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Source: University of Otago

The President of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, Dr Lawrie Bott (left), presents Professor Delahunt with the silver medal at the College’s headquarters in Sydney.
Professor Brett Delahunt ONZM KStJ FRSNZ, from the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine at the University of Otago, Wellington, has been awarded the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia’s (RCPA) Silver Medal, the only person in the history of the College to receive both Gold and Silver Medals.
The Silver Medal, or Meritorious Service award, recognises Professor Delahunt’s 14 “stellar” years of service as Editor of the College journal, Pathology. The citation credits his dedication to the role with a major increase in the journal’s ranking and impact factor.
Professor Delahunt stepped down from the editorship of the journal in February, after transforming Pathology from a regional publication to one competing with mainstream UK and US pathology journals.

“I’m deeply honoured by this recognition from the College, particularly so as it comes from my peers in the field of pathology.”

In a farewell editorial in the journal, he notes the annual number of downloads of articles from the journal increased from 38,548 in 2009 to 233,686 in 2020, with more than half coming from Europe and North America.
The journal’s impact factor, which measures the frequency with which the average article in a journal is cited in a particular year, rose to more than 3.00 in 2017 and leapt to 5.306 in 2020, a sign of its global recognition as a leading journal in the field.
In an editorial in Pathology, the incoming editor, Professor Richard Scolyer from the University of Sydney, paid tribute to Professor Delahunt’s success in the role.
“On behalf of all members of the editorial board and indeed the pathology and wider medical communities (I) thank him for his distinguished service and tireless hard work and leadership in bringing the journal to its current status as one of the world’s premier journals in the field.”
Professor Delahunt was awarded the RCPA’s Gold Medal and named a Distinguished Fellow of the College in 2009 for his contributions to the College in multiple areas, as well as for his research publications and international contributions.
He is conscious of the honour of being the only person in the College’s 75-year history to receive both the gold and silver awards.
“I’m deeply honoured by this recognition from the College, particularly so as it comes from my peers in the field of pathology.”
Dean and Head of the Wellington campus, Professor William Levack, says he is delighted to see Professor Delahunt’s achievements being recognised.
“He has made a tremendous contribution over more than 40 years with the Department of Pathology. In addition to his accomplishments during his tenure as editor of Pathology, he has more than 500 academic publications to his name, a staggering achievement.”
Professor Delahunt’s contributions to the field of pathology have been widely recognised nationally and internationally.
He was presented with a Gold Medal by the New Zealand Society of Pathologists last year, in recognition of his 41 years of service, with the Society saying the award was unique and would likely never be repeated.
Professor Delahunt was awarded the Koss Medal from the International Society of Urological Pathology in 2003 and the Distinguished Pathologists Medal of the International Academy of Pathology in 2013 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the discipline of pathology.
He received the Hercus Medal from the Royal Society Te Apārangi in 2018 for his research on prostate and kidney cancer. The medal is awarded only once every two years for sustained excellence in molecular and cellular sciences, biomedical science, clinical science or public health research.
He was appointed Knight of the Order of St John (KStJ) in 1995, an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in the 2004 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to pathology and in 2015 he received the National Meritorious Service Award of the Cancer Society of New Zealand for outstanding contributions to the Society and to cancer research.
– Kōrero by Cheryl Norrie, University of Otago, Wellington, Communications Adviser.