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.

2017 Award Winner - Prof Garret FitzGerald

Dr. 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.

2014 Award Winner - Dr Patricia Scanlan

Dr 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.