Distinguished Professor Dame Margaret Brimble - University of Auckland and Auckland Uniservices
Pioneering drug discovery and development
A pioneer in drug discovery in New Zealand, Distinguished Professor Dame Margaret Brimble has discovered a treatment for Rett Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome and autism disorders. Trofinetide, currently entering phase III human clinical trials, is the first drug successfully developed by a New Zealand spin-out company and one of very few discovered in an academic laboratory.
Professor Brimble is founder of start-up biotech company SapVax, which is developing “first-in-class” cancer vaccines based on a novel peptide platform technology and funded by US accelerator BioMotiv. This work was awarded the 2018 George and Christine Sosnovsky Award for Cancer Therapy from the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Her work has recently resulted in two series of lipopeptide compounds being licenced to Living Cell Technologies (LCT) for the treatment of obesity and migraine.
An inventor on 50+ patents, Professor Brimble holds the Chair of Organic Chemistry and is Director of Medicinal Chemistry in the Schools of Chemical Sciences and Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland and Principal Investigator in the Maurice Wilkins Centre. She is past-President of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry Organic Division, the International Society for Heterocyclic Chemistry and the RSNZ Rutherford Foundation.
She is a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Science, Fellow of the Royal Society London, the Royal Society of Chemistry UK, the NZ Royal Society Te Apārangi, the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry. She is a recipient of the 2016 Marsden Medal, the 2012 RSNZ Rutherford Medal and the MacDiarmid and Hector Medals. She was the 2007 L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science laureate in materials science for Asia Pacific and won the 2014 Westpac Trust Women in Influence Award for Science and Technology.