Margaret Brimble

Chair of Organic and Director of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Auckland


  • Biotech and Life Sciences

Distinguished Professor Margaret Brimble holds the Chair of Organic Chemistry and is Director of Medicinal Chemistry at The University of Auckland. She is the Vice-President of Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry Division (Division III) of International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), and an Associate Editor for Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry.

Margarets research focuses on the synthesis of bioactive natural products and the synthesis of peptides, glycopeptides, and peptide mimetics as potential therapeutic agents. Margaret has experience in science commercialisation, having discovered the drug NNZ2566 that has proven highly successful in phase 2 human trials for the neurogenetic disorder of Rett Syndrome. NNZ2566 is also currently in phase 2 clinical trials for fragile X syndrome and traumatic brain injury. Professor Brimble also established NZ’s first Medsafe-approved laboratory that has manufactured peptide antigens for the clinical trial of melanoma vaccines (MELVAC trial).

In 2012 Margaret was awarded the RSNZ Rutherford medal (NZ’s top science medal), the Hector Medal (Chemical Sciences) and the McDiarmid medal (research for human benefit) and in 2008 the World Class NZ Award for Research, Science and Technology. She was the 2007 L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science Laureate for Asia-Pacific in Materials Science and won the RSC Natural Product Chemistry Award (2010), the RACI Adrien Albert Award (2011) and the Novartis Chemistry Award. She has been conferred with two Queen’s honours (MNZM 2004 and CNZM 2012) for her services to science.