Dinner for New Fellows

Dining Hall, Provost's House

03 October 2019

Good evening, and welcome,

We’ve arrived again at this important occasion, early in the new academic year, when we celebrate our new Fellows with this special dinner hosted by the Senior Common Room.

The names of the new Fellows have been announced from the steps of the Public Theatre on Trinity Monday. At this dinner we now welcome each new Fellow and say something about their contribution to research and scholarship. This is our opportunity to welcome the new Fellows collectively and to get a sense of the distinction each one brings to College community.

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I stand here under the portrait of Queen Elizabeth I who granted a charter, in 1591, to found a corporation consisting of the Provost, Fellows and Scholars of the most holy and undivided Trinity. The singular distinction of Fellow of Trinity College Dublin is more than four centuries old.

Fellows elect to their number so that the corporation can be perpetuated. Election is on the basis of serious scholarly work of international standing. Once elected, Fellows have a central role in the governance of the College. To our Fellows falls the great task of moulding the College’s distinctive traditions in each new generation.

Tonight we recognise fifteen new Fellows, and five new Professorial Fellows. That’s high number of new Fellows – a measure of the exceptional research and scholarship being done by our staff here in Trinity.

To-night we also welcome two new honorary fellows. Susan Gageby Denham was the first woman to the appointed to the Supreme Court in 1992 and in 2011 she became the first woman Chief Justice of Ireland, serving until her retirement in 2017. A graduate of this university, she has a deep interest in education, and was Pro-Chancellor of this University between 1995 and 2010.[Regretably Justice Denham is unable to be with us this evening].

Peter Fox served as Trinity’s Librarian and College Archivist for a decade from 1984 and in this role oversaw the building of the Hamilton Library and the remodelling of the Old Library to create the present exhibition space. He edited Treasures of the Library: Trinity College Dublin and was closely involved with Faksimile Verlag Luzern in the production of the Book of Kells fine-art facsimile. In 1994 he moved to Cambridge as University Librarian and Fellow of Selwyn College. After his retirement in 2009 he was awarded a Visiting Fellowship in the Trinity Long Room Hub and his book Trinity College Library Dublin: a History was published in 2014.

We’re delighted to honour Susan Denham and Peter Fox. And I’d also like to take this opportunity to formally welcome a Fellow Emeritus, David Coughlan, who is here tonight. David is professor emeritus at the Trinity Business School and is a leading expert on ‘action research’; he is co-editor of The SAGE Encyclopedia of Action Research. He was elected to Fellowship in 2005 but couldn’t attend the New Fellows Dinner that year, since he was abroad. We welcome him tonight.

I will now welcome each new Fellow, by name, position, and research specialisation. I’ll start with the professorial fellows

[Professorial Fellowship]

Anne-Marie Brady is Professor of Nursing & Chronic Illness. She is the first incumbent of this chair established in 2017 and is Head of School of Nursing & Midwifery. A registered nurse with over 30 years clinical practice, she has worked extensively in the UK and USA. Her research focuses on producing and evaluating complex interventions and innovations in care delivery for people living with chronic illness. Her work is largely in the sphere of implementation science and in the development of healthcare systems, quality improvement and workforce development.

Michael Cronin is Professor of French (1776) and Director of the Trinity Centre for Literary and Cultural Translation. His work is on translation as a relationship across difference – not just across different languages but different ways of being. He is author of numerous books including Translating Ireland: Translation, Languages and Identity and, most recently, Eco-Translation: Translation and Ecology in the Age of the Anthropocene. He is an elected Member of the Royal Irish Academy, the Academia Europaea and an Officer in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques.

Maeve Lowery is Professor of Translational Cancer Medicine. She is the first holder of this chair established in 2105, and a consultant medical oncologist at St James Hospital. She is chairperson of the Cancer Molecular Diagnostics Advisory Group of the National Cancer Control Program (NCCP). Her clinical and translational research is on gastrointestinal malignancies. Her preclinical work includes the use of immunocompetent murine models of cancer to facilitate assessment of drug delivery and host immune response to therapy. She works closely with industry to develop core collaborative projects with the potential to impact care of cancer patients on both an individual and disease specific level.

