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ESR Senior Forensic Scientist, Cameron Johnson has been named as one of the recipients of the prestigious 2020 Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowships.

The Fellowship will allow Mr Johnson to travel to the United States to study performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs), and the latest techniques for detecting them.

The opportunity to consult with experts in the field will enable Mr Johnson to bring back new insights and understanding that will benefit our communities.

“The Fellowship opens up the possibilities of future collaboration, and the sharing of expertise and knowledge,” says Mr Johnson.

“As well as learning more about the latest techniques and procedures for detecting PIEDs, I’ll be able to gain a better understanding of how to use that information to address the social and recreational challenges the drugs create,” he says.

ESR has extensive expertise in the field of illicit drugs and leads a number of research initiatives including the development of a designer drug database.

The challenges associated with detecting and legislating PIEDs shares many similarities with other controlled substances that Mr Johnson deals with on a daily basis. Expanding on this knowledge will ensure ESR is up to date with current technologies and strengthens New Zealand as a recognised expert in this field.

“This Fellowship will be key to learning about drug trends experienced internationally and applying them to the New Zealand landscape, and I couldn’t be happier to be granted this opportunity,” says Mr Johnson.

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust was established in 1965 to honour the memory of Sir Winston Churchill.

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