DR PETER MOLAN:
THE FATHER OF MANUKA HONEY

Dr Peter Molan MBE is known around the world as the leading authority on medical research on Manuka Honey.

Born in Cardiff, Wales (UK) in 1943, Dr Molan obtained a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from the University of Wales (UK) in 1965. In 1974 he moved to New Zealand to assume the position of Senior Lecturer at Waikato University. Here his research concentrated on substances with anti-bacterial activity.

In 1981 he was persuaded by a beekeeping enthusiast to look at Manuka honey, produced from the flowers of the native New Zealand Manuka tree (Leptospermum Scoparium), Maori folk medicine extolled its use as an antiseptic.

Through his research he discovered a very unique and special property of Manuka honey. In addition to Hydrogen Peroxide found in all honeys, Dr. Molan and his research team discovered, in Manuka Honey, a secondary ingredient with exciting antibacterial properties.

He determined that this factor gives Manuka Honey a larger range of uses and effectiveness in healing multiple infections. He used the trade mark UMF® “Unique Manuka Factor” initially - but withdrew his support for this trade mark in 2009 and established the MGS “Molan Gold Standard” mark.

Dr Peter Molan founded the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato. It was set up in 1995, with funding from the New Zealand Honey Industry Trust, in recognition of the expertise in the therapeutic properties of honey that had developed there following the discovery in 1981 by Dr Molan and Kerry Simpson, that Manuka honey had an unusual type of antibacterial activity.

For over 20 years Professor Peter Molan and his research team at the Honey Research Unit at New Zealand’s Waikato University scientifically investigated the properties of Manuka honey (Leptospermum Scoparium).

Dr Peter Molan’s Achievements include:

  • Honoured by the Queen (award of MBE) in 1995 in recognition of work on honey.
  • Awarded the Science & Technology Silver Medal by the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2001 in recognition of work on honey.
  • Received the ‘Comfeel Literary Award’ from the Australian Wound Management Association for the best paper in the literature/clinical practice category published in the Association’s journal in 2011.
  • Received “The University of Waikato Lifetime Achievement Award” 2013.
  • On 1st April 2014 Dr Peter Molan retired from the University of Waikato after 41 years there as a lecturer. He held the positions of Professor in Biological Sciences and Director of the Honey Research Unit.

Dr Molan was a very experienced educator, and had a passion for explaining science to people. He has given a very large number of lectures to groups in the community, and has given hundreds of interviews for newspapers, magazines and radio and TV stations around the world. He has been an invited keynote speaker at many international conferences on wound treatment and on honey.