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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William T. O'Connor


Professor William T. (Billy) O’Connor is Foundation Chair, Head of Teaching and Research in Physiology at the University of Limerick Graduate Entry Medical School - the first new medical school to be established in Ireland in over 150 years.  Prior to this appointment he was Associate Professor of Pharmacology at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, and Head of Neuroscience Research at University College Dublin.

His main scientific focus is an understanding of illnesses of mind and brain as a disorder of the nerve network and spans biochemistry, functional anatomy, inflammation, metabolomics, pharmacology and physiology. He also has a long-standing interest in the emerging field of neuroeducation - the brain science of learning.

Professor O’Connor was awarded the Conway Silver Medal in 2000 by the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland in recognition of his contribution to the field of bioscience, the SCRIP Award in 2005 for best partnership alliance with Wyeth for cooperative work on brain illness treatments, as well as research awards from SFI, the Stanley Foundation (USA) and the Medical Research Council (Sweden).

Professor O’Connor has authored more than 450 original papers, chapters, editorials, reviews, and one book; Monitoring Molecules in Neuroscience (2001). Publications in top journals as a senior author (impact factor>10): 6, total citations: >6,000, papers with ≥100 citations: 14, h-index: 48. Source: Scopus, 8th Nov. 2017.

Billy retains a strong commitment to scientific outreach and communication. This is best illustrated through his popular Inside-the-Brain website, Twitter and Facebook accounts which report on the latest findings from the world of brain research.

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