Four Trinity Professors Admitted to the Royal Irish Academy

Posted on: 02 June 2011

Four of Trinity College Dublin’s academics were elected as members of the Royal Irish Academy on Friday May 27th last, in recognition of their academic achievement.  The new members include Professor Thorfinnur Gunnlaugsson, Professor Shane O’Mara, Professor Colm O’Morain and Professor Jane Ohlmeyer.  Election to the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) is the highest academic honour in Ireland and is a public recognition of academic achievement.

Professor Luke Drury, President of the Royal Irish Academy, said “In admitting these new members, we honour their contributions to knowledge, intellectual debate and engagement with civic society. Ireland’s future largely depends on having such talented and dedicated people living and working here; an important function of the Academy is to give public recognition to this.”

Prof thorfinnur gunnlaugsson, president of the ria, prof luke drury, prof jane ohlmeyer and prof shane o'mara
L- R Prof Thorfinnur Gunnlaugsson, President of the RIA, Prof Luke Drury, Prof Jane Ohlmeyer and Prof Shane O’Mara

Thorfinnur Gunnlaugsson is a Professor in Chemistry at Trinity College Dublin. He is an internationally recognised expert in the area of supramolecular chemistry. His work crosses the boundaries of organic and inorganic chemistry and has applications as diverse as the design of new compounds for cancer therapy and the sensitive detection of ions that are important in biological processes and the environment.

Shane O’Mara is Professor of Experimental Brain Research in the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN) and is currently director of the Institute. His work in understanding the interactions between synaptic function, cognitive function and changes in learned behaviour is acknowledged internationally. Professor O’Mara has developed methods of integrating and combining behaviour, cognition, neuropharmacology and neurophysiology in order to investigate the brain structures supporting memory.

Colm O’Morain, an exceptional medical scientist and doctor, is Professor of Medicine at Tallaght Hospital and Dean of Health Sciences at Trinity College Dublin. His work in the field of gastroenterology is world leading. His most prominent article, in which he showed that the eradication of Helicobacter pylori can cure duodenal ulcer, appeared in The Lancet in 1987. He has over 250 peer-reviewed articles cited in PubMed, with 11,000 citations and a H-index of 48. Professor O’Morain has also authored and co-authored several important books and is on the editorial board of eight peer review journals. He is also lead clinician on Ireland’s first bowel cancer screening programme.

Jane Ohlmeyer is Professor of Modern History at Trinity College Dublin. Her research focuses on the turbulent decades of the mid-seventeenth century, when the ‘Three Kingdoms’ of Stuart Ireland, Scotland and England were discrete entities. Her forth-coming study of The Aristocracy in Seventeenth-century Ireland (2011), locates the fortunes of the Irish within a wider British and European context, while her acclaimed work on the digitisation and annotation of the 1641 Depositions has attracted the interest of scholars of ethnic atrocities internationally.