Art Champlin Gold Medal Award 2015
The Professor Art Champlin Gold Medal Award for academic excellence in Biochemistry, was presented to David O’Sullivan on 19 October 2015 by Professor Dave Sheehan of this School.
David graduated as the top student, with a first class honours degree in Biochemistry and was joined at his graduation by his parents Aileen and Gerald O’Sullivan. David has been an outstanding student and is also the recipient of the Eil Lilly undergraduate award for academic excellence in Biochemistry in 2014. David has commenced the Graduate Entry Medicine programme at UCC and we would like to wish David every success in his future medical career.
Professor Dave Sheehan presents the Art Champlin Gold Medal Award to Mr David O’ Sullivan, BSc Biochemistry 2015. Pictured above are Professor Dave Sheehan, Head of School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, David (O’Sullivan)’s father: Mr Gerald O’Sullivan, Gold Medal Recipient: Mr David O’Sullivan, David (O’Sullivan)’s mother: Mrs Aileen O’Sullivan, President of UCC: Dr Michael Murphy, Head of College of Science, Engineering and Food Science (SEFS): Professor Paul Ross and Dr Sinéad Kerins, School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, UCC. Photo credit: Mary Heapes, School of Biochemistry & Cell Biology.
David's path to the Gold Medal
“As my Leaving Cert year was coming to a conclusion, like many, I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to study at third level and the decision seemed quite daunting. I had an interest in science and thus was drawn to Biological and Chemical Sciences course in University College Cork due to its broad scope of study and the ability to sculpt your degree as the years progressed. As soon as I began I knew I had made the right choice. The first year provided me with a substantial grounding in the basic sciences which evolved to a more in-depth level in second year after I chose to pursue the Biological Sciences route. The Biochemistry modules I studied here really peaked my interest giving an insight into the chemical processes within the cell and the complexity of the human body. At the end of second year I had no doubt that I wanted a Bachelors Degree in Biochemistry.
Once in the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, I was constantly learning with the most up-to-date knowledge by demonstrators and professors. The fundamental theory in lectures was incorporated with the most recent research papers or with practical and clinical significance anecdotes which helped to reinforce the importance of what we were learning. I believe it was through experiencing these modules and through the excellent laboratory sessions that put the theory into practice is what fostered my passion more towards the medical aspects of the course.
My final year in Biochemistry and in the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology was, for me, the best experience of my undergraduate degree. We began with a 2-week hands-on intensive introduction into all aspects of laboratory skills in preparation for our final year project. My project entitled “Purification and comparative fingerprinting of glutathione transferases from kidney cortex and medulla” was conducted under the supervision of Professor David Sheehan and gave me incredible laboratory experience and a grasp of what a PhD may be like. At this stage in my degree, however, I had already came to the conclusion that I wanted to pursue a career in Medicine and this conviction was further compounded by studying final year modules such as “Cancer Biology”, “Toxicology” and “Advanced Metabolism in Health, Disease and Cancer”. Thus after graduating with first class honours (1.1) in Biochemistry, I began my study of postgraduate medicine in UCC.
Now only three months into my medical education, I can already see the importance and benefits that my undergraduate degree will provide to me. Not only the expansive foundations in science but the teaching I received in critical and analytical thinking, the processes and research methodology, presentation skills, and also, the maturity I gained from the school events and extra curricular activities I was involved in.
University College Cork is a world class university with extraordinary mentors, teachers and facilities. The School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology is a further extrapolation of this and has a close community of students and teachers who work incredibly hard to give you the best degree and opportunities possible.”
David O’Sullivan, BSc Biochemistry 2015