January 2020 | Eanáir 2020

School Welcomes Two New Professorial Appointments

Mon, 6 January 20 13:19

The School is delighted to announce the appointment of two new full professors with the appointment of Professor Yvonne O’Meara as UCD Full Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and Professor Helen Heneghan as UCD Full Professor of Surgery at St Vincent’s University Hospital. 

Both women were appointed following competitive recruitment campaigns in 2019 and formally took up their appointments at the end of last semester.  They are the first female appointees to both these senior leadership roles at the School and are, no doubt, role models for younger female doctors and medical students.  We wish both women well on their appointments and look forward to working with them as they implement their visions for Medicine and Surgery in the School.

Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics

Professor Yvonne O’Meara, previously interim Professor of Medicine was appointed Full Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics following a competitive recruitment process.  A consultant nephrologist at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital since 1997 when she was appointed as Senior Lecturer at the UCD School Medicine. 

Prof O’Meara graduated from University College Cork in 1982 and after initial clinical training in Ireland she moved to Boston University (BU) in 1998 to take up a clinical and research fellowship in Nephrology. She joined the faculty at BU in 1992 and ultimately was Director of Clinical Nephrology and Director of the BU Renal Fellowship Programme.

Professor O’Meara returned to the Mater Misericordiae University hospital and UCD as Consultant Nephrologist / Senior Lecturer in Medicine in 1997. Her research interests include mechanisms of glomerular injury in experimental glomerulonephritis, diabetic nephropathy and quality of life in end stage kidney disease.  She has a keen interest in Medical Education and has been the Academic Lead for both the undergraduate and graduate entry teaching programmes in Clinical Medicine at the Mater since 2007.  She has served on a range of national committees and roles, including the Irish Postgraduate Medical and Dental Board, Irish Committee on Higher Medical Training, National Specialty Director in Nephrology, and President of the Irish Nephrology Society. She was appointed as Subject Head in Medicine in September 2018 and as Section Head of Medicine and Medical Specialties in November 2018.

Professor of Surgery

Professor Helen Heneghan has been appointed as UCD Full Professor of Surgery at St Vincent’s University Hospital, also following a competitive recruitment process.  Prof Heneghan has been consultant bariatric surgeon since 2017 and established a National Bariatric Surgery Centre with units at St Columcille’s, St Michael’s and St Vincent’s University Hospitals.  This initiative led to a ten-fold increase in bariatric surgeries with over 100 cases per year, each recorded in the National Bariatric Surgery Registry. 

Prof Heneghan graduated from the National University of Ireland, Galway in 2005 and completed a PhD in the molecular expression of breast cancer and obesity at the same University.  She completed her basic medical training and subsequently her RCSI higher specialist training in general surgery at Galway University Hospital in 2016.  Following completion of her specialist surgical training, Prof Heneghan undertook over two years of bariatric-specific training at the Bariatric Metabolic Institute in Cleveland, Ohio and completed a bariatric fellowship in the UK.  Prof Heneghan’s research interests include evaluating the mechanisms of diabetes remission after bariatric surgery and evaluating the effect of significant weight loss on cancer, specifically female cancers such as breast and uterine cancer. She is also interested in studying the effect of bariatric surgery on fatty liver disease, specifically non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).  She is an active researcher within the UCD Diabetes Complications Research Centre and has published extensively.


Although both women are experienced clinicians in their own right, their appointment to the most senior academic rank within the School is particularly welcomed given the low number of female staff at this level.  Both Professors are role models for our medical students, particularly our female students.  The appointments have been warmly welcomed by the UCD Medical Society and the UCD Surgical Society.  Both Prof O’Meara and Prof Heneghan have been strong supporters of medical education within the School and at their respective hospitals and they are actively engaged in our teaching programmes.