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Gold Medals 2012

 

Godl Medals 2012

European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn presents Royal Irish Academy Gold Medals

The European Commissioner, Máire Geoghegan–Quinn, presented the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medals to the biochemist Professor Luke O’Neill and Professor of philosophy Dermot Moran in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the Life Sciences and the Humanities on Friday, 30 November 2012.

In presenting the medals the Commissioner said ‘These awards are hard earned. Each one is a testament to a lifetime of passionate commitment to the highest standards in scholarship. And they are well-deserved recognition of scientific excellence. The Academy Committees charged with the responsibility of shortlisting candidates for this year's awards were faced with a demanding task. I am pleased about this because it shows that there was a rich pool of deserving candidates’. Click here to read the full speech.

Professor Luke O’Neill (Trinity College Dublin) is recognised as a world leader in the fields of immunology and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. His basic discoveries helped redefine the field of innate immunity and were a key aspect of the emergence of new insights into this important process for host defence and inflammation. He carried out important work in the late 1980s on the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1, which was highly relevant to the subsequent discovery of Toll-like receptors (TLRs). He is a co-founder and director of Opsona Therapeutics, a drug development company working in the area of Toll-like receptors. He has brought his work on TLRs to the point where therapeutic intervention in multiple diseases is a real possibility. Professor Luke O’Neill has been a member of the Royal Irish Academy since 2004.

Professor Dermot Moran (University College Dublin) is one of Ireland’s most distinguished philosophers. He first received international acclaim for his pioneering work on the ninth-century Irish philosopher John Scottus Eriugena. In recent decades he has become equally acclaimed for his ground-breaking contribution to the understanding of the phenomenological tradition and for his efforts to mediate between the competing traditions of analytic and continental philosophy. His book Introduction to Phenomenology, was awarded the Ballard Prize for Phenomenology in 2001, and has been translated into Chinese and Spanish. It broke new ground in its account of the phenomenological tradition and is now a standard reference work in the field. Professor Dermot Moran has been a member of the Royal Irish Academy since 2003.

At the Medal ceremony today President of the Royal Irish Academy, Professor Luke Drury, said the Academy Gold Medals recognise two of Ireland’s foremost contributors to the world of learning and science. Such public recognition of excellence is important, especially in the current climate, and the Academy is delighted to be able, with the generous support of the HEA and the Independent Group, to honour today's recipients.

The Royal Irish Academy Gold Medals are awarded to two outstanding academics each year and are recognised as a truly national expression of celebration for scholarly achievement. The medals are sponsored by The Higher Education Authority and The Irish Independent.

Previous Medal winners include:
 

2005 Professor John Dillon Professor Michael Coey
2006 Professor Peter Neary Professor James Dooge
2007 Professor George Eogan Dr John Fuller Atkins
2008 Professor David Livingstone Professor Charles Hepworth Holland
2010 Professor Cormac Ó Gráda Professor Samson Shatashvili
2011 Professor William Schabas Professor John O Scalan


For further information please contact:
Rebecca Farrell r.farrellria.ie 01-6090676 and 087-9706834

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