June 2013

UCD Medicine Conferring and Awarding of Honorary Degrees

Wed, 12 June 13 06:43

UCD Medicine Conferring 2013

On June 6th 2013, 177 undergraduate and graduate entry students of medicine were conferred with degrees. The ceremony, which took place at O'Reilly Hall, Belfield, also saw the awarding of honorary degrees to Tom Lynch and Professor Charlie Serhan.

The annual conferring marks one of the high-points in the School's academic and social calendar. The bestowing of the prestigious MB BCh BAO degree, took place under the direction of Dr Hugh Brady, President, UCD and the Dean of Medicine, Professor Patrick Murray. The graduands - 135 undergraduate and 42 graduate entry students - will now formally join the ranks of the medical profession, whereupon they will begin a year's further training as interns.

Dr Brady, in congratulating the assembled graduands, said:

You have achieved a great deal, and you have our profound congratulations. As you progress though long and successful careers, my advice is to always stop, and ask yourself, 'is what I am doing, or about to do, the right thing for the patient?'. Such an action will ensure that you never go far wrong. Good luck to you all, stay in touch with your alma mater, and I wish you all the very best in your future careers.

Conferring 5

Award of Honorary Degrees

The university also used the occasion of the conferring to award honorary degrees to Mr Tom Lynch and Professor Charles Serhan

Tom Lynch, a qualified accountant, who worked extensively in the US and Europe for KPMG, and who as Chief Financial Officer of Élan in the 1990s helped transition the company from a relatively small speciality drug delivery outfit into a major biotechnology company, has been awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science.

While working for KPMG, GPA and Jury’s were among his ‘big’ clients but it was when he began to work with Élan and Icon that his interest in the pharma sector really blossomed,” said Professor Bill HallUCD School of Medicine and Medical Science, who read the citation.

Tom became Chief Financial Officer of Élan in 1993 and during the next decade, helped transition the company from a relatively small speciality drug delivery outfit into a major biotechnology company.”

Tom continues to be involved in a number of pharma corporations across Europe and the US. His knowledge and expertise has led him to become associated with a number of academic institutions.”

This includes Board Membership of the Institute for Human Virology in Baltimore, USA and Chair of the Board of Molecular Medicine Ireland. Molecular Medicine Ireland is a collaborative entity involving University College Galway, RCSI, University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, and UCD and their associated academic hospitals.”

This has allowed a research partnership to accelerate the translation of biomedical research into improved diagnostics and therapies for patients. Tom as Director of the Board has played a major role in this process,” said Professor Hall.

Tom Lynch was invited by UCD President Dr Hugh Brady to Chair the Dublin Academic Medical Centre, a partnership between UCD School of Medicine, The Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and St Vincent’s Healthcare Group. He has also become deeply involved in the UCD Foundation and has also made personal contributions to major UCD fundraising campaigns such as the UCD Science Centre.

Conferring Doctorates

The second honorary award of a Degree of Doctor of Science was presented to Professor Charlie Serhan, who under the mentorship of the legendary Michael Heidelberger, one of the founders of quantitative immunology, and Gerry Weissmann, published an original PhD thesis work that demonstrated the principle that different cell types of the immune system can speak to each other, acting in sequence to generate distinct signals; a process called transcellular biosynthesis.

Professor Serhan has published over 450 papers in the elite scientific literature. He is a professor at Harvard University and at MIT and Director of The Centre for Experimental Therapeutics. He is an inventor or co-inventor on 350 patents.

Like all great scientists, Charlie Serhan’s legacy is not restricted to his own discoveries,” said Professor Catherine Godson, UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science who read the citation.

Even more important are his generous contributions to collaborators and colleagues, research fellows, Post docs and PhD students. Charlie has trained successive generations of scientists and physician scientists who have been inspired by him and have benefitted greatly from his support over the years. These even include a President of University College Dublin who was a fellow in his lab some twenty years ago.”

Charlie gives generously of his time in support of research endeavours internationally. He sits on the Scientific Advisory boards of research institutes in the US, Canada and the UK.

He is a founder of the biotech company Resolvyx. His wise counsel was greatly appreciated a decade ago when The Conway Institute was being established here at UCD,” added Professor Godson.

Gala Dinner and Awards

Later in the evening, the class of 2013 assembled, with colleagues, teachers and friends for the annual gala dinner - a formal celebration of achievement, community and friendship. During the event, individual achievement and academic excellence was recognised with a range of prizes and medals including student-nominated awards.

Dr John Maher was awarded medical student of the year, while Hannah Turner and Elisa D'Arcangelo were awarded (respectively) student of the year in radiography and biomedical health and life sciences. Meanwhile, Evan Heritage scooped the physiology student of the year award, presented by Dr Stuart Bund.

Student Awards

Surgeon Boyle Kennedy Bequest 

  • Dr Stephanie Rutledge

Brian McGovern Perpetual Medal

  • Dr Stephanie Rutledge

Sean Malone Medal in Psychiatry

  • Dr Oliver McElvaney

The 1941 Medal

  • Dr Stephanie Rutledge

D.K. O'Donovan Medal in Medicine

  • Dr Stephanie Rutledge

The William Wilde Medal in Otolaryngology

  • Dr Chee Hon Ng

The Paediatrics Medal

  • Dr. Grace Dillon

Kirwan Medal

  • Dr Christine McCarthy

Professor Patrick Meenan Medal for Microbiology in Medicine 

  • Drs Louisa Shackleton and Elizabeth Roy

Teaching Awards

Teacher of the Year Award Medicine (Pre clinical)

  • Dr Koon Meng Chan and Dr Patrick Felle

Teacher of the Year Award Medicine (Clinical)

  • Dr Gerard O'Connor

Teacher of the Year Award Biomedical Health & Life Science 

  • Prof Stephen Pennington and Dr Tara Mc Morrow

Teacher of the Year Award Radiography

  • Ms Marion Maher

Teacher of the Year Award Physiology

  • Dr Stuart Bund

Admin & Technical Awards

Technical Staff Award for Outstanding Contribution

  • Mr Harry Kavanagh and Mr Peter McLoughlin

Administrative Staff Award for Outstanding Contribution

  • Ms Aisling O'Keeffee and Ms Zoe Thompson