Professor David Brayden elected to the Royal Irish Academy


Conway Fellow, Professor David Brayden from the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine is among five UCD professors elected to the Royal Irish Academy, the highest academic honour in Ireland.

The cohort were among 28 new RIA members elected to the Academy in recognition of their exceptional contributions to the sciences, humanities, and social sciences, as well as to public service.

Group of people in academic robes

Throughout his career, Prof. David Brayden (pictured front row, second from left) has worked in industry and academia on understanding and improving drug delivery for patient treatment. In the past five years, working with an industry partner, Prof. Brayden has led the  development of a new nanoparticle that could allow diabetes patients to take insulin and other peptides orally, rather than with an injection. 

This research has led to a wide range of outcomes: an award-winning international documentary film for the public, a patent application, a presentation of the research at the first Keystone Symposium on Drug Delivery in Dublin, and an article in the top-tier journal, the New England Journal of Medicine

Ultimately, if this discovery leads to a new treatment for diabetes, it will yield profound impacts on health: patients will no longer need injections and will opt to take oral peptides earlier in their disease to achieve better outcomes.

Prof. Brayden is the author or co-author of more than 300 research publications and patents. In 2014, he was one of four principal investigators on the successful SFI Centre bid in Medical Devices (CURAM), worth over 40 million EUR over 6 years, which was renewed for 6 years in 2021. He is the coordinator of the Horizon Europe consortium grant, BUCCAL-PEP, which was awarded 4m EUR and runs from 2022-2026.  

Welcoming the newest entries for 2024, RIA President Professor Pat Guiry said Ireland should be immensely proud of “these 28 women and men who have been elected by their peers and have brought international acclaim to our country through their distinct areas of research”. 

“As Members of the Royal Irish Academy they will support and strengthen our capacity to achieve our strategic goals and objectives as we look to the launch of our Strategic Plan 2024-2028 in the coming weeks.”

The RIA has been honouring Ireland’s leading contributors to the world of learning since its inception in 1785. Membership is drawn from the whole island of Ireland, and admittance to the Academy is regarded as among the highest academic distinction.

Those elected are entitled to use the designation ‘MRIA’ after their name after they have subscribed to the Member’s Declaration of Obligations and sign the Roll Book of Members.

Read more: No more needles: developing oral peptide treatments for diabetes