Professor Cliona O’Farrelly named 2022 AAAS Fellow

Posted on: 31 January 2023

Cliona has been honoured for her outstanding achievements as a researcher in the field of comparative immunology.

Professor Cliona O’Farrelly named 2022 AAAS Fellow

An inspiration to many students in the lecture theatre and the laboratory, where she has trained and nurtured numerous scientists over the years, Cliona is globally recognised for her work in looking under the biological bonnet to help us better understand how the immune response works, and for her efforts in developing ways of controlling that response.

Early work spearheaded a unique national project that sought volunteers exposed to anti-D contaminated with hepatitis C (HCV) between 1977 and 1979 in an attempt to discover why some were naturally protected from HCV infection. The results of this were recently published (you can read more here).

Cliona also stepped up to the challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and, with colleagues in multiple departments in Trinity and further afield, developed our understanding of the virus. Some of the fruits of that work were recently reported here.

Cliona, who is based in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI) and who was once taught in Trinity by Nobel laureate Ernest Walton, will now be recognised as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals.

She is among the 508 scientists, engineers and innovators announced today as 2022 Fellows for their scientifically and socially distinguished achievements throughout their careers.

Professor O’Farrelly said:

“I first became a member of AAAS when in the US in the late 80s. Ever since, its journal Science has been a constant source of the latest breaking science research and been a reliable, knowledgeable, stimulating companion all through my research career.

“The editorials themselves have often been enough to keep me enthused and determined to continue to aim for excellence and novelty in my research and to push me to offer a reliable and accurate voice in my science communication endeavours. It is therefore an exciting privilege to be honoured with Fellowship of AAAS and to have the opportunity to meet like-minded people in Washington in May 2023.”  

A tradition dating back to 1874, election as a AAAS Fellow is a lifetime honour, and all Fellows are expected to maintain the highest standards of professional ethics and scientific integrity.

Distinguished past honorees include W.E.B. DuBois, Ellen Ochoa, Steven Chu, Grace Hopper, Alan Alda, Mae Jemison and Ayanna Howard.

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