Tāmaki Innovation Campus


GLUCKMAN 2017 RECIPIENT


Professor Peter Thorn with Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon, Sir Richard Faull and the Dean, Professor John Fraser.  Professor Peter Thorn with Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon, Sir Richard Faull and the Dean of FMHS, Professor John Fraser.

Internationally-regarded Professor Peter Thorne is the 2017 recipient of the Gluckman Medal, the premier acknowledgement of excellence awarded annually by the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences (FMHS) on Tāmaki Campus.

An author, researcher and academic, Professor Thorne has a career of outstanding contribution in inner ear pathophysiology, diagnostic approaches to inner ear disease in humans, and the prevention of hearing loss, in the community.

In part the citation mentioned his multidisciplinary collaborations including a substantial research effort into hearing loss and hearing services in Pacific Island countries. As a consequence of this he was invited to be part of a Pacific-wide group that developed regional Pacific Strategy for ENT and Audiology services now being implemented.

He is also seen as an academic role model both in the FMHS and the wider University through his numerous senior committee contributions and his outstanding strategic leadership, leading the establishment of the Section of Audiology, the Master of Audiology degree, and the formation of the School of Medical Sciences.

He was Head and Deputy Head of the School of Population Health and Deputy Director Strategic Planning in the Centre for Brain Research.

His expertise and research background are recognised by the World Health Organisation where he is involved with a number of international Working Groups on ear and hearing health care service development in low-to-middle income countries.  He has particular research interests in cochlear physiology and pathophysiology, otoacoustic emissions, mechanisms and diagnosis of sensorineural deafness, noise-induced hearing loss mechanisms and prevention.

His outstanding service to both the wider scientific and public community was recognised by his award of the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in 2009.

His most recent achievement has been the establishment of the Eisdell Moore Centre, a multidisciplinary collaborative research centre dedicated to research into hearing and balance disorders.

 

EISDELL MOORE CENTRE

The Eisdell Moore Centre (EMC), established late 2016, is a multidisciplinary virtual centre for research on hearing and balance disorders with a particular translational focus around their treatment and prevention. Based in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, it receives core funding of $1.75M over five years from the Hearing Research Foundation for new research across the centre.

Its philosophy is to unite researchers and clinicians and those in private practice, with the specific aim of improving the health of people with hearing loss and balance disorders in New Zealand and the Pacific.  The Centre will provide an opportunity for graduate student training, with a particular focus on multidisciplinary and translational research, under Director, Professor Peter Thorne.

It will also commit to an aspirational goal to contribute to the improvement of ear health and reduction of hearing loss Māori and to the development of a Māori ear and hearing care research workforce. This reflects the strong historical connection the late Sir Patrick Eisdell Moore (after whom the Centre is named) and the Deafness Research Foundation have had with Māori.

Working with community groups such as the National Foundation for the Deaf and the New Zealand Dizziness, Balance and Vertigo Society, the centre will also support community education on hearing and balance disorders to aid prevention and treatment of these conditions. The Centre has been awarded funding from the VC Strategic Research Initiative Fund to support growth and development of the centre and with particular emphasis on its focus on strengthening research among Maori and Pacific people.

 

Quick stats:

  • 17% of New Zealanders have some form of hearing disorder.
  • It is more prevalent in developing countries, such as Pacific Island countries, where there are very limited services and hearing disability can go undiagnosed and untreated.
  • Hearing disability and ear disease are substantially more prevalent among Māori and Pacific populations, particularly in children where the incidence of middle ear disease and congenital hearing loss is higher than other populations.
  •  Chronic ear disease and hearing loss has an impact on learning, literacy and social behaviour and untreated ear disease and hearing loss in children can have life-long consequences.
  •  Noise exposure, both in the workplace and from recreational activities, causes approximately one sixth of cases of hearing loss, and all cases are potentially preventable or treatable. Noise, even when at levels low enough not to impact on hearing, can cause psychological, sleep, and cardiovascular disorders.

 

Who was Eisdell Moore?

Sir Patrick William Eisdell Moore (March 1918 –June 2015) was an eminent New Zealand Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon and founder of the Deafness Research Foundation (now the Hearing Research Foundation).

He was a pioneer in cochlear implants, and was the first person in the world to perform an eardrum transplant. He also served as a medical officer in World War II, and was the only Pakeha in the 28th Maori Battalion.

Moore was born in England, educated at Auckland Grammar School, and then studied medicine at the University of Otago, graduating in 1943.

In the 1982 New Year’s Honours, Moore was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to otolaryngology and he was made a Knight Bachelor for services to otolaryngology 10 years later.

Sir Patrick died in June 2015, followed by his wife, Beth, Lady Moore in 2017.  She had, however, been present at the opening of the centre, along with their son, High Court Justice Simon Moore.