MEDIA RELEASE August 9, 2017

rymanprize17 KOR

 

A world-renowned researcher has won the 2017 Ryman Prize in recognition of his more than 30 years of ground-breaking contribution to research into Alzheimer’s Disease.

Professor Peter St George-Hyslop, who splits his time between research labs at the Universities of Toronto and Cambridge in the United Kingdom, has won the 2017 Ryman Prize for his more than 30 years of research into neuro-degenerative diseases.

His research work has focused on discovering the key genes and proteins that cause cells to degenerate in diseases such as early onset Alzheimer’s Disease.

His work has also helped other research better understand other neuro-degenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's, motor neuron disease, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob (mad cow) disease.

He was presented with the prize by the Right Honourable Bill English, Prime Minister of New Zealand, at a special presentation in Wellington today (August 9).

Ryman Prize juror Dr Naoko Muramatsu said Professor St George-Hyslop’s research had led to a much better understanding of neuro-degenerative diseases.

“Since the mid-1980s he has carried out pioneering research in a field which was little understood. Millions of people around the world have Alzheimer’s and Peter’s research has had a profound influence on its understanding, and the ability to diagnose and treat it. He thoroughly deserves this award for his many decades of commitment to scientific discovery, teaching, and sheer hard work.’’

“He has also been a prolific research author, and his 390 published scientific papers have been cited by other researchers more than 33,000 times. This means that his discoveries have been widely disseminated to form the basis of other research and discoveries.’’

Professor St George-Hyslop said he was chuffed to win.

“The prize came as a complete surprise - but one that is exceptionally exciting for two reasons. At a personal level, it is obviously thrilling to have one’s professional work and the work of one's colleagues publicly recognised. However, there is a much larger importance to this prize. It signifies a sea-change in how society perceives disorders affecting the health and well-being of their older members. It signals a growing understanding of the urgency of getting to grips with these increasingly common, devastating conditions that impact not only those individuals affected by them, but also their family and their caregivers, and the state in which they live.’’

The Ryman Prize is a $250,000 international prize which rewards the best work in the world that has enhanced quality of life for older people. It is the world’s richest prize of its type and was established to create the equivalent of a Nobel Prize for people working in the field of the health of older people.

Gordon MacLeod, Chief Executive of Ryman Healthcare, said the aim of the prize was to encourage the best and brightest minds in the world to think about the health of older people.

“We’re delighted to support the prize because it recognises the importance of this field of healthcare. The world’s population is rapidly ageing, and people are living longer with chronic diseases. These issues have no borders - we want to do everything we can to help tackle what is a worldwide problem.’’

The prize was launched in 2015 and the inaugural prize was won by Gabi Hollows, the founding director of The Fred Hollows Foundation.

Gabi Hollows set up the charity with her late husband Professor Fred Hollows, and together they worked tirelessly to tackle the problem of preventable blindness in the developing world.

In the 26 years since the Hollows Foundation was established more than 1 million people have had their sight restored.

The 2016 prize was won by Professor Henry Brodaty. Professor Brodaty is a pioneer in diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s and dementia and his influence has been felt around the world.

About Peter St-George Hyslop: Professor St George-Hyslop is a British-Canadian geneticist and physician.

He was born in Kenya and was educated in the United Kingdom.  He completed his medical training in Canada, graduating in 1976, before pursuing post-doctoral research in internal medicine and neurology at the University of Toronto and Harvard Medical School.

He served his first appointment at Harvard's Massachusetts General Hospital, where he taught molecular genetics and neurology from 1987 to 1991.

He was appointed to the University of Toronto in 1991, and since 2003 has held the university's highest rank of University Professor. Since 1995, St George-Hyslop has served as the director of the Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine

In 2007 St George-Hyslop was appointed Professor of Experimental Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, where he still works.

He divides his time between Canada and the United Kingdom.

About the Ryman Prize:
The Ryman Prize is administered by the Ryman Foundation. The annual prize consists of a $250,000 grant which is awarded to the best invention, idea, research concept or initiative that has enhanced quality of life for older people.

The Ryman Prize is awarded in New Zealand but is open to anyone, anywhere in the world with a bright idea.

The prize is a philanthropic initiative aimed at improving the lot of those over 75 years of age. In Western countries, such as New Zealand and Australia, this is a significant demographic, which is set to more than double over the next 30 years. The rapid ageing of the population will be even more pronounced in the developing world. The prize pool has come from an anonymous donor and the prize is administered with support from Ryman Healthcare, New Zealand’s largest retirement village operator.

