University Alumni Awards

The UCD Alumni Awards represents a new tradition marking the University’s foundation by celebrating the success and contribution of our most distinguished alumni worldwide.  Award recipients are nominated by our alumni in recognition of their drive, leadership, commitment and desire to make a difference on society at home and abroad.  The awards are presented as part of the UCD Foundation Day celebrations.

2018 - Dr Rhona Mahony

Dr Rhona MahonyAs the first female master since the foundation of the National Maternity hospital in 1894, Dr Rhona Mahony oversees one of Europe's largest Maternity hospitals, delivering almost 10,000 babies each year, a busy gynaecological unit and over 800 staff.

A specialist in fatal foetal abnormalities and maternal medicine, she founded the National Maternity Foundation, which supports the work of the NMH. Dr Mahony has been published in a range of international academic journals. She is a Fellow of the RCOG UK, and of the RCPI in Ireland. In 2016 she was awarded an honorary Fellowship of the American College of O&G and an honorary Doctorate of Medicine from NUI for her contribution to women and infants’ health.


2017 - Prof Garret FitzGerald

Prof Garret FitzGeraldDr. Garret FitzGerald (UCD Medicine 1974, MD 1980) is the McNeil Professor in Translational Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where he chairs the Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics and directs the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics.

Dr. FitzGerald’s research has been characterized by an integrative approach to elucidating the mechanisms of drug action, drawing on work in cells, model organisms and humans. His work contributed fundamentally to the development of low-dose aspirin for cardioprotection. FitzGerald’s group was the first to predict and then mechanistically explain the cardiovascular hazard from NSAIDs.

He has also discovered many products of lipid peroxidation and established their utility as indices of oxidant stress in vivo. His laboratory was the first to discover a molecular clock in the cardiovascular system and has studied the importance of peripheral clocks in the regulation of cardiovascular and metabolic function.

Dr. FitzGerald has received the Boyle, Coakley, Harvey and St. Patrick’s Day medals, the Lucian, Scheele and Hunter Awards, the Presidential Award for the Irish Abroad and the Cameron, Taylor, Herz, Lefoulon-Delalande, and Schottenstein Prizes. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, an honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy and a Fellow of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences and of the Royal Society.

2016 - Dr Anne Merriman

Dr Anne MerrimanA Liverpool native who joined the Medical Missionaries of Mary, Dr Anne Merriman went to Nigeria after finishing Medicine at UCD in 1963. Thirty years later, she founded Hospice Africa Uganda and under her tutelage, a system of palliative care specific to Third World Countries was developed. Her work ensuring affordable oral morphine which can be used at home revolutionised care for the dying in Africa. In spring 2014, her pioneering, compassionate leadership earned her a nomination for that year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Dr Merriman dedicated it to those who have worked with her saying, “This nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize is in my name, but it is for you.” Her modesty in the face of such extraordinary accomplishments and exemplary dedication are hallmarks of all of this year’s Foundation Day Alumni Awardees whose skills and success we salute and congratulate.

More about Dr Anne Merriman's distinguished career.

2015 - Dr Patrick Bradley

Dr Patrick BradleyDr Patrick Bradley is widely recognised for his work and research in otorhinolaryngology: head and neck surgery. He studied Medicine at UCD, graduating in 1975 and initially pursued a career in general surgery. In Liverpool, he completed his head and neck surgery training. Since procuring his FRCS(Ed), he has been appointed Head and Neck Surgeon at University Hospital Nottingham. Dr Bradley has also been appointed to the Executive Committee of the European Academy of Otorhinolaryngology. He remains involved in otorhinolaryngology research and delivers lectures across the globe.

2014 - Dr Patricia Scanlan

Dr Patricia ScananDr Scanlan graduated from UCD Medicine in 1997 and went on to practice at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin. In 2008 she relocated to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania as the INCTR East Africa Programme Coordinator and to run the National Children’s Oncology Centre in the Ocean Road Cancer Institute. Dr Scanlan found herself coming from a situation where a 90% childhood cancer survival rate for some of the more common cancers was the norm to one where 9 out of 10 children attending the hospital died.

Unperturbed by the apparent difficulties of working in such an environment, Dr Scanlan helped to establish the National Paediatric Oncology Centre at the Muhimbili National Hospital.  In the space of 18 months, she revolutionised survival rates for paediatric cancers from 12% to over 60%.  She has maintained these rates as the number of patients increased from 300 to 500 children per annum.  Dr Scanlan has produced educational resources for child cancer patients and has helped to establish Tanzania's first association for parents of children with cancer to support fund-raising, early detection and advocacy. 

Furthermore, Dr Scanlan has helped to create a training programme in paediatric haematology and oncology from which local experts are now emerging.  This Masters programme connects Tanzania to an international network for cancer treatment and research that includes her former colleagues at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin.

Dr Scanlan continues to work tirelessly to help to address the stark levels of health inequality which still affect the most vulnerable people, both those in her care and those further afield. We at UCD School of Medicine & Medical Science are inordinately proud of everything Dr Scanlon has accomplished thus far in her career and undoubtedly look forward to congratulating her on future achievements and successes.