University College Dublin Professor Receives Prestigious US Award for Physiology Research

-      Professor Cormac Taylor is  first ever non-US based recipient of Takeda Distinguished Research Award

The American Physiological Society (APS) has presented Professor Cormac Taylor, a leading University College Dublin (UCD) researcher, with the 2017 Takeda Distinguished Research Award.

The prestigious award is presented annually, by the Society’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology Section, to an outstanding investigator who is internationally recognised for his/her contribution to physiological research in these areas.

The award was presented to Professor Taylor, a Professor of Cellular Physiology at UCD’s School of Medicine and a Fellow of UCD Conway Institute, during the 2017 APS Experimental Biology meeting held this week in Chicago.

This is the first time that this award has been presented to a scientist located outside the United States since it was established in 2007.

Cormac Taylor 2017 Takeda Research Award
Dr Declan F. McCole, Chair, APS Gastrointestinal and Liver Section with Professor Cormac Taylor

Founded in 1887, the APS was the first US society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society currently represents more than 10,500 members and publishes 15 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. 

Professor Taylor leads a UCD research group investigating the mechanisms by which epithelial cells respond to low oxygen levels (hypoxia). The group explores the regulation of gene expression in hypoxic conditions and the potential of targeting of oxygen-sensitive cellular pathways in inflammation as a means of treating conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

 Professor Cormac Taylor said, “I am delighted and honoured to receive the 2017 Takeda Distinguished Researcher Award. This Award, which underscores the importance of investigator-led basic research in medicine, is a testament to the hard work of the PhD students and postdocs who have trained in my lab at University College Dublin over the last number of years.”

Watch this short video to find out more about Professor Taylor's research.

Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact said, “I would like to congratulate Professor Cormac Taylor on receiving the American Physiological Society’s 2017 Takeda Distinguished Research Award. This Award demonstrates the quality and impact of his research programme at University College Dublin into the cellular response to hypoxia. This research has revealed novel mechanisms whereby protective endogenous processes can be exploited for therapeutic gain in the context of prevalent chronic inflammatory bowel disease.”

Dr Declan F. McCole, Chair, APS Gastrointestinal and Liver Section said,“University College Dublin’s Professor Taylor is very highly regarded within the gastrointestinal research community for his work on the roles of hypoxia in intestinal inflammation. He has generated very important insights in this field and thus is an extremely worthy winner of the 2017 Takeda Distinguished Research Award. He is also well known for being a vocal supporter of the broader mission of the American Physiological Society.”

He added, “As a UCD graduate myself it is particularly rewarding to be able to present Professor Taylor with this award.”


27 April 2017

For further information contact Micéal Whelan, University College Dublin, Communications Manager (Innovation), e:, t: + 353 1 716 3712.

Editor’s Notes

The American Physiological Society (APS) is a non-profit devoted to fostering education, scientific research, and dissemination of information in the physiological sciences. The Society was founded in 1887 with 28 members. APS now has over 10,500 members. Most members have doctoral degrees in physiology and/or medicine (or other health professions). APS is governed by an elected Council consisting of a President, President-Elect, Past President, and nine Councillors. The National headquarters of the Society is based in Bethesda, Maryland, on the campus of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). APS is a member of FASEB, a coalition of 26 independent societies, that plays an active role in lobbying for the interests of biomedical scientists.

Professor Cormac Taylor has supervised 16 PhD students and published over 100 articles, accumulating in excess of 8,000 citations and achieving a h-factor of 44. He has maintained continuous funding through the Science Foundation Ireland investigator award programme since 2002 and has held career development awards from the Wellcome Trust and the National Institutes of Health (USA). After obtaining his PhD in pharmacology from UCD in 1996, Professor Taylor undertook a research fellowship in Harvard Medical School at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital.  He returned to Ireland in 2001 when he was appointed College Lecturer in the UCD School of Medicine and established an independent research group at the UCD Conway Institute.