Prof Fergus Shanahan - Public Lecture Award 2015

The ISI are pleased to announce that Prof Fergus Shanahan is the 2015 recipient of their Public Lecture Award. This will be hosted in association with the Irish Times & the Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin.


Prof Shanahan Public Lecture: “Immune diseases today: a microbiological explanation of almost everything”


Prof. Shanahan presented his public lecture entitled: “Immune diseases today: a microbiological explanation of almost everything” in Tercentenary Hall, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, Trinity College Dublin at 7.00pm on Wednesday, 29th April 2015. This lecture was marked part of the ISI’s contribution to the European Day of Immunology.

In his lecture, Prof. Shanahan explained why there is a rising frequency of immuno-allergic disorders in the modern society of socio-economically developed countries. He will also explain how lifestyle and environmental factors shape the development and function of the immune system by modifying the microbes in and on the body. Prof. Shanahan also discussed his own research on how microbes ‘talk’ to the immune system and vice versa. He discussed the inter-relationship between chronic inflammatory disorders and metabolic diseases including obesity. Finally, Prof. Shanahan offered the lay person some advice on what they can do to protect their microbes and their immune system.


Biography:


Fergus Shanahan, MD, DSc

Professor and Chairman of the Department of Medicine

University College Cork (UCC), National University of Ireland.


Born and educated in Dublin, he attended medical school at University College Dublin where he graduated with honours in 1977. After internship and residency in internal medicine in Dublin, he did a two-year fellowship in clinical immunology at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, followed by a two-year fellowship in gastroenterology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). After completion of his fellowship at UCLA, he was appointed to the faculty there, rising to the rank of Associate Professor before making the decision, in 1993, to return to his native Ireland.

Together with colleagues from several departments and different faculties within University College Cork and Teagasc (a research agency of the Irish Ministry of Food and Agriculture), Prof. Shanahan led a team of clinicians, clinician-scientists, and basic scientists to successfully compete for seed funding from Science Foundation Ireland to create a multi-disciplinary research centre, the APC Microbiome Institute, Cork, which investigates host-microbe interactions in the gut in health and disease. Under Dr. Shanahan’s directorship, the centre now has a membership of 168 staff, scientists, and students and has expanded its funding and research base by securing research alliances with indigenous and multinational companies within the food and pharmaceutical sectors.

Prof. Shanahan has published more than 470 scientific papers and several on the medical humanities and has co-edited several books. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland, Canada, and the United Kingdom as well as of the American College of Physicians. He served as President of the Irish Society of Gastroenterology from 2007-2009. He was recently named to the “Irish Life Science 50” a list of the top 50 Irish and Irish Americans in the life science industry. In 2013, Science Foundation Ireland named him as its Researcher of the Year.

His interests are in mucosal immunology, gut microbiota, inflammatory bowel disease, and most things that affect the human experience.

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