Jennifer McElwain is Professor of Botany (1711) in the School of Natural Sciences. Her research focuses on investigating how fluctuations in atmospheric composition and climate have influenced plant evolution and ecology throughout Earth history. Elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2017, she has received numerous awards including the President's Medal of the Palaeontological and Excellence in EU research award. She is a board member of the Mary Robinson Foundation Climate Justice and Chair of the Royal Irish Academy Committee on Climate Change and Environmental Science.

Mark Cunningham is Ellen Mayston Bates Professor of Neurophysiology of Epilepsy, the first holder of this chair founded in 2016. His research focuses on understanding how pathological electrical activity is generated by the epileptic brain and how this can help develop better treatments for epilepsy. His research has been funded by the BBSRC, MRC, Wellcome, Epilepsy Research UK, Action of Hearing Loss, Hadwen Trust, Innovate UK, Wolfson Foundation and The Royal Society. Before joining Trinity, he held a Professorship in Neuronal Dynamics at the Institute of Neuroscience in Newcastle University. He sits on the Biomedical Resource and Technology Development Committee at the Wellcome Trust and is a member of the Physiological Society and the International League against Epilepsy.

These are our five new professorial fellows. It’s now my pleasure to announce our fifteen new fellows.


Maeve Caldwell is Professor in Neuroscience and Head of the Discipline of Physiology in the School of Medicine. Her research interests are in the field of neurological disease, particularly Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. She models both these diseases using relevant neuronal and glial populations derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells. Previous to her appointment to Trinity, she was a Reader in Stem Cell Biology at the Regenerative Medicine Laboratory at the University of Bristol.

Paul Coughlan is Professor in Operations Management at Trinity Business School. His research explores collaborative strategic improvement of operations through network action learning. He has contributed to EU-funded research projects exploring manufacturing improvement, innovation in food, and environmental sustainability of water distribution. He has been awarded a Provost’s Teaching Award and holds Honorary Fellowship of the European Operations Management Association, and Honorary Membership of the Continuous Innovation Network. He is a past President of the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management.

Quentin Crowley is an Associate Professor in the School of Natural Sciences. His research investigates environmental change over a range of temporal scales. He has studied evolution of early Earth’s atmosphere from Mesoarchean paleosols, geochemical archives of deep oceans from Holocene Cold-Water corals, and the distribution of radon in the contemporary environment highlighting its impact on human health. He is academic lead for Climate-KIC at TCD, funded investigator with the SFI research centre iCRAG, and Director of the Trinity Centre for the Environment.

Martine Cuypers is an Assistant Professor in Greek. Her research focuses on epic poetry and the Greek literature of the Hellenistic period and Roman and Byzantine Empires. Her publications include the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Hellenistic Literature and The Gods of Greek Hexameter Poetry. She is on the steering committee of the college research theme Manuscript, Book and Print Cultures and also contributes to the theme, Identities in Transformation. She chairs the Junior and Senior Cycle Classics development groups of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.

Padraig de Paor is an Assistant Professor of Irish, whose research focuses on the philosophy and ethics of Irish literature. He teaches courses on all aspects of the Irish language, from the short story and novel to autobiography, drama and literary translation. He has published extensively on contemporary Irish-language poets including Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, Cathal Ó Searcaigh, Gabriel Rosenstock and Derry O’Sullivan.

Clare Kelly is Assistant Professor of Functional Neuroimaging, working at the Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN), the School of Psychology, and the Department of Psychiatry. Her current work uses translational brain imaging approaches to better understand, diagnose, and treat psychiatric conditions such as depression and Autism by tracing their origins o in the developing brain. For the past two years she has been listed among Clarivate Analytics' Highly Cited Researchers, ranking in the top 1% of most-cited scientists in Neuroscience and Behaviour.

Amir Khan is an Associate Professor in Biochemistry and Immunology. He uses X-rays to build 3-dimensional models of proteins and to understand the molecular basis for cell signaling. A graduate of the University of Alberta in Canada, he did post-doctoral work at Harvard University and Institut Curie in Paris. His studies provide insight into the viral evasion of the immune response and the mechanism of human gastric enzymes. He is currently interested in the molecular basis for inherited forms of Parkinson’s disease.

