Profile: Dr Roger G H Downer


Anne Byrne profiles the second president of the University of Limerick, Dr Roger Downer

Term of office: 10 years; appointed 1998. Second president of UL

Born: December 21st, 1942, Belfast

Education: QUB, BSc and MSc in zoology; University of Western Ontario, Canada (zoology and biochemistry). QUB, DSc

Career to date: University of Waterloo, Canada, professor, department chair, acting dean, vice-president (1970-96) (sabbaticals University of Hokkaido, Japan, and Oxford University, England). Asian Institute of Technology, president and chief executive (1996-98); UL president (1998 to date)

Honours include: FEJ Fry gold medal, ESC gold medal; more than 160 publications, member NSF grant selection committee in regulatory biology

Takes pride in: "the significant fact that UL has had and continues to have on the economic, social and cultural life of the city, region and country and its acknowledged leadership in educational innovation; also the high esteem in which UL graduates are held by employers around the world."

Family: married to Jean, a physiotherapist from Belfast; children: Kevin and Kathleen (one child and another due in April); Tara in first year law in UL.

Memberships include: fellow of Royal Society of Canada; chair of Birr Scientific and Heritage Foundation; vice-chair of Hunt Museum; vice-chair National Technology Park, join-president UL Bohemians rugby football club.