Healthcare and Life Sciences 50 – 2014 – Irish America Irish America Magazine Mon, 15 Jul 2019 20:00:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 82361074 James Watson, M.D. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:48:22 +0000 Read more..]]> Dr. James Watson is a Nobel prize-winning scientist, chancellor emeritus of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and 2011 inductee to the Irish America Hall of Fame. He was one of the key co-discoverer’s who unraveled the structure of the DNA while a student at Cambridge University, one of the biggest scientific breakthroughs of the 20th century. It resulted in a Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1962. Later, he accepted a position in the biology department at Harvard University. It was here where he wrote his classic Molecular Biology of the Gene and the award-winning Double Helix. After Harvard, James led the Cold Harbor Laboratory, where he devoted his energies to setting up the Human Genome Project.

“Deeply proud” of his Irish ancestry, James is a third-generation Irish American with roots in Tipperary. His great-grandparents had emigrated to Ireland in the 1840s, settling in Ohio and later moving to Indiana.

He has received numerous awards throughout the years including the National Medal of Science, the city of Philadelphia Liberty Medal, and the Benjamin Franklin Medal Award by the American Philosophical Society. In 1962, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and, in 1977, he received from President Ford the Medal of Freedom. In addition to numerous honorary degrees, in 2002, Queen Elizabeth II made him an honorary Knight of the British Empire.

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Fionnuala Walsh, Ph.D. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:47:42 +0000 Read more..]]> Dr. Fionnuala Walsh is the senior vice president of global quality for Eli Lilly and Company, having joined the company in 1988 at its manufacturing site in Kinsale, Ireland. Throughout her time at Lilly, Fionnuala has held numerous positions in everything from technical services and laboratory analytics to management positions in the manufacturing science and technology sector and has held her current role since 2007.

A Dublin native, Fionnuala says her parents instilled her with the qualities necessary she finds in being a great leader: courage and resilience, allowing her to take pride in “belonging to a global diaspora.” This is what helped Fionnuala land her first job as head of quality for a global drug substance, which she calls “overwhelming and exciting all at once,” as well as kept her committed and passionate about her education, having received a bachelor’s and doctoral degree in chemistry from University College Dublin. Fionnuala and her husband Myles O’Neill have three children, Sophie, Eoin, and Kevin.

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Emer Smyth, Ph.D. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:46:53 +0000 Read more..]]> Dr. Emer Smyth is a research associate professor of pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania where she is a member of both the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics and the Cardiovascular Institute. Her current research targets how some anti-inflammatory drugs consistently reduce incidence, recurrence and/or mortality in breast and other cancers.

Among her many awards, most recently Emer received both a Translational Biomedical Imaging Center (TBIC) Pilot Award and the Joseph and Josephine Rabinowitz Award for Excellence in Research from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine for the 2013-2014 academic year. She also served recently the vice chair of the Women’s Leadership Committee within the American Heart Association’s Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

Emer has come a long way since she would work six days a week in her father’s Dublin butcher shop on winter and summer holidays. She was born and raised in Dublin and is an alumna of University College, Dublin for both her B.Sc. and Ph.D., but has now been out of the country for almost as long as she lived there. And yet, “although I carry an American passport and have American children,” she says, “I am now and always will be Irish. It is part of the very essence of who I am.” She and her husband have three children, Maeve, Fina, and Cormac.

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Jason Ryan Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:45:08 +0000 Read more..]]> Jason Ryan is the senior vice president of finance at Foundation Medicine, a breakthrough company in the fight against cancer. Over the past year as senior vice president of Foundation Medicine, Jason has seen the company double in size, go public, expand overseas, and implement new products, all while helping over 15,000 cancer patients battle their disease.

Born in Concord, MA, Jason is a third-generation Irish American with Irish ancestry dating back six generations. His paternal relatives on his father’s side hail from Cork, Limerick, and Fermanagh, and from Limerick and Roscommon on his mother’s. In his heritage Jason finds the tools that made him who he is today saying, “from my Irish ancestry comes my (rather ubiquitous) sense of humor, sense of fairness and caring, openness, and work ethic. I see these traits in my parents and in their parents – never take anything for granted, take pride in what you do, stay humble.”

Jason attended Bates College receiving a B.S. and Babson College where he received an M.B.A. He also has earned a C.P.A. in Massachusetts, where he and his wife Jennifer currently reside with their two children James and Hazel.

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Eamonn M. M. Quigley, M.D. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:44:36 +0000 Read more..]]> Eamonn Quigley is David M. Underwood Chair of Medicine in Digestive Disorders, chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and a professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College at Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston. He is also a principal investigator at the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC) in Cork, Ireland.

A native of west Cork, Eamonn earned his medical degree from University College Cork before completing his intern year at St Finbarr’s hospital in Cork. In 1986, he joined the faculty at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha where he ultimately served as chief of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Returning to Cork in 1998, he served as dean of the Medical School at UCC for seven years and has been a principal investigator at the APC since its inception.

His primary research interest is the gastrointestinal system, particularly irritable bowel syndrome, gastrointestinal motility, and the role of the gut microbiota in health and in gastrointestinal and metabolic disorders.

Eamonn is married to a UCC classmate, Una (née O’Sullivan) with whom he has four children, Joanna, Killian, Finola, and Aisling, and one grandchild, Nuala Saroja Bishu.

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Dennis Purcell Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:43:46 +0000 Read more..]]> Dennis Purcell has served as the senior managing director of Aisling Capital since February 2000, which has approximately $1.7 billion of assets under management.

