2017 Press Releases
Professor Fergus Shanahan awarded RIA Gold Medal
Professor Fergus Shanahan, director of the APC Microbiome Institute at UCC, has been awarded the 2016 Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal.
The medals, which are sponsored by the Higher Education Authority, are awarded to individuals who have made a demonstrable and internationally recognised, outstanding scholarly contribution in their fields.
Speaking at the ceremony, President of the Royal Irish Academy, Professor Mary E. Daly, said the Academy Gold Medals recognised two of Ireland’s foremost contributors to the world of learning: Professor Fergus Shanahan (Gold Medallist 2016 in the Life Sciences) and Professor Louis Cullen (Gold Medallist 2016 in the Humanities), Professor Emeritus of History at Trinity College Dublin. Professor Cullen has been at the forefront of Irish historical studies for more than fifty years. His work on Franco-Irish history won him the admiration of leading French Annales historians and was rewarded in 2004 with an honorary doctorate by the Paris-Sorbonne University.
Fergus Shanahan is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Medicine and director of the APC Microbiome Institute at UCC.
His interests are in mucosal immunology, gut microbiota, inflammatory bowel disease, and most areas that affect the human experience. More than anyone, Professor Shanahan put Ireland on the world stage in what has become one of the fastest developing areas of biology on a par with the human genome. In 2013, Science Foundation Ireland named him as its Researcher of the Year.
Over the past four decades, Professor Shanahan has published pivotal contributions to basic science, translational medical science, and the medical humanities. His output includes over 500 peer-reviewed articles in addition to books, reviews and editorials. He took part in Dublin Talks in 2012, speaking about microbes and the human body. International recognition has included multiple invited lectureships including the prestigious Grossman lectureship/medal from the American Gastroenterological Association and the McKenna prize, the highest award from the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology.
He has previously been named Science Foundation Ireland's Researcher of the Year (2013) and in the Irish Life Science 50, a list of the top Irish and Irish Americans in the life science industry.
Supported by the Higher Education Authority, the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medals were established in 2005 to acclaim Ireland’s foremost thinkers in the humanities, social sciences, physical & mathematical sciences, life sciences, engineering sciences and the environment & geosciences. They are awarded to two outstanding academics each year and are recognised as a truly national expression of celebration for scholarly achievement.
Each medal is a testament to a lifetime of passionate commitment to the highest standards in scholarship and they are a well-deserved recognition of academic excellence. The medals identify and recognise inspirational figures in order to celebrate the achievements of higher education in Ireland and to inspire future generations.
Both medallists thanked the Academy and the Higher Education Authority for the recognition of their work. Guests at the ceremony included the Japanese and Canadian Ambassadors to Ireland, members of the Irish higher education system, funding agencies, members of the Royal Irish Academy and friends and family of the medallists.
'International companies in Ireland because of research funded here' - Prof Fergus Shanahan receiving his gold #medals17— HEA (@hea_irl) January 31, 2017
Congratulations Louis Cullen and Fergus Shanahan on being awarded the 2016 Royal Irish Academy Gold medals pic.twitter.com/I86DYgleNv— Richard Bruton (@RichardbrutonTD) January 31, 2017