Distinguished Professor Dame Jane Harding, of Auckland, DNZM for services to neonatology and perinatology
Distinguished Professor Dame Jane Harding is a world-leading neonatologist at the University of Auckland’s Liggins Institute and was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2002 for her services to paediatrics. Dame Jane assembles, supports, and leads international multi-disciplinary teams to address critical questions in perinatal medicine through world-first research. Her research has investigated how events and interventions during pregnancy, birth, and the newborn period affect the growth, development, and long-term health of babies and their mothers. Her work on the regulation of a baby’s growth before and after birth has led to paradigm changes in the field, nationally and internationally. She identified the impact of low blood sugar levels on premature babies’ brain development and developed a simple and cheap intervention in the form a dextrose gel, which has changed the treatment of babies around the world. She has previously been the Deputy Director of the Liggins Institute from 2003 to 2007 and the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) of the University of Auckland from 2008 to 2015. Since 2014, she has been the New Zealand Secretary for the Rhodes Trust, appointed by the Trust to select and mentor future generations of outstanding New Zealand leaders and scholars. Dame Jane chaired the Public Health Global Challenge Steering Group and has been a member of the Worldwide Universities Network’s Academic Advisory Group, also chairing their Public Health Global Challenge Steering Group.