THE ROYAL IRISH ACADEMY IS IRELAND'S LEADING BODY OF EXPERTS IN THE SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES

The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

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Amy Jayne McKnight

Professor of Molecular Epidemiology and Public Health QUB

AJ McKnight (Professor of Molecular Epidemiology and Public Health) is a molecular epidemiologist and translational scientist by training.  Her research is focused on molecular factors that influence human disease, in particular multi-omic associations with kidney disease, diseases common in ageing populations, and rare diseases.  She has participated, led, or helped lead the robust discovery of hundreds of loci for rare diseases and complex polygenic traits, including identifying novel risk factors and biological networks.  Together with colleagues, she has helped develop powerful approaches to integrative data analysis, which led to the identification of novel biological pathways for disease.  

AJ runs busy molecular research laboratories for QUB and coordinates multiple bioresources (including NICOLA) with associated phenotypic data.  She is also a rare disease research lead for the NI genomic medicine centre and a founder member of the NI Rare Disease Framework Implementation Group.  AJ and her team have won multiple awards for their research, which brings together international researchers conducting multidisciplinary research.  Approximately 30% of AJ’s time is dedicated to teaching, where she has developed several new modules and held multiple roles, including director of postgraduate education and training within the Centre for Public Health at QUB.  As PI and Co-I her grant income exceeds £10 million in the last five years, with >100 peer-reviewed publications (4638 citations, April 2021)

AJ is passionate about translating high quality research from academia, industry, and NHS collaborations into patient benefit.  Her team regularly conducts outreach activities that promote increased public understanding of science-medicine.  

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