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Fergus Shanahan


  • 1977 MB, BCh, BAO (National University of Ireland, Dublin)
  • 1979 BSc Pathology/Immunology (National University of Ireland, Dublin)
  • 1983 FRCP© Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada
  • 1985 MD (National University of Ireland, Dublin)
  • 1989 FACP Fellow of the American College of Physicians
  • 1989 FRCPI Elected to Fellow Royal College of Physicians, Ireland
  • 1994 FRCP Elected to Fellow, Royal College of Physicians (UK) 1994.
  • 2008 FACG Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology
  • 2014 DSc Awarded ( National University of Ireland )
  • 2015 DSc Awarded ( National University of Ireland)
  • 2019 DSc Awarded (McMaster University)

Fergus Shanahan is a Principal Investigator in the Host -Microbe Dialogue research spoke, with particular research interests in mucosal immunology, inflammatory bowel disease and most things that influence the human experience.  Fergus was Director of APC Microbiome Ireland from its foundation as the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre in 2003 until 31 May 2019.  Fergus is Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at University College Cork (UCC). He is a UCD medical graduate and was awarded the gold medal in medicine from the Mater Hospital, Dublin. After internship and residency in internal medicine in Dublin, he trained in Clinical Immunology at McMaster University, Canada and in Gastroenterology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He has been awarded Fellowships from the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland, Canada and the United Kingdom and the Fellowship of the American College of Physicians. Before returning to Ireland in 1993 he was Associate Professor of Medicine with tenure at UCLA. He has published over 450 peer reviewed scientific articles and several books.  He was recently named to the “Irish Life Science 50” a list of the top 50 Irish and Irish Americans in the life science industry. In 2013, Science Foundation Ireland named him as its Researcher of the Year.

Research Interests

Fergus’ research interests are in mucosal immunology, gut microbiota, inflammatory bowel disease, and most things that affect the human experience.


For an accurate list, please log onto PubMed and enter Shanahan F


Professional Activity

Honors and Special Awards

Post (medical) graduate honours/awards:

  • Travelling Studentship in Medicine of National University of Ireland (1982-1984).
  • Canadian Foundation for Ileitis/Colitis ‘Promising Young Investigator’ Award. 1982
  • AGA Research Training Award. (June/85-July/86)
  • State-of-the-art Lecture & Medal, the Irish Society of Gastroenterology: Lecture title:  ‘Inflammatory bowel disease: modern concepts of pathogenesis & treatment’, November 1993.
  • State-of-the-Art Lecture, American Gastroenterological Association, DDW Orlando May 1999. “Pathogenetic insights and new therapies in inflammatory bowel disease”
  • State-of-the-Art Lecture, American Gastroenterological Association, DDW Atlanta May 2001. “Non-endoscopic diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease”
  • State-of-the-Art Lecture, American Gastroenterological Association, DDW, San Francisco May 2002. “Cellular and Molecular Basis of Probiotic Effects in Intestinal Disorders”
  • Keynote speaker Broad Foundation annual scientific meeting, Los Angeles, March 2006
  • First prize BMA book awards (gastroenterology) 2006 for Fast Facts in IBD by Rampton D & Shanahan F.
  • President of the Irish Society of Gastroenterology, April 2007-2009
  • Named in top 50 Irish and Irish Americans in Bioscience, Irish Voice Thursday, May 20, 2010
  • Hektoen International journal of medical humanities Grand Prix Essay Competition (1st Prize): (for essay entitled: “Waiting” Hektoen Intl 201;5(3)
  • Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Researcher of the Year, 2013.
  • Irish Society of Immunology medal and public lectureship award April 29th 2015 ( “Immune diseases today – a microbiological explanation for almost everything
  • University College Dublin (alma mater) awarded honorary DSc for accomplishments in medical science June 8th, 2015
  • McMaster University, Ontario Canada , awarded honorary DSc at Spring Convocation, 2019

 Named Lectureships:

