Christine Coe Winterbourn

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Winterbourn in 2012 Christine Winterbourn CNZM (cropped).jpg
Winterbourn in 2012

Christine Coe Winterbourn CNZM is Professor of Pathology at the University of Otago.

Pathology study and diagnosis of disease

Pathology is the study of the causes and effects of disease or injury. The word pathology also refers to the study of disease in general, incorporating a wide range of bioscience research fields and medical practices. However, when used in the context of modern medical treatment, the term is often used in a more narrow fashion to refer to processes and tests which fall within the contemporary medical field of "general pathology", an area which includes a number of distinct but inter-related medical specialties that diagnose disease, mostly through analysis of tissue, cell, and body fluid samples. Idiomatically, "a pathology" may also refer to the predicted or actual progression of particular diseases, and the affix path is sometimes used to indicate a state of disease in cases of both physical ailment and psychological conditions. A physician practicing pathology is called a pathologist.

University of Otago university in New Zealand

The University of Otago is a collegiate university based in Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. It scores highly for average research quality, and in 2006 was second in New Zealand only to the University of Auckland in the number of A-rated academic researchers it employs. In the past it has topped the New Zealand Performance Based Research Fund evaluation.


Her research in the biological chemistry of free radicals earned her the 2011 Rutherford Medal [1] [2] and the Marsden Medal, [3] the top awards from each of New Zealand's two top science bodies.

Rutherford Medal (Royal Society of New Zealand) award of the Royal Society of New Zealand

The Rutherford Medal is the most prestigious award offered by the Royal Society of New Zealand, consisting of a medal and prize of $100,000. It is awarded at the request of the New Zealand Government to recognize exceptional contributions to the advancement and promotion of public awareness, knowledge and understanding in addition to eminent research or technological practice by a person or group in any field of science, mathematics, social science, or technology. It is funded by the New Zealand government and awarded annually.

The Marsden Medal is a yearly award given by the New Zealand Association of Scientists. It is named after Sir Ernest Marsden and honours "a lifetime of outstanding service to the cause or profession of science, in recognition of service rendered to the cause or profession of science in the widest connotation of the phrase." It rivals the Rutherford Medal from the Royal Society of New Zealand.


Winterbourn was one of the first scientists to demonstrate that human cells produce free radicals as part of their normal function and to document some of the chemical reactions of free radicals that occur in diseases such as cancer, stroke, coronary heart disease and arthritis. [4]


She was the first female recipient of the Rutherford Medal. [1] In the 1997 Queen's Birthday Honours, Winterbourn was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to medical research. [5] She was promoted to Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2012 Queen's Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours, for services to science. [6]

The 1997 Birthday Honours were announced on 14 June 1997 for the United Kingdom and on 2 June 1997 for New Zealand. Queen's Birthday Honours are announced on or around the date of the Queen's Official Birthday in the United Kingdom and some Commonwealth countries. The dates vary, both from year to year and from country to country. All are published in supplements to the London Gazette and many are conferred by the monarch some time after the date of the announcement, particularly for those service people on active duty.

New Zealand Order of Merit order

The New Zealand Order of Merit is an order of merit in New Zealand's honours system. It was established by royal warrant on 30 May 1996 by Elizabeth II, Queen of New Zealand, "for those persons who in any field of endeavour, have rendered meritorious service to the Crown and nation or who have become distinguished by their eminence, talents, contributions or other merits", to recognise outstanding service to the Crown and people of New Zealand in a civil or military capacity.

The 2012 Queen's Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours in New Zealand, celebrating the official birthday and diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, were appointments made by the Queen in her right as Queen of New Zealand, on the advice of the New Zealand government, to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by New Zealanders. They were announced on 4 June 2012.

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  1. 1 2 "Free radical researcher Professor Christine Winterbourn wins New Zealand's top science and technology honour, the Rutherford Medal". 2011. Archived from the original on 28 November 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2011. Free radical researcher Professor Christine Winterbourn wins New Zealand’s top science and technology honour, the Rutherford Medal
  2. "Professor Christine Winterbourn Awarded 2011 Rutherford Medal". 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2011. Christchurch biochemist and ground-breaking free radical researcher Professor Christine Winterbourn is the first woman scientist to be awarded New Zealand's top science and technology honour in its 20-year history.
  3. "Professor Christine Winterbourn". 2011. Archived from the original on 20 November 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  4. Ancell, Simon (16 November 2011). "University of Otago researchers honoured in national awards". Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  5. Queen's Birthday Honours List 1997 Archived 2014-06-14 at the Wayback Machine . Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet; retrieved 13 February 2013.
  6. Queen's Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours List 2012 Archived 2012-06-04 at the Wayback Machine ,; retrieved 13 February 2013.