The Ryman Prize jury includes:
• Professor Brian Draper, Conjoint Professor in the School of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales.
• Professor Sarah Harper, Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing.
• Professor Tim Wilkinson, consulting geriatrician and Associate Dean of Medical Education, Otago School of Medicine.
• Dr Naoko Muramatsu, health and ageing research specialist, University of Illinois at Chicago.
• Professor Erwin Neher, Nobel Laureate and Professor at the University of Göttingen, Germany. Dr Neher is a biophysicist who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1991.
• Dr David Kerr, Ryman Healthcare Chairman, Fellow and Past President of the New Zealand Medical Association, Fellow with Distinction of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.

Media advisory: For interviews with Professor Peter St George-Hyslop or further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact Ryman Prize director David King on 03 366 4069 (00643 3664069) or 021 499 602 (006421 499 6902) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

MEDIA RELEASE April 24, 2017

NZ$250,000 prize for improving quality of life for older people on offer

The search is on for the best work around the globe that has enhanced quality of life for older people.

Launched last year, the NZ$250,000 Ryman Prize is one of the world’s richest prizes and is the only award of its kind which is targeted at the health of older people. The intention is to create the equivalent of a Nobel Prize in the field of older people’s health.

The prize winner is selected by an international jury and entry is open to the brightest and best thinkers, scientists, clinicians or inventors anywhere in the world.

The prize will go to the best discovery, invention, medical advance, idea or initiative anywhere on earth that enhances quality of life for older people.

Entry for the 2017 Ryman Prize are now open at www.rymanprize.com. Entries close at midnight on Friday, June 23 2017.

The Ryman Prize was launched in 2015 and the inaugural prize was won by Gabi Hollows, the founding director of The Fred Hollows Foundation.

Gabi set up the charity with her late husband Professor Fred Hollows, and together they worked tirelessly to tackle the problem of preventable blindness in the developing world.

In the 24 years since the Hollows Foundation was established more than 1 million people have had their sight restored. The vast majority of the recipients are older people who could not have otherwise afforded to have cataract surgery.

The 2016 prize was won by Professor Henry Brodaty. Professor Brodaty is a pioneer in diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s and dementia and his influence has been felt around the world.

Ryman Prize director David King said Gabi Hollows and Henry Brodaty were both deserving winners, and the Ryman Prize jury was looking forward to seeing this year’s entries.

“As the number of people aged 75+ in the world grows so too do the issues they face. People are living longer and their health needs are becoming more complex. We hope the Ryman Prize will not only reward people who have done great work for older people, but also spark new ideas and research.’’

The prize could go to an initiative or invention as simple as a new walking cane or mobility device, or as complex as a medical advance.
While there are plenty of prizes for research, there are none specifically aimed at the area of the health of older people. The Ryman Prize aims to fill that niche.

The prize money has been donated to The Ryman Foundation to administer.

The Ryman Prize jury includes:
Dr Brian Draper, Conjoint Professor in the School of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales.
Professor Sarah Harper, Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing.
Dr David Kerr, Ryman Healthcare Chairman, Fellow and Past President of the New Zealand Medical Association, Fellow with Distinction of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.
Professor Tim Wilkinson, consulting geriatrician and Associate Dean of Medical Education, Otago School of Medicine.
Dr Naoko Muramatsu, health and ageing research specialist, University of Illinois at Chicago.
Dr Erwin Neher, Nobel Laureate and Professor at the University of Göttingen, Germany. Dr Neher is a biophysicist who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1991.

Media advisory: For further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact David King on 0064 3 366 4069 or 0064 21 499 602 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

MEDIA RELEASE JUNE 22, 2016

Henry Brodaty WEB

World class researcher, clinician, advocate and pioneer recognised for three decades of work

Professor Henry Brodaty has won the 2016 Ryman Prize as recognition of his three decades of tireless work into ways to combat dementia.

The Ryman Prize is a $250,000 international prize which rewards the best work in the world that has enhanced quality of life for older people. It is the world’s richest prize of its type and was established to create the equivalent of a Nobel Prize for people working in the field of the health of older people.

Sydney-based Professor Brodaty was selected by the Ryman Prize’s international jury.

Ryman Prize Juror Dr David Kerr said Professor Brodaty was a worthy winner.

“We had an incredible field this year and there were some strong contenders from all over the world. Professor Brodaty’s nomination was a standout, his dedication and achievements are truly world-class. He is a pioneer in diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s and dementia in Australasia and his influence has been felt around the world.’’

Professor Brodaty said it was a wonderful honour.

