal is awarded by the Paediatrics and Child Health Division of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), and recognises those who have made an outstanding contribution to paediatrics and child health in Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand.

Professor Cutfield is one of just five New Zealanders to be awarded the Howard Williams Medal.

He says he is honoured to be a recipient. “I am truly flattered by the award and to join so many outstanding paediatricians who were previous winners.”

Professor Cutfield is busy with a range of roles. He is the Professor of Paediatric Endocrinology at the Liggins Institute and is the Director of A Better Start, the National Science Challenge responsible for a national collaboration of researchers working to lift children’s health and wellbeing outcomes. At A Better Start he is responsible for a research investment of more than $34.7m across three key child health research themes: healthy weight, mental health and resilience, and early literacy and learning.

At Starship Children’s Hospital Professor Cutfield has led the development of the paediatric endocrinology service into a regional service that provides nationwide support through a network of outreach clinics.

Professor Cutfield leads research teams currently addressing the role of the microbiome in determining weight gain, metabolism and wellbeing, and the early prevention of childhood obesity.

He has published more than 280 peer reviewed manuscripts in leading journals, holds four patents and has been the recipient of the Norman Wettenhall Medal for research and innovation (Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group) and the Gluckman Medal – the premier award for research excellence (Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences University of Auckland).

Professor Cutfield joins a group of esteemed academics to have won the Howard Medal Award, including four New Zealanders – Dame Jane Harding, Professor Ed Mitchell and Sir Peter Gluckman from University of Auckland and Professor Don Roberton from the University of Otago.

The Howard Williams Medal is awarded at the RACP Congress in May 2022, where Professor Cutfield will give an oration about his research work.