Prior to joining Aisling Capital, Dennis served as managing director of the Life Sciences Investment Banking Group at Chase H&Q for over five years.

During his tenure, BioWorld and other industry publications cited H&Q as the leading underwriter of life sciences securities. Dennis is a frequent commentator on the industry and has been honored in the “Biotech Hall of Fame” by Genetic Engineering News, named to the Biotechnology All-Stars list by Forbes ASAP and cited as one of the top 100 contributors to the biotechnology industry.

He has served as a member of the Advisory Council at Harvard Medical School, the board of directors of the Biotechnology Industry Association, as well as the New York Biotechnology Association and the Irvington Institute. He also serves on the board of L.E.K. consulting.

Dennis received his M.B.A. from Harvard University and his B.S. in accounting from the University of Delaware.

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Eileen O’Reilly, M.D. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:42:02 +0000 Read more..]]> With her medical degree from Trinity College Dublin, Dr. Eileen O’Reilly is a gastrointestinal medical oncologist who serves as an associate director of the Rubenstein Pancreas Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and is an associate professor of medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. She completed her fellowship training at MSKCC and has been a faculty member in the GI Oncology service at MSKCC since then. Her primary research initiatives include integration of molecular-based therapies and novel therapeutics for the treatment of pancreatic cancer along with development of adjuvant and neoadjuvant therapy.

Pancreatic adenocarcinoma, remains one of the most challenging malignancies. Of 44,000 people diagnosed in 2012, 37,000 died from the disease. “To have a major impact in terms of outcomes, we need to be able to screen successfully and diagnose the disease earlier. Both of those are elusive challenges at the moment,” Eileen, who is Irish-born, said in an interview with Joe Cavallo.

At a national level, Eileen is the chair of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Pancreas Task Force, and a member of the Alliance Co-operative group Gastrointestinal core committee. Dr. O’Reilly is also an associate chair of the MSKCC IRB and Privacy Board, a member of Research Council and is the recent past president of the MSKCC medical staff.

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Joseph O’Neill, M.D. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:41:15 +0000 Read more..]]> Dr. Joseph O’Neill tackled arguably the largest medical crisis of our time – the AIDS crisis. He is globally recognized for his work in public health and medicine, and was credited by President George W. Bush, who named him as his Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy in July, 2002, as being the “architect” of his Plan for AIDS Relief, the largest public health program in history. With his passion for the medically underserved, Joseph influenced President Bush’s agenda, and helped secure the proposed $15 billion emergency plan for AIDS relief in African and Caribbean countries. As a professor of medicine and director of global initiatives at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, he was responsible for all international activities in Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy, Law, Social Work and Graduate Studies. Activities range from conducting medical disaster relief in Haiti after the earthquake, delivering HIV/AIDS care in sub-Saharan Africa and establishing on line training programs for students interested in global health. In the past year he co founded a start up company dedicated to genetic testing for families called Life Span Medical Sciences and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Joseph has a long-standing interest in end of life and hospice care. He has served on the advisory boards for several organizations in this arena including the Diana, Princess of Wales Fund and the African Palliative Care Association. He has recently joined the Palliative Care and Hospice program at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine as a fellow. He is proud of his Irish heritage. His maternal grandparents are from Co. Sligo, and the O’Neill side hails from Co. Mayo.

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Daniel O’Day Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:40:25 +0000 Read more..]]> Daniel O’Day is the chief operating officer of the pharmaceutical division of Roche, the world’s leading biotech company, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland and with offices in more than 150 countries, including Ireland. O’Day was appointed COO in 2012 having previously been the COO for the diagnostics division of Roche since 2010. Beginning in 1987 as part of Roche’s commercial and sales team Daniel later moved to Switzerland for roles in global marketing and lifecycle management team in 2001. Since then, he has been head of corporate planning in Japan, general manager in Denmark, and president of Roche Molecular Diagnostics in California.

Daniel was born in Texas and is a third generation Irish American with family from Ennis, County Clare on his father’s side. “The perseverance of my Irish ancestors is a daily motivation to me professionally and personally,” O’Day says. O’Day’s first job was performing the “hard physical labor” of landscaping, which, he says, “inspired me to pursue my education.” Daniel attended Georgetown University and Columbia University receiving a B.S. in biology and an M.B.A. Daniel currently lives in Switzerland with his wife Mara and children Tierney, Meghan, and Brendan.

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Garrett O’Connor, M.D. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:39:24 +0000 Read more..]]> Dr. Garrett O’Connor was born in Dublin, graduated as a physician from the Royal College of Surgeons, and later trained in psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. For more than forty years Garrett has lectured, consulted and led workshops on addiction and related topics in the United States and abroad, and has published scientific articles in a variety of peer-reviewed medical journals.

He was chief psychiatrist of the Betty Ford Center from 2002-2008, and the founding president of the Betty Ford Institute from 2008-2012. Currently he is director of the Elaine Breslow Addiction Institute and medical advisor for the Beit T’Shuvah Addiction Treatment Program.

Garrett has been in personal recovery from alcoholism since March 6, 1977, and is widely known for using his own life story as a tool for teaching about recovery to patients, medical students, and other audiences, including his fellow physicians. He has been married to the actress/writer/director Fionnula Flanagan for 42 years. They have two sons, a daughter-in-law, a granddaughter, and two great grandsons, all of whom are in long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, (with the exception of the great-grandsons who are only 5 years and 3 weeks of age).

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