  • The 35th Graves Lecture & Medal sponsored by the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland and Health Research Board of Ireland. Lecture title:  “Inflammatory bowel disease: from molecular mechanisms to new therapeutic strategies” Dublin, March 8, 1995
  • First De Pazzi lecture, Mercy Hospital, Cork April 6, 1998. The clinical investigator: an endangered species, alive and well in Cork.
  • UCLA Schwabe lecture ‘IBD – an internet of genes, bacteria and T cells.’ and Arthur D. Schwabe visiting lectureship, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), US, June 28th, 2000.
  • Sidney Truelove Lecture“Probiotics – treatment of the future”. Oxford Sept 11, 2000.
  • Melrose Lecture at Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons, Glasgow 2003 “Role of Bacteria in IBD”
  • 36th annual Kushlan Lecture and visiting professorship Yale school of medicine, New Haven, Feb 2nd, 2005 “Making Microbes work for Mankind”.
  • Schwabe-Walsh Lecture April 30th, 2008. University of California, Losa Angeles. “Bioprospecting in the gut – from bugs to drugs”.
  • 25th Daniel Perey Public Lecture, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, June 18th, 2008  Bioprospecting in the gut.
  • David Sun Lecture at the American College of Gastroenterology, San Diego, October 24th, 2009 Gut Microbes – from bugs to drugs
  • DDW/AGA Presidential (Gail Hecht) Plenary Lecture: New Orleans, Monday May 3rd 2010 Microbiota in Digestive Health: promise, prospects and pragmatism.
  • St. Lukes Day Keynote LectureHow doctors think: staying fresh in changing times. Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, to be delivered Nov 5th, 2010
  • WIRM (World Immune Regulation Meeting V) Special Lecture: Death of a celebrity scientist. Davos, March 25, 2011
  • 23rd Morton I. Grossman distinguished lectureship, American Gastroenterological Association DDW, McCormick Place, Chicago, May 8th, 2011 Mining Microbes for Mankind – from science to society.
  • Samuel Crumpe memorial keynote lecture 6th annual medical school research forum, University of Limerick Graduate Entry Medical School, Wed Jan 16, 2013 ‘Microbes, medicine and man’.
  • Richard McKenna Lecture Canadian Association of Gastroenterology March 1, 2013 Victoria BC, Canada (Close encounters of a marvellous kind. Host-microbe interactions in the gut)
  • Charles Donovan lecture, Medical Alumni conference, UCC, September 12, 2013 (A century after Donovan – microbes, medicine and mankind)
  • The Incorporation of Barbers LectureLiving with the enemy: the role of enteric bacteria in health and disease. Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, VII Colorectal Symposium in conjunction with Scottish Chapter of the Association of coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland. March 14, 2014
  • Graves Lecture Robert Graves – when ‘he fed fevers’ he fed the microbiome” June 6, 2019

 Editorial Board Positions:

  • Autoimmunity Forum, 1989- 90 (member of editorial board)
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (Journal of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation) 1994-2007

(member of editorial board and basic science section associate editor)

  • Gastroenterology (member of ‘selected summary’ editorial staff) 1992-2001
  • Medico-Legal Journal of Ireland, member of editorial board, 1995-97
  • Quarterly Journal of Medicine, member of editorial board, 1997-2005
  • American Journal of Gastroenterology, member of editorial board, 1997-2006
  • Current Gastroenterology Reports, member of editorial board 1998 to date
  • Seminars in Gastrointestinal Disease Volume 10 issue 1 (January 1999) Guest co-editor
  • Clinical Laboratory and Diagnostic Immunology – member of editorial board 1999-2005
  • Clinical and Vaccine Immunology – editorial board member 2005-2007
  • Gut, member editorial board 2002-2005
  • Alimentary Pharmacology and Toxicology, member of editorial board 2001-to date
  • Gut Microbes member of editorial board 2009-to date
  • Shanahan F (Guest Editor) Special issue: Best Practice & Research Clinical Gastroenterology 2007;21 (5) Pregnancy-related gastrointestinal & Hepatological diseases and complications.
  • June 2010 Associate Editorial Board of Frontiers in Gastrointestinal Sciences, which is a specialty section of Frontiers in Physiology.
  • Editorial board member, October 2010-to date American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
  • Section editor Yamada’s Textbook of Gastroenterology 6th edition 2015
  • Guest section editor (Small Bowel) Current Opinion in Gastroenterology 2014, ’15, ‘16
  • GUT member of editorial board May 2015 to 2018
  • American Journal of Gastroenterology – International Editor 2015



Fergus Shanahan

Contact Details:


Principal Investigators

APC Microbiome Ireland

Biosciences Building, University College Cork, Ireland,