SFI Awards recognise Professor Walter Kolch as a 'key leader' in Ireland's research community

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has honoured Professor Walter Kolch for his contribution to Irish society and the economy, naming him as a leading figure in Ireland's research community.

Professor Walter Kolch, Director at Systems Biology Ireland (SBI), UCD School of Medicine, was awarded the 2022 SFI Mentorship Award.

 SFI Awards Professor Walter Kolch

Professor Walter Kolch, Professor Philip Nolan, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland, and Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact. Credit: Alan Price Photography

As the 2022 SFI Mentorship Awardee, Professor Kolch was acknowledged as having built a highly interdisciplinary and multinational research environment.

Since its inception in 2009, SBI has hosted over 260 team members including 105 researchers, 63 postgraduate students, 12 clinician scientists, 36 management and admin staff, and 46 research support staff from over 35 countries.

Professor Kolch has supervised over 50 postdocs and over 40 doctoral students providing each with the tools and infrastructure to develop their independence early in their careers - several of whom have secured various positions in academia and industry, some even starting their own companies.

“Professor Kolch has built a highly interdisciplinary and multinational research environment where academics can thrive and develop their careers,” said Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact.

“He has demonstrated a strong commitment to nurturing the intellectual and professional growth of his mentees, as well as their broader personal development and the equality and diversity of his teams.”

"I am delighted about this award. It reflects the open and interdisciplinary research culture at SBI, which is an ideal environment for training young scientists,” added Professor Kolch.

Acknowledging all the award winners Professor Philip Nolan, SFI Director General, said each recipient had been recognised for their exceptional achievements “within our research community, and the ways in which research contributes to our wellbeing and our environmental, social and economic development and sustainability."

"These awards reflect the dedication and determination of our researchers as they work to discover new knowledge, to innovate, and to make the world a better place. The awardees are truly inspiring."