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Professor Carel Le Roux named 2023 IRC Researcher of the Year

Posted 21 November 2023

  • Professor Emma Teeling ‘highly commended’ in Researcher of the Year category

The Irish Research Council has named (opens in a new window)Professor Carel Le Roux Researcher of the Year for 2023.

A leading clinical scientist and expert on how the gut and brain communicate to control hunger and satiety, he was awarded the prestigious prize for his work on developing safer and more effective treatments of obesity.

Director of the Metabolic Medicine Group affiliated with the UCD Diabetes Complications Research Centre (DCRC) in the (opens in a new window)UCD Conway Institute, his research has focused on the impact of diet, exercise, medication and surgery, including bariatric surgery, on enhancing gut-brain signalling for the management and treatment of the disease of obesity. 

Professor Le Roux was the recipient of a €600,000 IRC Laureate funding award in 2018, which he credits with enabling him to lead the development of the €16 million European project SOPHIA (Stratification of Obesity Phenotypes to Optimise Future Obesity Therapy) - which is addressing obesity and its complications such as type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease.

“Treating obesity as a disease and achieving substantial health benefits are now possible in part because of the grant support provided by the IRC, SFI, and the HRB,” he said. “This research area has also been prioritised by UCD, and the results are that we now better understand the science behind the cure.” 

(opens in a new window)Professor Emma Teeling, UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science, was highly commended in the Researcher of the Year category for her research exploring the development of bats as new models for healthy ageing and disease tolerance. 

A full Professor of Zoology at UCD and co-founding director of the Bat1K project, she recently received a European Research Council Synergy grant for her project ’BATPROTECT’.

The IRC’s ‘Researcher of the Year’ Awards celebrate the very best IRC-funded researchers who are making highly significant and valuable contributions to knowledge, society, culture and innovation.

Five UCD supervisors, mentors and research officers were awarded the ‘Research Ally’ prize, in recognition of the important work of supervising academics and research support staff behind the scenes.

"I am delighted to see the outstanding contributions of UCD researchers recognised by the Irish Research Council. I congratulate the award winners, the highly commended researchers, and the mentors, supervisors and research officers for their commitment to research and their impact both within and beyond academia,” said (opens in a new window)Professor Helen Roche, UCD Interim Vice President for Research, Innovation and Impact.

Director of the Irish Research Council, Peter Brown, said the awards were an opportunity to “to shine a light on the remarkable achievements of our top researchers and on the leading-edge work they are spearheading at national, community, European and international level”.

Adding: “Their work reflects the exceptional contributions they make in their respective fields, and in finding innovative solutions and ways of improving the world and people’s lives. The Irish Research Council Researcher of the Year winners demonstrate why research matters, and of the vital need for continued support in all fields of research, from science and technology to social sciences and the humanities.”

Further information on all on awardees from all categories is available on the (opens in a new window)IRC website

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations (with materials from Emma Loughney, UCD Research and Innovation)

To contact the UCD News & Content Team, email: newsdesk@ucd.ie