2017 Press Releases

RIA honours three UCC academics

29 May 2017
Image L-R Professor Peter Kennedy, President of the RIA, Professor Barry O'Sullivan MRIA, Professor Anita Maguire, Vice President for Research and Innovation, UCC, Professor John Cryan MRIA, Professor Fergus Shanahan MRIA and Professor Paul Ross, Head of the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science. Image Johnny Bambury

Three UCC academics have been admitted to the Royal Irish Academy (RIA), Ireland’s leading body of experts in the sciences and humanities. 

Since 1785 membership of the Academy has been awarded to persons who have attained distinction by their unique contributions to education and research. Amongst the new members are:

Barry O'Sullivan

Barry O'Sullivan is a full professor at the Department of Computer Science and director of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at University College Cork. An author of more than 250 peer-reviewed papers, he is a Fellow of the European Association for Artificial Intelligence, served as President of the Association for Constraint Programming, and was Science Foundation Ireland Researcher of the Year in 2016.

Fergus Shanahan

Fergus Shanahan is professor of medicine at University College Cork and Director of the APC Microbiome Institute since its foundation in 2003. He has published over 500 peer-reviewed articles and received many international accolades for his work in gastrointestinal health, the microbiome, and medical humanities. He was awarded a gold medal for achievements in life sciences by the RIA (2016).

John Cryan

John Cryan is Professor of Anatomy at UCC where his neuroscience research team has made groundbreaking discoveries on stress and on the relationship between the gut and brain function. Among his many honours was UCC Researcher of the Year in 2012 and being named on the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher list in 2014. He is President-elect of the European Behavioural Pharmacology Society.

The 18 newly elected members of the Royal Irish Academy are:


John Cryan (UCC); JA Scott Kelso (Florida Atlantic University); Jennifer McElwain, (UCD); Eucharia Meehan, (Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies); Máire O’Neill,  (Queens University Belfast); Stephen O’Rahilly, (University of Cambridge); Barry O’Sullivan, (UCC); Fergus Shanahan (UCC); Michael Viney (Irish Times).

Humanities and Social Sciences

Paul Crowther (NUI Galway);  Anna Ray Davies (Trinity College, Dublin);  Robert Elgie, Dublin City University); Marianne Elliott (formely of Liverpool Institute of Irish Studies); Noel Lowndes, (NUI Galway); Brendan O’Leary, (University of Pennsylvania); Finola O'Kane Crimmins (UCD); Aidan O’Sullivan ( UCD); Filipe Ribeiro De Meneses, (NUI Maynooth).

There are now 580 Members of the Royal Irish Academy (of whom 85 are Honorary or overseas Members) including:  JJ Lee, historian, Philip Lane, Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland; Susan Denham, Chief Justice;  Mary Kelly, chairperson of An Bord Pleanála; and Roy Foster, historian and biographer of WB Yeats.    

Those elected are entitled to use the designation ‘MRIA’ after their name.

Nobel Laureate William Campbell and Alastair Minnis were elected as  Honorary Members of the Royal Irish Academy on 16 March 2017 but will be enrolled at a later date.

For more on this story contact:

Ruth Mc Donnell, Head of Media and PR, Office of Marketing and Communications, UCC  Mob: 086-0468950

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