Prof Luke O’Neill elected Royal Society fellow

Luke O’Neill, Professor of Biochemistry, School of Biochemistry and Immunology in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI)
Pictured: Prof Luke O'Neill, TCD

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29 April 2016 | 0

Trinity College Dublin Professor of Biochemistry Luke O’Neill has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. He is among 50 scientists from across the UK and internationally, including Trinity College Dublin and institutions in the USA and Germany.

The Royal Society is a Fellowship of many of the world’s most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in existence. The Society has played a part in some of the most fundamental, significant, and life-changing discoveries in scientific history.

Prof O’Neill’s work investigates inflammation – a highly complex process that is provoked in the body during infection by bacteria and viruses but also in response to trauma and injury. Inflammation restores us to health but for largely unknown reasons it can go rogue and give rise to a whole range of inflammatory diseases which remain difficult to treat. He has worked on innate immunity, which lies at the heart of inflammation. He has uncovered new molecules and biochemical processes that are triggered by sensors of infection and tissue injury, including the Toll-like receptors and inflammasomes, and the signals they drive that stimulate inflammation. He is using his findings to help in the effort to develop anti-inflammatory medicines.

“I am amazed and delighted to be awarded this honour,” said Prof O’Neill “I see it as a testament to all the work that my team has done in Trinity College over the past 20 years and I especially want to thank all members of my laboratory, both past and present.”

The newly elected fellows include a strong representation of scientists in business and industry. They comprise Vinton Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google; Simon Peyton Jones, principal researcher, Microsoft Research Cambridge; David Hight, forensic engineering specialist and founding director of the Geotechnical Consulting Group; and Prof Christopher Abell, University of Cambridge, whose work has changed the face of drug discovery.

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