News and Views

UCC alum awarded St Patrick’s Day Science Medal

13 Mar 2019
Professor Eamonn Quigley was awarded the prestigious SFI St Patrick’s Day Science Medal at an event in Boston.

Leading gastroenterologist Professor Eamonn Quigley, former Dean of the Medical School at UCC and Principal Investigator at the APC Microbiome SFI Research Centre, has been awarded the SFI St Patrick’s Day Science Medal.

Professor Quigley, a West Cork native and UCC graduate, currently serves as Chief of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Houston Methodist Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College.

The medal is awarded annually to US-based scientists, engineers or technology leaders with strong Irish connections. For the fourth successive year, the medal was awarded to two recipients. Michael Mahoney, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Boston Scientific was also presented with the medal. 

The combination of the Irish education system and investment in science has resulted in the generation of graduates who can easily compete at an international level, according to Professor Quigley.

“I am greatly honoured to receive the SFI St Patrick’s Day Science Medal, which recognises my work in gastroenterology. Working between Ireland and the United States has given me a valuable international perspective that I have brought to my research, clinical practice and teaching.

"It is important that we recognise, and continue to nurture, the innovative and transformational research taking place between both countries, benefiting our collective societies. I hope this important link between our scientific communities continues to grow in the coming years.”

After studying at UCC and training in Glasgow, he spent two years as a research fellow at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, before becoming chief of gastroenterology and hepatology at University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

In 1998, Quigley returned to Cork, where he was the Dean of the medical school at UCC for seven years as well as a Principal Investigator at the APC Microbiome SFI research centre.

He took up his current post in Houston in 2013 where he holds the David M Underwood Chair of Medicine in Digestive Disorders.

Speaking at the presentation event at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton TD said: "Both have demonstrated outstanding leadership in their respective fields and have made extremely positive societal impacts in the United States and Ireland.

"The recognition of US-based scientists, engineers and technology leaders with an Irish connection further highlights the continued strength and durability of US-Ireland relations that exist across a broad range of sectors." 

Congratulating the recipients, Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said the recipients' outstanding work is "a fantastic example of the global reach of Irish science, engineering and technology."

"We continue to go from strength to strength, building on our international reputation for world-leading transformational research with impact. The SFI St Patrick’s Day Science Medal not only recognises their special contributions but also highlights the importance of our diaspora and our transatlantic collaborations.”


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