PM’s Science Prize for advancing global stroke epidemiology and prevention

NISAN wins first Prime Minister’s Science Prize for AUT for advancing global stroke epidemiology and prevention.


The National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences (NISAN) team has won the 2022 Prime Minister’s Science Prize—the first ever received by AUT. The team is led by NISAN’s Director Professor Valery Feigin, FRSNZ.

The co-recipients of the Prize are Professor Rita Krishnamurthi, Dr Alexander Merkin and Balakrishnan Nair. The team has spent more than 40 years uncovering the epidemiology of stroke and associated conditions and developing highly usable digital tools for patients and clinicians to reduce stroke risk worldwide.

The team received the award from Minister of Health, and Minister of Research, Science and Innovation, the Honourable Dr Ayesha Verrall, at a ceremony held in Wellington on 1 May 2023.

According to the selection panel Professor Feigin’s work “combined all the elements of a scientific breakthrough, proof, technology, modelling and commercialisation…(and) the research has had an incredible impact and long-term contribution to health and social outcomes.”

Professor Feigin was awarded the Liley Medal by the Health Research Council of New Zealand in November 2022, and was also elected a Fellow of Royal Society Te Apārangi in 2019 in recognition of his research excellence.

Watch the video of the prize-giving (

NISAN team receives the PM's science prize
Left to right: the Minister of Health, the NZ Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall, Dr Alexander Merkin, Prof. Rita Krishnamurthi, Prof. Valery Feigin, Dr Bala Nair, Chief Scientific Advisor for the NZ Prime Minister Professor Dame Juliet Gerrard

Mō Te Puiaki - About the Prize

Awarded to an individual or team for a transformative scientific discovery or achievement, which has had a significant economic, health, social and/or environmental impact on New Zealand and/or internationally.

This is one of five prizes awarded each year.

The Government of New Zealand introduced The Prime Minister’s Science Prizes in 2009 as a way of raising the profile and prestige of science among New Zealanders, in Aotearoa and internationally.

More about the prize

Media mentions

NISAN is widely mentioned across news and other scientific organisations.

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