Field: Nutrition research.
Professor Lynnette Ferguson is the Director of the Centre for Mutagen Testing, based within the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre (ACSRC), and Head of Nutrition at the University of Auckland.
From 2004-2014 Lynn was also the Programme Leader of Nutrigenomics New Zealand, where she co-ordinates 55 different people across six different sites, bringing nutrigenomics tools to food development.
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Lynn was originally interested in becoming a hairdresser as it seemed to be a glamorous career, but when her mother sent her to hairdressing school Lynn quickly discovered that she didn’t actually have a talent for hairdressing or finding it particularly interesting.
However, Lynn was interested in working things out and was good at maths and science. She didn’t go to university with the intent of eventually getting a PhD. But during her studies she realised her courses were becoming more and more interesting and that she enjoyed labwork.
After completing an Master of Science (Honours) from the University of Auckland, she obtained her D. Phil. from Oxford University in the UK, working on the subject of DNA damage and DNA repair in yeast.
On her return to New Zealand, Lynn worked as a post-doctoral fellow, at the University of Auckland School of Medicine.
After three years she became a Research career fellow with the Auckland Cancer Society. In more recent years, she has held a dual appointment with the Auckland Cancer Society and The University of Auckland.
She has investigated the interplay between genes and diet in the development of chronic disease, with a particular focus on inflammatory bowel disease and cancer.
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