A Ngati Koata high school drop-out who went on to become a molecular biologist in Europe has arrived back in New Zealand to pick up his PhD.
Chris Rodley is among a team of 12 international researchers working on a specific type of cancer cell research in Geneva.
He studies the processes of human cells to better understand what causes the disease.
Dr Rodley graduated from Massey University in Auckland this week.
He dropped out of high school when he was 16 and worked as a labourer for several years before going on to receive numerous academic awards and scholarships.
Dr Rodley says he will soon return to work in New Zealand, where he hopes to move into health management roles to help benefit his iwi in the top of the South Island.