March 2014

UCD Alumnus Awarded Inaugural St Patrick's Day Science Medal

Thu, 13 March 14 15:00

The School offers its congratulations to Dr Garret A. FitzGerald (UCD Medicine 1974, UCD MD 1980 and UCD DSc 2004) of the University of Pennsylvania who was honoured today with the inaugural St Partick’s Day Science Medal by Science Foundation Ireland.

An Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny T.D. presented Dr FitzGerald with the inaugural SFI St. Patrick’s Day Science Medal at a Science Foundation Ireland-hosted event in Washington D.C. The SFI St. Patrick’s Day Science Medal is intended to recognise the achievements of a distinguished Irish scientist or engineer, living and working in the USA, in particular their contribution back to Ireland.

An Taoiseach said:

“I very much welcome this opportunity to present the inaugural Science Foundation Ireland St. Patrick’s Day medal to Dr Garret FitzGerald. This award recognises the contribution of individuals who are outstanding in their fields of expertise, and have made a notable contribution to Ireland's heritage of knowledge and research. Dr FitzGerald’s achievements in his field are hugely outstanding and it is important that we in Ireland join those in the international scientific community who have already recognised his significant contribution to science.”

Dr. FitzGerald's research is focused in the area of biomedical cardiovascular pharmacology and in particular the effects of pain medicines on cardiac systems. He was instrumental in the discoveries relating to the use of low-dose aspirin in preventing cardiac disease and to date has been awarded both the Irish Times/RDS Boyle Medal and the 2013 Grand Prix Scientifique - considered the world's most prestigious honour for cardiovascular research.

Dr FitzGerald is the McNeil Professor in Translational Medicine and Therapeutics at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where he also chairs the Department of Pharmacology and directs the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics.

Dr Garret A. FitzGerald, MD, FRS, said:

“The US remains the most innovative and supportive environment in which to pursue scientific research and the ties that bind us have delivered wonderful opportunities to the Irish people to harvest that resource to the benefit of scientific development at home. This has been realised through training of Irish scientists in the US and through Irish – American scientific collaboration both in academia and industry – often supported by Science Foundation Ireland, itself modelled on the US National Science Foundation. It is a great honor for me to receive the St. Patrick’s Day Medal which reflects the scientific dimension of the long and happy relationship between our countries.”

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Irish Government added:

“SFI’s aim in creating the St. Patrick’s Day Science Medal is to recognise individuals who are not only outstanding in their fields of expertise but who have also demonstrably assisted researchers in Ireland in either academia or industry—via mentorship, supervision, collaboration, industrial development, entrepreneurship. Dr. FitzGerald’s commitment to the education of Irish people while living in the USA is admirable – offering a competitive summer program for Irish secondary school students, as well as training countless scientific investigators from Ireland.”