Professor Des O’Neill, Professor of Medical Gerontology, School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin and Consultant physician in geriatric and stroke medicine, Tallaght Hospital, is the first researcher in ageing in Ireland to be awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA). The GSA is the largest and oldest scientific society dedicated to ageing in the world, and Fellowship is considered to be an indicator of major contribution to the field of gerontology.
In addition, Professor O’Neill is the first academic geriatrician working in Europe to be awarded the Joseph T. Freeman Award. This award is a lectureship in geriatrics and is awarded to a prominent physician in the field of aging, both in research and practice. The Freeman Lecture is one of the highlights of the GSA's Annual Scientific Meeting. The award was established in 1977 through a bequest from a patient's estate as a tribute to Dr Joseph T. Freeman, a leading physician, one of the GSA's distinguished members and past president, and author of ‘Aging, Its History and Literature’.
The Fellowship and Joseph T. Freeman Award will be conferred at ceremonies at the GSA Annual meeting in Washington DC in Nov 2014.
Professor O’Neill has been prominent in international terms as one of the founders of the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society, a developer of the European Masters in Gerontology, and is the local lead for the 8th Congress of the International Association of Geriatrics and Gerontology, European Region in Dublin in April 2015. In national terms he has been a co-PI of the Irish National Audits of Dementia and Stroke Care, chair of the Irish government working group on elder abuse, and Director of the National Programme Office for Traffic Medicine. He is also a frequent contributor to national media on matters relating to ageing.