2015 Press Releases

Fergus Shanahan awarded honorary DSc

10 Jun 2015
Image(left to right) Professor Desmond Fitzgerald, UCD Vice-President for Health Affairs, Professor Fergus Shanahan and Prof Andrew J. Deeks, UCD President

Fergus Shanahan, Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at UCC & Director of the APC Microbiome Institute has been awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science at UCD.  

A graduate of UCD Medical School, Fergus Shanahan is a leading international expert in the area of gastrointestinal research.   Shanahan’s research interests are in mucosal immunology, gut microbiota, inflammatory bowel disease, and most things that affect the human experience.  He has published more than 470 scientific papers and several on the medical humanities and has co-edited several books.  He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland, Canada, and the United Kingdom as well as of the American College of Physicians.  He is a past-president of the Irish Society of Gastroenterology and named to the “Irish Life Science 50” a list of the top 50 Irish and Irish Americans in the life science industry.  He has founded two spinout companies, Alimentary Health Ltd and Atlantia Food Clinical Trials Ltd.  Fergus has received many awards, including a DSc from the National University of Ireland and was named Researcher of the Year by Science Foundation Ireland in 2013, in recognition of his significant contribution to understanding how intestinal bacteria influence both health and disease in the gut and beyond.  He received the 2015 Irish Society for Immunology Public Lecture Award.

Together with colleagues from several departments and different faculties within University College Cork and Teagasc, Fergus led a team of clinicians, clinician-scientists, and basic scientists to create the multi-disciplinary APC Microbiome Institute. Under Fergus’s directorship, the institute now has a membership of 200+ researchers, clinicians, and students and is ranked 2nd in the world in this area of research. APC research explores the microbiome as a therapeutic target in chronic disease, as a source of diagnostic biomarkers and as a source of naturally occurring bioactives for new drug discovery. The institute is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and by grants from Irish and multi-national companies in the food and pharmaceutical sectors.

Recognising Fergus’ enormous contribution to science and medicine, Professor Des Fitzgerald, who delivered the citation, quoted Niccollo Machiavelli “it is not the degree that honours the man but the man that honours the degree.”

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