Graduate of the Year 2016: Seán Whelan Intercalated Neuroscience graduate

Seán Whelan Graduate of the Year 2016

Seán Whelan Graduate of the Year 2016

  • 05 Apr 2017

Graduate of the Year 2016: Seán Whelan Intercalated Neuroscience graduate

Congratulations to Seán Whelan, BSc (Intercalated) Neuroscience Graduate 2016 who has been awarded the College of SEFS (Science, Engineering & Food Science) Graduate of the Year 2016 Award. Top-ranked students in each discipline are eligible for the award which recognises both academic excellence and extracurricular activities, and the recipient is selected by a panel from across the College.    Seán is a current Year 4 Medicine student.

Seán from Castletownbere, Co. Cork, undertook a BSc (Intercalated) Neuroscience in the Department of Anatomy & Neuroscience, graduating with a first class honours degree. His final year research project entitled ‘Microbiome & Morphology: adult germ-free mice exhibit distinct hippocampal dendritic morphological changes' was completed under the supervision of Professor Cryan and Pauline Luczynski in the APC Microbiome Institute.  

Seán presented his final year research project at the Atlantic Corridor Medical Student Research Conference in NUIG and was awarded 'Best Oral Presentation'.  His paper 'Adult microbiota-deficient mice have distinct dendritic morphological changes: differential effects in the amygdala and hippocampus' is published in the European Journal of Neuroscience.

As Chairperson of the UCC Friends of MSF (Doctors Without Borders) Society, Seán lead the society to success in several UCC Societies awards, including Best Overall UCC Society. Seán received a personal 'Bene Merenti' award from the Societies Guild in recognition of his achievements.

To be awarded Graduate of the year 2016 is a title that Seán is especially proud to have achieved. Having stepping out of his medical course to undertake the intercalcated degree in Neuroscience Seán said that the award is a special end to a very rewarding year. Seán chose to undertake the intercalated degree to better understand the basic sciences which underpin clinical practice, and to gain research experience in an area in which he had an interest. He explained how he was somewhat nervous about taking the intercalated year, but was very grateful to Professor Cryan, and Professor Aideen Sullivan and the staff in the department of Anatomy and Neuroscience and APC, who couldn't have been more welcoming and helpful. He said that he thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and hope to use the skills that he has acquired in his career going forward. Seán has returned to Medicine and clinical placement for the present, however he hopes to combine clinical medicine and research in the future. 

The Head of College, Professor Paul Ross, will present Seán with the Graduate of the Year Medal, a cheque to the value of €2,000 and a certificate of achievement.presentation ceremony on Friday, 31st March at 3pm  in the Creative Zone, Q Floor, Boole Library, UCC.

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