The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland William Stokes Award for 2011 has been awarded to Dr Fergus McCarthy, Obstetric and Gynaecology Specialist Registrar at Cork University Maternity Hospital and PhD student at University College Cork.
The William Stokes Award is awarded by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland to support and recognise the highest standard of research by Specialist Registrars. Fergus was awarded the William Stokes Award following a presentation of work from his PhD which was funded by a clinical academic fellowship grant awarded by Molecular Medicine Ireland and supervised by Professor Louise Kenny at the Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. This PhD was a collaboration between University College Cork and the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Toronto.
Some of the results from this PhD have recently been published in two separate publications in Hypertension, the leading hypertension journal in the world. The topic of Fergus’s PhD was the role of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gammain the pathogenesis of pre-eclampsia, a condition which causes high blood pressure and protein in the urine in pregnancy and is responsible for the deaths of approximately 70,000 women worldwide every year. To date, no pharmacological intervention exists for the treatment of pre-eclampsia. In his PhD, Fergus investigated the underlying aetiology of pre-eclampsia and in addition, Fergus investigated a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of pre-eclampsia.
William Stokes was an Irish physician, who was Regius Professor of Physic at the University of Dublin. Educated in medicine at the Meath Hospital in Dublin, he went on to create two important works on cardiac and pulmonary diseases, A Treatise on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Diseases of the Chest (1837), and The Diseases of the Heart and Aorta (1854), as well as one of the first treatises on the use of the stethoscope. He emphasised the importance of clinical examination in forming diagnoses, and of ward-based learning for students of medicine.
Dr Fergus McCarthy, winner of The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland
William Stokes Award for 2011 with Professor Louise Kenny