Professor Lesley McCowan, a highly recognized and esteemed obstetrician, is this year's deserving recipient of the coveted Gluckman Medal.
McCowan has dedicated the last three decades of her life to her research in the field of fetal health and obstetrics. The Gluckman Medal is awarded to a worthy recipient each year by the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland. The inaugural award was initially awarded to Sir Richard Faull back in 2002 for his efforts in world-leading research on brain diseases. Faull served as both founder and director of the University’s Centre for Brain Research (CBR.)
McCowan expressed her gratitude to the committee and university saying that she was both, "thrilled and honored," to be recognized for her hard work and contributions to the field of obstetrics. “Clinical medicine is exciting, but we can have a much greater impact on health by conducting high-quality research. I have been fortunate to be able to combine clinical work with research throughout my career," said McCowan.
She has primarily focused her work in the areas of fetal growth, stillbirth and tireless work with expecting women who find themselves struggling with obesity. McCowen led the Auckland Stillbirth Study that reported for the first time that pregnant women who went to sleep on their backs after the 28 week mark were at a three-fold increase for stillbirth. The next phase of these findings is to continue the recently launched program,"Sleep on Side; Stillbirth Prevention Campaign," which was funded by the Ministry of Health and launched this past June. This campaign aims to advise all expectant mothers to sleep on their sides in the third trimester with hopes that stillbirth is greatly reduced.
Professor McCowan will be presented with her award when she gives a lecture at the Peter Gluckman Medal Award Ceremony later this year. McCowan is the second female in the field of academia to receive the Gluckman Medal. Professor Jane Harding, an expert in neonatal care, received the award in 2014.
Well deserved Professor McCowan. Bellies and babies everywhere thank you much for your determination and perseverance in maternal and fetal care. We are so thankful that this award went to such a deserving scholar who is helping to create real change for pregnant women everywhere.