GMRI a rewarding finale to a professor’s career


Professor Reg Marsh

Professor Reg Marsh’s approach to ‘winding down’ in his later years is different than most – he spends his time volunteering as a biostatistician at the GMRI.
It’s not surprising, though, given the impressive 53 year career under his belt.
“I just want to do work that is interesting, and may be helpful to a wider part of the community,” he says.
In his role, Professor Marsh helps the team plan experiments and studies, and then analyses the collected data to assess what valid conclusions can be drawn.
He says his work at the GMRI is some of the most fulfilling he has undertaken.
“I joined Swee’s team about three years ago – he rang me out of the blue and offered me the work,” he says.
“I love the thrill of doing what really is classed as ground-breaking work – there’s so much excitement in the small and sometimes bigger discoveries.”
Professor Marsh also does volunteer consultation work for the medical schools at the University of Auckland and the University of Otago.
At the GMRI, he acts as a mentor to the research students.
“Perhaps the best part is that it will hopefully lead to the treatment of cancer without surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy,” he says.
“It’s absolutely rewarding, seeing how this research could dramatically change people’s lives.”
Professor Marsh’s career is hugely broad in terms of the number and type of roles, and countries, in which he has worked.
He holds a Bachelor and Master of Arts (Psychology and Education), a PhD in epidemiology, and a Diploma of Teaching from Victoria University of Wellington. Professor Marsh did postgraduate work in statistics at London University and was an ANZAC Fellow at the Australian National University. His research interests include mental measurement, human intelligence, child psychosis, tropical health, cardiovascular risk, and cancer.
He is the author of over 70 publications in peer-reviewed journals.
After working for the then New Zealand Department of Education and the New Zealand Council for Educational Research, he moved to Victoria University of Wellington for 20 years. He spent 15 of those as Professor of Education (Psychology & Human Development), in conjunction with his role as a consultant psychologist to the then New Zealand Department of Health.
Professor Marsh then moved to education and psychology professorships in Australia, Hong Kong, Malawi and Botswana; and then in biostatistics in Malawi and at the Peoples’ University (web-based) in volunteer roles.
This was interspersed by associate professorships in psychiatry in Australia and New Zealand, the latter in conjunction with his work at the GMRI.
Professor Marsh is an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.