“We are all ageing. Older people are the fastest growing sector of our population and mental health is the largest contribution to disease burden as we age,’ he said. “I’m absolutely thrilled to receive this award. The Ryman Prize highlights the importance of enhancing the profile of research to improve the quality of life for older people.”

Professor Brodaty is a psychogeriatrician who has spent his career working on ways to enhance the quality of life of older people with dementia and their families. He has also been a strong advocate for their rights.

As well as treating thousands of patients at his clinic, he has been a pre-eminent researcher into ways to improve diagnosis and treatment of dementia.

He was a founding member and president or chair of the NSW and Australian Alzheimer’s Associations and Alzheimer’s Disease International. He is immediate past president of International Psychogeriatric Association and has been a member of numerous Australian and international committees aiming to advance the mental health of older people globally.

Professor Brodaty is a highly respected teacher and presenter who has inspired generations of dementia researchers to follow in his footsteps. He is a prolific writer and has published extensively.

At the University of New South Wales in Sydney, he is Scientia Professor of Ageing and Mental Health, the founding Director of the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre and Co-Director of CHeBA, the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing.

As a busy clinician looking after patients, he established the Aged Care Psychiatry department at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney where he is a Senior Consultant Psychogeriatrician and heads the Memory Disorders Clinic.

About The Ryman Prize:
The Ryman Prize is administered by the Ryman Foundation. The annual prize consists of a $250,000 grant which is awarded to the best invention, idea, research concept or initiative that has enhanced quality of life for older people.

The Ryman Prize is awarded in New Zealand but is open to anyone, anywhere in the world with a bright idea.

The prize is a philanthropic initiative aimed at improving the lot of those over 75 years of age. In Western countries such as New Zealand and Australia this is a significant demographic, this is set to triple in numbers over the next 30 years. The rapid ageing of the population will be even more pronounced in the developing world. The prize pool has come from an anonymous donor and the prize is administered with support from Ryman Healthcare, New Zealand’s largest retirement village operator.

The inaugural Ryman prize was won by Gabi Hollows. Gabi is a founding director of the Hollows Foundation, which has restored sight for more than a million people.

The Ryman Prize jury includes:
Professor Brian Draper, Conjoint Professor in the School of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales.
Professor Sarah Harper, Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing.
Professor Tim Wilkinson, consulting geriatrician and Associate Dean of Medical Education, Otago School of Medicine.
Dr Naoko Muramatsu, health and ageing research specialist, University of Illinois at Chicago.
Professor Erwin Neher, Nobel Laureate and Professor at the University of Göttingen, Germany. Dr Neher is a biophysicist who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1991.
Dr David Kerr, Ryman Healthcare Chairman, Fellow and Past President of the New Zealand Medical Association, Fellow with Distinction of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.

Media advisory: For interviews with Professor Henry Brodaty or further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact Ryman Prize director David King on 03 366 4069 (00643 3664069) or 021 499 602 (006421 499 6902) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

MEDIA RELEASE FEBRUARY 11, 2016

Entries open for the Ryman Prize

NZ$250,000 prize for improving quality of life for older people on offer



The search is on for the best work around the globe that has enhanced quality of life for older people.

Launched last year, the NZ$250,000 Ryman Prize is one of the world’s richest prizes and is the only award of its kind which is targeted at the health of older people.

The prize winner is selected by an international jury and entry is open to the brightest and best thinkers, scientists, clinicians or inventors anywhere in the world.

The prize will go to the best discovery, invention, medical advance, idea or initiative anywhere on earth that enhances quality of life for older people.

Entry for the 2016 Ryman Prize are now open at www.rymanprize.com. Entries close at midnight on Friday, April 29 2016.

Last year’s Ryman Prize winner was Gabi Hollows, the founding director of The Fred Hollows Foundation.

Gabi set up the charity with her late husband Professor Fred Hollows, and together they worked tirelessly to tackle the problem of preventable blindness in the developing world and indigenous Australians.

In the 24 years since the Hollows Foundation was established more than 1 million people have had their sight restored. The vast majority of the recipients are older people who could not have otherwise afforded to have cataract surgery.

Ryman Prize director David King said Gabi Hollows was a deserving winner.

“Gabi’s story was inspirational and her work has had a huge impact on a large number of older people. We had a great response last year and we are now looking forward to finding this year’s Gabi Hollows.’’

“As the number of people aged 75+ in the world grows so too do the issues they face. People are living longer and their health needs are becoming more complex. We hope the Ryman Prize will not only reward people who have done great work for older people, but also spark new ideas and research.’’

