Science Foundation Ireland recognises Prof. Walter Kolch with SFI Mentorship Award 2022

Written by: SFI and SBI Staff
Written on: Monday, 21 November, 2022

(left to right: Walter Kolch, Philip Nolan, Orla Feely. Photo by Alan Place Photography)

The winners of the prestigious 2022 Science Foundation Ireland Awards were revealed at the annual SFI Science Summit, held in person for the first time in two years. Joined by over 500 leading members of the Irish research community, SFI is celebrating the contribution researchers have made to our society and economy.

Acknowledging the award winners Prof Philip Nolan, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland, said: “I want to congratulate all the award recipients. The SFI Awards recognise exceptional achievements within our research community, and the ways in which research contributes to our wellbeing and our environmental, social and economic development and sustainability. These awards reflect the dedication and determination of our researchers as they work to discover new knowledge, to innovate, and to make the world a better place. The awardees are truly inspiring."

This year there are nine categories in total, with Engaged Research being acknowledged for the very first time. 

SFI Mentorship Award 2022

Recipient: Prof. Walter Kolch, Director of Systems Biology Ireland, University College Dublin

Through Systems Biology Ireland (SBI), Prof Walter Kolch has built a highly interdisciplinary and multinational research environment. Ever since its inception in 2009, SBI has hosted over 260 team members including 105 researchers, 63 postgraduate students, 12 clinician scientists, 36 management and admin staff, and 46 research support staff from over 35 countries. Prof. Kolch has supervised over 50 postdocs and over 40 doctoral students providing his team with the tools and infrastructure to develop their independence at early in their careers several of whom have secured various positions in academia and industry, some even starting their own companies.

On receiving the award, Prof. Kolch said, "I am delighted about this award. It reflects the open and interdisciplinary research culture at SBI, which is an ideal environment for training young scientists."

SBI Centre Manager Eadaoin Mc Kiernan said, "I cannot think of a more deserving recipient for the mentorship award. Walter makes time for people even when there is little available, and has always been there to provide guidance and support to the many young researchers who have embarked on research careers at SBI."

Prof. Walter Kolch (centre front wearing cap) and members of SBI at a staff retreat in Wicklow.