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Dr. James Johnston

Dr. James Johnston

James was born and spent his childhood in Auckland. At high school he showed leadership potential, becoming head prefect and chairman of the student executive. He played rugby for the first XV and golf for the Auckland region. He received the prestigious University of Auckland Chancellor’s scholarship to fund his university studies. In the same year, he was awarded the National Bluelight Scholarship of Excellence for services to at-risk youth. He demonstrated a flare for public speaking by winning the New Zealand Rishworth Lions Clubs speech competition. At the Medical School of the University of Auckland, he was awarded the JDK North prize for the most distinguished graduate in medicine.

After graduation, he worked in the Auckland region as a junior doctor in Otolaryngology and Plastic Surgery. He was admitted to the New Zealand Otolaryngology training scheme in post-graduate year four. Over his first few years as a doctor, he developed a passion for clinical research, and presented his first papers at national and international conferences. During this time, he met Professor Richard Douglas and his research group. He became fascinated by the concept of science and surgery working together to improve patient outcomes. He was very fortunate to receive a generous surgeon scientist scholarship from the Passe & Williams Foundation, and began his doctoral research in 2016. Over the next three years, he investigated the role of the tonsillar microbiome in the pathogenesis of adenotonsillar hyperplasia. He successfully defended his PhD thesis in 2019. He completed his surgical training and was admitted as a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 2023.

Other GPRWMF awards received by awardee Year
Academic Surgeon-Scientist FellowshipPaediatric/Laryngology Surgeon-Scientist, Auckland2024