The prize could go to an initiative or invention as simple as a new walking cane or mobility device, or as complex as a medical advance. In Gabi’s case, it was for more than 20 years of dedicated work to restore sight for older people.

While there are plenty of prizes for research, there are none specifically aimed at the area of the health of older people. The Ryman Prize aims to fill that niche.

The prize money has been donated to The Ryman Foundation to administer.

The Ryman Prize jury includes:

Dr Brian Draper, Conjoint Professor in the School of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales.

Professor Sarah Harper, Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing.

Dr David Kerr, Ryman Healthcare Chairman, Fellow and Past President of the New Zealand Medical Association, Fellow with Distinction of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.

Fred Lee, a Florida-based health management thinker, author and motivational speaker.

Professor Tim Wilkinson, consulting geriatrician and Associate Dean of Medical Education, Otago School of Medicine.

Dr Naoko Muramatsu, health and ageing research specialist, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dr Erwin Neher, Nobel Laureate and Professor at the University of Göttingen, Germany. Dr Neher is a biophysicist who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1991.

Media advisory: For further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact David King on 0064 3 366 4069 or 0064 21 499 602 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.rymanprize.com

Gabi Hollows wins the inaugural Ryman Prize

Decades of work to restore sight for older people recognised

Gabi Hollows talks about winning the Ryman Prize

Gabi Hollows has been awarded the inaugural Ryman Prize in recognition of her tireless work over more than two decades to help restore sight to more than 1 million people.

The Ryman Prize is a US$150,000 international prize for the best work in the world that has enhanced quality of life for older people.

Gabi was selected by the Ryman Prize’s international jury from nominees from all around the world.

She is the Founding Director of The Fred Hollows Foundation, the charity she set up with her late husband Professor Fred Hollows. Together, Fred and Gabi gathered a team around them, working to tackle the problem of preventable blindness in the developing world and for Indigenous Australians.  The Fred Hollows Foundation now works in more than 20 countries, providing affordable, high-quality, sight-restoring surgery to some of the poorest people in the world.

In the 23 years since the Hollows Foundation was established more than 1 million people have had their sight restored. The vast majority of the recipients are older people who could not have otherwise afforded to have cataract surgery.

Professor Erwin Neher, a Ryman Prize juror and a former winner of the Nobel Prize for medicine, presented Gabi with her Ryman medal at a ceremony in Auckland today.

“We had many high quality entries from around the world which made it difficult to choose a winner,’’ Professor Neher said.

“We were impressed with the profound and measurable impact that the work of Gabi and The Foundation have had on so many older people and their communities around the world. She is a deserving winner of this prize.’’

Gabi Hollows said winning was an honour.

“In many cultures they believe that when your hair goes grey your eyes go grey as well and there is nothing you can do about it. Fred strongly believed that everyone had the right to have their sight restored, no matter where they lived or how much money they had. The joy you have in giving back someone’s sight is the most amazing thing in the world.’’

About The Ryman Prize:

The Ryman Prize is administered by the Ryman Foundation. The prize consists of a US$150,000 annual grant which is awarded to the best invention, idea, research concept or initiative that has enhanced the quality of life for older people.

The Ryman Prize is awarded in New Zealand but is open to anyone, anywhere in the world with a bright idea.

The prize is an apolitical philanthropic initiative aimed at improving the lot of those over 75 years of age. In Western countries such as New Zealand and Australia this is a significant demographic, this is set to triple in numbers over the next 30 years. The prize pool has come from an anonymous donor and the prize is administered with support from Ryman Healthcare, New Zealand’s largest retirement village operator.

The Ryman jury includes:

 

  • Dr Brian Draper, Conjoint Professor in the School of Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales.
  • Professor Sarah Harper, Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing.
  • Fred Lee, a Florida-based health management thinker, author and motivational speaker.
  • Professor Tim Wilkinson, consulting geriatrician and Associate Dean of Medical Education, Otago School of Medicine.
  • Dr Naoko Muramatsu, health and ageing research specialist, University of Illinois at Chicago.
  • Professor Erwin Neher, Nobel Laureate and Professor at the University of Göttingen, Germany. Dr Neher is a biophysicist who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1991.
  • Dr David Kerr, Ryman Healthcare Chairman, Fellow and Past President of the New Zealand Medical Association, Fellow with Distinction of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.

 

Media advisory: For interviews with Gabi Hollows or Erwin Neher or further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact Ryman Prize director David King on 03 366 4069 (00643 3664069) or 021 499 602 (006421 499 6902)

 rym prize s 3S1A5164 Large

 Dr David Kerr, Gabi Hollows and Professor Erwin Neher at the Ryman Prize presentation.