Margaret Brimble

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Dame Margaret Brimble

Margaret Brimble Royal Society.jpg
Brimble at the Royal Society admissions day in London, July 2018
Margaret Anne MacMillan

(1961-08-20) 20 August 1961 (age 58)
Auckland, New Zealand
Education Diocesan School for Girls, Auckland
Alma mater University of Auckland (BSc, MSc)
University of Southampton (PhD)
Awards Rutherford Medal (2012)
L'Oréal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science (2007)
Hector Memorial Medal (2012)
Scientific career
Fields Chemistry
Thesis Salinomycin : the bis-spiroacetal moiety  (1985)

Dame Margaret Anne Brimble DNZM FRS (née MacMillan, born 20 August 1961) is a New Zealand chemist. Her research has included investigations of shellfish toxins [1] and means to treat brain injuries. [2]


Early life, family, and education

Brimble was born in Auckland on 20 August 1961, the daughter of Mary Anne MacMillan (née Williamson) and Herbert MacMillan, [3] and was encouraged by her grandmother to value education. [4] She attended Diocesan School for Girls, Auckland from 1972 to 1978, and was dux in her final year. [3] [5]

She went on to study chemistry at the University of Auckland from 1979 to 1983, graduating Bachelor of Science in 1982 and Master of Science with first-class honours in 1983. [3] She was awarded a New Zealand Commonwealth scholarship to undertake a PhD in organic chemistry at the University of Southampton. [6] [7]

Career and research

Brimble holds the Chair of Organic and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Auckland and is also a Principal Investigator in the Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery.

Awards and honours

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Royal Society of Chemistry. [8]

Brimble was the first New Zealander to receive the L'Oreal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science, and the second woman to receive the Rutherford medal. [9]

Brimble was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to science in the 2004 New Year Honours. [10] In the 2012 New Year Honours, she was promoted to Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, also for services to science. [11] She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2018. [12] In the 2019 New Year Honours, she was promoted to Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to science. [13]

YearAwardAwarded byDescription
2016 Marsden Medal New Zealand Association of Scientists [14]
2012 Rutherford Medal Royal Society of New Zealand [15] world-leading contributions to the synthesis of bioactive natural products and novel peptides with wide applications across the life sciences industry
Hector Medal sustained outstanding research in the field of organic chemistry, notably her impressive research in the field of natural products synthesis and the development of new synthetic methodology.
MacDiarmid Medalpioneering the design, synthesis and clinical development of a small molecule drug candidate that shows promise for significantly reducing the impact of traumatic brain injury.
2011 Adrien Albert Award Royal Australian Chemical Institute
2010Natural Product Chemistry Award Royal Society of Chemistry outstanding contributions to the synthesis of natural products and their analogues
2008World Class New Zealand AwardKea and NZ Trade & Enterprise Research, Science, Technology & Academia
2007Women in Science Asia-Pacific Laureate in Materials ScienceL'Oreal-UNESCOcontributions to the synthesis of complex natural products, especially shellfish toxins. [1]
2005 HortResearch Prize for Excellence in the Chemical SciencesNZIC
2004James Cook Research FellowshipRoyal Society of New Zealand
2003-4UK Royal Society Rosalind Franklin International Lectureshipinternationally recognised and successful women scientists
Novartis Chemistry Lecture Awardoutstanding contributions in natural product synthesis and development of new synthetic methodology
2001Federation of Asian Chemical Societies Distinguished Chemist Award
1996 Ian Potter Foundation Research Award University of Sydney
1992Hamilton Memorial PrizeRoyal Society of New Zealand
Easterfield MedalNew Zealand Institute of Chemistry

Personal life

In 1981, she married Mark Timothy Brimble. [3]

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  1. 1 2 "Five outstanding women scientists receive L'ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science 2007". UNESCO. 2 March 1007. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  2. "Brain injury drug developer wins award". 22 November 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Taylor, Alister, ed. (2001). New Zealand Who's Who Aotearoa 2001. Auckland: Alister Taylor Publishers. p. 168. ISSN   1172-9813.
  4. "Prof. Margaret Brimble, 2007 For Women in Science Laureate for Asia/Pacific (New Zealand)". Video. L'oreal Women in Science. 7 December 2009. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  5. Williams, Tony (2007). 101 Incredible Kiwis. Auckland: Reed. p. 101. ISBN   978-0-7900-1178-3.
  6. Brimble, Margaret Anne (1985). Salinomycin : the bis-spiroacetal moiety. (PhD thesis). University of Southampton. OCLC   59350054. EThOS
  7. "Professor Margaret Brimble". Association for Women in Sciences New Zealand. Archived from the original on 8 February 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  8. "Mastering molecular chess to mine nature's medicine chest". Royal Society of New Zealand. 11 September 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  9. Morton, Jamie (22 November 2012). "Feted chemist wins top NZ medal". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  10. New Year Honours List 2004. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  11. "New Year honours list 2012". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  12. "Distinguished scientists elected as Fellows and Foreign Members of the Royal Society". The Royal Society. 9 May 2018. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  13. Tapaleao, Vaimoana (31 December 2018). "Best of NZ: New Year Honours pay tribute to 196 exceptional Kiwis". New Zealand Herald.
  14. Morton, Jamie (8 September 2016). "Medal for top NZ chemistry researcher". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  15. "Rutherford Medallist 2012". Royal Society of New Zealand. 22 November 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2013.