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Posted 14 March 2014

UCD graduate is first US based Irish scientist honoured with new Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) St Patrick’s Day Science Medal

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD has presented Dr Garret A FitzGerald with the inaugural SFI St Patrick’s Day Science Medal at an event in Washington DC. The award recognises the achievements of a distinguished Irish scientist or engineer, who is living and working in the USA, and their contribution back to Ireland.

“This award recognises the contribution of individuals who are outstanding in their fields of expertise, and have made a notable contribution to Ireland's heritage of knowledge and research,” said An Taoiseach.

“Dr FitzGerald’s achievements in his field are hugely outstanding and it is important that we in Ireland join those in the international scientific community who have already recognised his significant contribution to science.”

Dr FitzGerald is a graduate of UCD (medicine), a Fellow of the Royal Societyand a member of the advisory group to the UCD College of Health Sciences.

His research is focused in the area of biomedical cardiovascular pharmacology and in particular the effects of pain medicines on cardiac systems. He was instrumental in the discoveries relating to the use of low-dose aspirin in preventing cardiac disease. He has been awarded both the Irish Times/RDS Boyle Medal and the 2013 Grand Prix Scientifique - considered the world's most prestigious honour for cardiovascular research.

Dr FitzGerald is the McNeil Professor in Translational Medicine and Therapeutics at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where he also chairs the Department of Pharmacology and directs the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics.

“The US remains the most innovative and supportive environment in which to pursue scientific research and the ties that bind us have delivered wonderful opportunities to the Irish people to harvest that resource to the benefit of scientific development at home,” said Dr Garret A FitzGerald MD FRS.

“This has been realised through training of Irish scientists in the US and through Irish – American scientific collaboration both in academia and industry – often supported by Science Foundation Ireland, itself modelled on the US National Science Foundation. It is a great honour for me to receive the St. Patrick’s Day Medal which reflects the scientific dimension of the long and happy relationship between our countries.

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Irish Government added: “SFI’s aim in creating the St Patrick’s Day Science Medal is to recognise individuals who are not only outstanding in their fields of expertise but who have also demonstrably assisted researchers in Ireland in either academia or industry—via mentorship, supervision, collaboration, industrial development, entrepreneurship. Dr FitzGerald’s commitment to the education of Irish people while living in the USA is admirable – offering a competitive summer program for Irish secondary school students, as well as training countless scientific investigators from Ireland.”


(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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UCD graduate is first US based Irish scientist honoured with new Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) St Patrick’s Day Science Medal
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