A Better Start National Science Challenge Director Wayne Cutfield has paid tribute to one of New Zealand’s top health research administrators, who passed away on March 18.

Dr Bruce Scoggins was Chair of Cure Kids’ Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee and has had a distinguished career in science and research since the early 1960s.

Over that time, Dr Scoggins has held many prestigious roles, including Senior Principal Research Fellow at the Howard Florey Institute in Melbourne, a Senior Fulbright Fellowship, the Gordon Meiklejohn Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado in Denver, and the Chief Executive of the Health Research Council (HRC) of New Zealand.

For the past 15 years he has volunteered as a member of the Board for Cure Kids, and as the Chair of Cure Kids’ Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee. He also led an evaluation of the impact generated over 50 years by the charity’s investments in child health research.

Professor Cutfield had the pleasure of working with Dr Scoggins for the past four years.

“We have held two co-funded grant rounds with Cure Kids, which Bruce and I co-chaired. Bruce gave his time, his intellect and sage advice readily.

“I enjoyed his wit, dry sense of humour and the banter we shared. Bruce was quiet and considered. He was economical with what he had to say, but what he did say was always insightful and important and always relevant. Most of us jabber on and much of what we say matters not a jot. If you missed what Bruce said, woe betide you, because you missed something profound and important. My respect for him grew enormously through those funding rounds.

“You have done much for A Better Start Bruce; I thank you for that. We will certainly miss you. Our heartfelt thoughts are with Bruce’s family.”

Professor Wayne Cutfield and Dr Bruce Scoggins at the 2019 A Better Start National Science Challenge symposium in Auckland.