Irish research scientist to be knighted by Queen Elizabeth

Director of London’s ‘greatest chamber-music venue’ to receive OBE

Professor Stephen O'Rahilly

Professor Stephen O'Rahilly

 

An Irish-born internationally renowned research scientist and expert in the area of the genetics of obesity is to be knighted by Queen Elizabeth.

Prof Stephen O’Rahilly leads a large team of British-based research scientists investigating the causes and development of obesity in humans. Originally from Finglas in Dublin and a graduate of UCD, Prof O’Rahilly (55) is included in this year’s birthday honours, produced each June.

He will be known as Prof Sir Stephen O’Rahilly as he has joint Irish and British citizenship.

He told The Irish Times it was “a lovely honour” which reflected not only his 30 years of research but also the work carried out by the team of scientists who work with him. He said he was “very moved”.

“It is great to be honoured by the country where I have lived for more than half my life and to be recognised for the contribution I try to make,” he said.

His research was “only 2 per cent” completed, he said and there remained much work to be done “to uncover why some people go on to develop cancers and diabetes and others don’t”.

He has won a string of international research awards and has been elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society. He is also a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences.

Despite his many honours and his ongoing research, he continues to be actively involved in clinical practice and the teaching of medical students.

The Limerick-born director of London’s world- famous Wigmore Hall is also to be honoured. John Gilhooly (39), another UCD graduate, is also chairman of the Royal Philharmonic Society, and will receive an OBE for his role in developing the hall, regarded as the finest chamber-music venue in the world.

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