4 May 2024

A curse and a genetic code: PM's Science Prize winners

From Saturday Morning, 10:10 am on 4 May 2024

Photo: supplied/Royal Society

Thirty years ago, nurse Maybelle Ngapere McLeod realised a genetic link to the stomach cancer which killed many of her whanau was much more likely that the effect of a curse.  She took her suspicions to Otago university, and the rest is history. Maybelle is part of the team awarded the top Prime Minister's Science Prize for transformative impact.

The Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer Team is led by Professor Parry Guilford, Director of the Centre for Translational Cancer Research at the University of Otago, in conjunction with members of the McLeod whānau and their community in Mount Maunganui.

The research has resulted in a genetic test which gives the ability to understand their risk of cancer and take life-saving action. Professor Guilford joins Susie, along with Mabelle Ngapere McLeod and fellow team member, and whānau University of Otago Associate Professor Karyn Paringatai.