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Posted: 01 July 2008

Queen’s honours leading figures in Irish higher education and science

In recognition of their services to higher education, Dr Hugh Brady, President of University College Dublin, and Dr John Hegarty, Provost of Trinity College Dublin, have been awarded Honorary Doctorates of Laws by Queen’s University Belfast.

On the same day, Monday 30 June 2008, Professor Frank Gannon, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland was also conferred with an Honorary Doctorate (Medical Science) by Queen’s, in recognition of his distinction in medical science.

President of UCD, Dr Hugh BradyDelivering the citation for the President of UCD, Dr Hugh Brady, the Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s, Professor Peter Gregson said: “In his distinguished medical career and as an academic leader, Dr Brady has displayed intellect, sound judgement, the ability to lead and to harness the energy and skills of others to gain results.”

“UCD has played a key role in the history of the modern Irish State; under Dr Brady’s leadership it is now playing a leading part in shaping the future of Ireland, north and south.”

Dr Hugh Brady became President of UCD in January 2004. He first returned to his alma mater, UCD in 1996 as Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics, having spent nine years at Harvard and one year at the University of Toronto. His research interests include the molecular basis for inflammatory disease and the complications of diabetes. Outside of University College Dublin, Dr Brady has held a variety of national and international education and research-related leadership roles including: Chairman of the Health Research Board, membership of the Higher Education Authority, President of the Irish Nephrological Society, and membership of a range of international committees and taskforces.

Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr John HegartyDelivering the citation for the Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr John Hegarty, the Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s, Professor Peter Gregson said: “Since his election on a reform ticket as Provost of Trinity in 2001, Dr Hegarty has overseen a major re-structuring of the College, a streamlining of its academic organisation and the introduction of a suite of new courses to meet the needs of 21st century students.”

Dr Hegarty, an eminent physicist, has spent many years researching the use and effect of lasers and has designed new courses in this field.  His international academic experience includes five years as an Adjunct Professor in the University of Georgia, USA, in the early 1990s, and a Visiting Professorship in the University of Tokyo and Sony Corporation, Japan in 1995.  He is a member of the Higher Education Authority, the Technical Advisory Panel on Information and Communications Technologies at Science Foundation Ireland and the Royal Irish Academy.

Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, Dr Frank GannonDelivering the citation for the Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, Dr Frank Gannon, Queen’s Professor of Medicine, Ian Young said: “Dr Frank Gannon is best known for his leadership of the European Molecular Biology Organisation in Heidelberg. In July 2007, he became Director General of Science Foundation Ireland where his leadership and international standing will prove pivotal to Ireland’s efforts to recruit and retain world-class scientists, as well as in attracting high-tech corporate research and development.”

“His appointment is the culmination of an outstanding scientific career which started in Ireland, and then took him to England, the USA and France.  His work has underpinned the understanding of the role of steroid hormone receptors in the onset and progression of a variety of diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease.”


On the same day, Dr Chitra Bharucha, the Vice-Chairperson of the BBC Trust was also conferred with an Honorary Doctorate from Queen’s, in recognition of her contribution to local, national and international medicine and public life.

Dr Chitra Bharucha was Deputy Director of the NI Blood Transfusion Service and Consultant Haematologist, Belfast City Hospital, from 1981 until 2000.  Since then, she has held a number of professional appointments including non-executive director on the Board of UK Transplant Authority; a member of the World Health Organisation Expert Advisory Panel for Blood; Partners Council of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE); the President of the Medical Women’s Federation; and NI representative on the Council of the Royal College of Pathologists and the General Medical Council.  Dr Bharucha has made many significant contributions to medical practice and, in particular, to blood transfusion in NI, including the development of cord blood banking and the early implementation of an immunisation programme against Hepatitis B in neonates.

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