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TCD Immunologist Awarded Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal

News feed for Trinity College Dublin.

Dec 04, 2012

Professor Luke O’Neill, Director of the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute and Professor of Biochemistry, Trinity College Dublin has been presented the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Life Sciences. Professor Dermot Moran, UCD Philosopher, was awarded the RIA Gold Medal for the humanities.

European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan–Quinn presented the Gold Medals stating: “These awards are hard earned. Each one is a testament to a lifetime of passionate commitment to the highest standards in scholarship. And they are well-deserved recognition of scientific excellence”.

“The Academy Committees charged with the responsibility of shortlisting candidates for this year's awards were faced with a demanding task. I am pleased about this because it shows that there was a rich pool of deserving candidates.”

EC Commissioner for Research, Innovation & Science, Máire Geoghegan–Quinn presents Prof Luke O’Neill with the RIA Gold Medal with Prof Luke Drury, RIA President 

Professor O'Neill is recognised as a world leader in the fields of immunology and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. His basic discoveries helped redefine the field of innate immunity and were a key aspect of the emergence of new insights into this important process for host defence and inflammation.

He carried out important work in the late 1980s on the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1, which was highly relevant to the subsequent discovery of Toll-like receptors (TLRs). He is a co-founder and director of Opsona Therapeutics, a drug development company working in the area of Toll-like receptors. He has brought his work on TLRs to the point where therapeutic intervention in multiple diseases is a real possibility. Professor O’Neill has been a member of the Royal Irish Academy since 2004.

President of the Royal Irish Academy, Professor Luke Drury, said the Academy Gold Medals recognise two of Ireland’s foremost contributors to the world of learning and science. Such public recognition of excellence is important, especially in the current climate, and the Academy is delighted to be able, with the generous support of the HEA and the Independent Group, to honour the recipients.

The Royal Irish Academy Gold Medals are awarded to two outstanding academics each year and are recognised as a truly national expression of celebration for scholarly achievement. The medals are sponsored by The Higher Education Authority and The Irish Independent.

 

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| sharon.campbell@tcd.ie | Last updated: December 4, 2012