Rocco Lupoi is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering. A mechanical engineer by background, he worked previously as research associate in Cambridge University exploring innovative coatings and additive processes, and is an expert on Cold Spray and other deposition methods. The recipient of a Marie Curie Fellowship, he is currently exploring new manufacturing processes and is lead PI on a project funded by the European Space Agency. He is also a Funded Investigator of the SFI research centres, AMBER and I-Form.

Gerard McHugh is an Associate Professor in Accounting in Trinity Business School, and the College’s Dean of Development. He was Head of Trinity Business School from 2001 to 2011, a crucial phase which led ultimately to the TBS we have today. His primary research interests are in the field of financial analysis and corporate financial reporting. The author of two books on financial analysis and reporting, he he has recently turned his attention to the challenges of climate change – in particular the responsibility that rests with businesses and their management to take action to limit carbon emissions.

Ciaran O’Neill is Ussher Assistant Professor in Nineteenth Century History. He works at the intersection of cultural and social history, literature and public history and has published widely on elites and transnational Irish history, including his award-winning book, Catholics of Consequence: Transnational Education, Social Mobility and the Irish Catholic Elite. He has held research fellowships at the University of Notre Dame, Boston College, SMU Halifax, and was a Marie Curie Sklodowska Fellow at the University of Sao Paulo. He has served as Community Liaison Officer for Trinity since 2017.

David O’Shaughnassy is an Associate Professor in English. The recipient of a Marie Curie Career Integration Grant and a Marie Curie Global Fellowship, his research is on eighteenth-century literature, particularly theatre. He has published extensively on William Godwin and Oliver Goldsmith and is the co-editor of Goldsmith’s Letters and one of the general editors of a new 8-volume edition of Goldsmith’s Collected Works. His current research is on theatre censorship, the history play of the eighteenth century, and the Irish Enlightenment.

Declan O’Sullivan is Associate Professor of Computer Science and currently holds the roles of Director of Research and Deputy Head of the School of Computer Science and Statistics; he is also Academic Lead for the new Trinity Electives programme.  A co-applicant and principal investigator in the SFI ADAPT Research Centre for Digital Content Technology since 2015, Declan is recognised internationally for his research on the mapping processes required to extract, transform and integrate data to enable intelligent processing by applications and systems. For this he has been awarded significant funding by national and EU funding agencies.

Jacintha O’Sullivan is a Professor in Translational Oncology, based at the Trinity Translational Medicine Institute (TTMI) in St. James’s Hospital. She is the Director of the MSc. in Translational Oncology; education lead for the Trinity St. James’s Cancer Institute and the education and outreach coordinator in TTMI. She directs a translational gastrointestinal (GI) research team and is internationally recognised in the area of Cancer Theranostics - developing new diagnostic platforms and novel therapeutics that can benefit cancer patients and those with inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases.

Andrei Parnachev is a theoretical physicist and an associate professor in the School of Mathematics. His area of expertise is quantum field theory, quantum gravity and string theory. The main focus of his research is holography, the correspondence between strongly coupled quantum field theories and classical gravitational theories. He is presently working on understanding the detailed structure of holography using the tools of conformal field theory.

Fáinche Ryan an Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology and Director of the Loyola Institute in the School of Religion. She has served as President of the Irish Theological Association and is currently Chair of the European Society of Catholic Theology (Irish Section). Her research focuses on the theology of Thomas Aquinas, issues of leadership in church, and the question of truth-telling in society. In 2018 she co-authored a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) entitled The Book of Kells: Exploring an Irish Medieval Masterpiece. Her forthcoming book from Notre Dame University Press is The Church in Pluralist Society: Social and Political Roles.

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I congratulate all our new Fellows. Each of you has achieved so much – both here in Trinity, and elsewhere. We are very proud that you have chosen to enhance this university through your research and teaching and we look forward to the continuance and deepening of our relationship with you.

Thank you.

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