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Trinity’s Pharmacology Chair Lorraine O’Driscoll Awarded Ireland’s Highest Academic Honor—Prominent Medical Scientist Inducted into Royal Irish Academy

Professor Lorraine O’Driscoll (nee McElroy) (photo), Chair of Pharmacology and Biomedicine at Trinity College Dublin, from Annamartin, Smithborough, Ireland was inducted into the Royal Irish Academy, Ireland’s leading body of experts in the sciences and humanities, on Friday, May 21, 2021. Membership is by election and is considered to be the highest academic honor in Ireland. The Royal Irish Academy has been honoring Ireland’s leading contributors to the world of learning since its establishment in 1785. Admittance to the Academy is a prestigious honor, and those elected are entitled to use the designation “MRIA” after their name, for Member of the Royal Irish Academy. For 235 years, new members of the Royal Irish Academy were admitted with a handshake, but this year Dr. Mary Canning, President of the Academy, greeted this group of exceptional individuals who are internationally renowned in their respective fields with no handshakes but much joy, Dr. O’Driscoll was the only female of the ten scientists recently elected to membership of the RIA. Among the others elected in 2021 are Professor John Crown, Consultant Medical Oncologist, St. Vincent’s University Hospital; Professor Noel McElvaney, Professor of Medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons; and Professor Philip Nolan, President of Maynooth University and Chair of Ireland’s National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET). Lorraine, daughter of Bridget and Francie McElroy, Annaghmartin, Smithboro, grew up on a small farm near Smithborough and has gone on to be a scientist and academic of international standing. The family lived at Drummons, Scotstown till Lorraine was aged six and then the family moved to Annamartin and Lorraine completed her primary education at Magherarney NS, followed by St. Louis Secondary School, Monaghan.

She holds a BSc (Hons, Pharmacol), Msc (Res, Clin. Pharmacol), MA (Education), PhD (Biotechnology/cancer research), and among her other accolades she is: an elected Fellow of Trinity College Dublin (FTCD), an elected Fellow the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB), the only female recipient of an Irish Research Council Advanced Laureate Award in science/biomedicine, and recipient of the European Eurolife Distinguished Lecture Medal.

Lorraine recently served as Co-Chair of the Organizing Committee for the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) Virtual Annual Meeting 2021 (https://www.isev2021.org/website/16865/), that just concluded its live sessions last week. The ISEV 2021 meeting sessions will be available on-demand until June 14, 2021 to meeting registrants, and registration can be accomplished at https://www.isev2021.org/website/16865/reginfo/. Extracellular vesicles include exosomes which are especially small, lipid-bounded nanovesicles that can transfer information between cells--via microRNAs, DNA, proteins, and/or lipids--and seem to have a wide variety of key functions in all organisms—from bacteria to humans.

Lorraine is married to Donnacha O’Driscoll, and both of them are well known for their involvement in the community and in charity fundraising. So, give her a beep if you see her jogging around the roads of Smithboro and Scotstown on week-end mornings, now that travel restrictions are relaxed again.

And, as they’d say ‘round here, “all that learning wasn’t unknownst to her!”

Super achievement Lorraine, we are all thrilled for you.

This article was drawn from a TYDAVNET.COM post (http://tydavnet.com/news/2021/05/smithboroughs-lorraine-receive-irelands...).