IAIS award for Professor Catherine Godson

The world’s largest organisation on inflammation research has named Conway Fellow, Professor Catherine Godson as the recipient of its 2019 Women in Science award.

The International Association of Inflammation Societies (IAIS) honoured Professor Godson in recognition of her outstanding research and inspirational leadership contributions in the field of inflammation. Professor Godson was presented with the 2019 Women in Science award at the 14th World Congress on Inflammation in Sydney, Australia, which took place from the 15-19th September 2019. 

The IAIS Executive Committee consider potential awardees for the Women in Science Award biennially and the decision is approved by the organisation’s steering committee representing member societies from around the world.  Professor Godson delivered an award lecture as part of the WCI2019 meeting where she was presented with an award recognition plaque.
Professor Godson and her team in UCD Conway Institute carry out research on the factors that control inflammation in the body. They focus on finding better ways to treat the inflammation seen in chronic disease.
Commenting on the award, Professor Godson said,
“I am really delighted that this international award recognises the quality of the research produced by my lab in UCD over the years. It is great that our sustained contributions are recognised in a global context. The award reflects the wonderful graduate students and research fellows in my group, past and present, my colleagues in UCD Conway Institute, and our collaborators.

I am especially flattered that this award recognises leadership in inspiring and facilitating career development especially of women scientists. Throughout my career I have benefitted from several brilliant and generous mentors. Whatever contributions I have been fortunate enough to make, I owe to this community and to my supportive family’.
Inflammation is an essential process for the body to protect itself from trauma and infection. In healthy conditions, inflammation resolves leading to scarless healing. However, persistent low level inflammatory responses are seen in atherosclerosis, diabetes and kidney disease.

"Conventional treatments for inflammation focus on blocking the process itself but long term treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs can lead to side effects that reduce the body’s defences. Our work that has investigated the drivers of resolution of inflammation suggests that mimicking the activity of these molecules might be an alternative, safer and more effective treatment.

Working with Professor Patrick Guiry at UCD, we have designed and investigated several new molecules that promote resolution. Together with our international collaborators, we have shown that these molecules are effective treatments in various pre-clinical models of diseases including diabetic kidney disease, sepsis and arthritis.

I am also grateful for the research funding that we have received from SFIHRB , the Irish Research Council, the European UnionWellcome Trust and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation”.
About Professor Catherine Godson
Catherine Godson is a Full Professor of Molecular Medicine in the UCD School of Medicine; Director of the UCD Diabetes Complications Research Centre and a Fellow, UCD Conway Institute. She obtained her BSc (Biochemistry) and PhD (Pharmacology) from UCD and, following postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Geneva and at University of California San Diego, joined the faculty of Harvard University in 1994 before returning to UCD in 1997.