Hedley Stirrat

Just three days after submitting his Master of Drug Discovery and Development thesis, Hedley stepped into the role of metabolomics technician at AgResearch.

Hedley sits in front of a computer and analysing machines

“AgResearch tries to add value to the agriculture industry through science. I’m a technician in the metabolomics team, which is part of the food, nutrition and health team. I work mainly with mass spectrometers—analytical instruments that determine the mass of certain molecules.

“We might look at whether the composition of certain molecules in milk changes depending on what cows are fed, or whether we can distinguish between produce from New Zealand and overseas by the composition. From this, we can advise our agricultural industry about producing more valuable products in a more efficient and environmentally friendly way."

The opportunity to learn from both industry experts and academics is what drew Hedley to the Master of Drug Discovery and Development programme. It ensured he gained a mix of practical and theoretical knowledge.

“I have a comprehensive understanding of the current state of drug development and how it’s carried out in industries.”

Hedley values his qualification, not only because of what he learnt about the subject, but also because of the other skills he developed in that time, including time management and science communication.