Enda Kenny, the prime minister of Ireland, presented Garret A. FitzGerald, MD, FRS, director of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics and chair of the Department of Pharmacology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, with the inaugural St. Patrick’s Day Science Medal at an Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)-hosted event in Washington D.C. last week. The Medal recognizes the achievements of a distinguished Irish scientist or engineer, living and working in the US.
“The SFI Saint Patrick’s Day Science Medal is a great addition to the Irish Government’s St. Patrick’s Day activities in America,” said Mr. Kenny. “Individuals like Dr. FitzGerald who are part of the sizable Irish diaspora in the United States remind us of the enormous opportunity that this country presents for Irish people who come here. Dr. FitzGerald’s achievements in his field are hugely outstanding and it is important that we in Ireland join those in the international scientific community who have already recognized his significant contribution to science.”
“The US remains the most innovative and supportive environment in which to pursue scientific research and the ties that bind us have delivered wonderful opportunities to the Irish people to harvest that resource to the benefit of scientific development at home,” said Dr. FitzGerald. “This has been realized through training of Irish scientists in the US and through Irish-American scientific collaboration both in academia and industry, often supported by Science Foundation Ireland, itself modeled on the US National Science Foundation. It is a great honor for me to receive the St. Patrick’s Day medal which reflects the scientific dimension of the long and happy relationship between our countries.”
FitzGerald's research focuses in the area of cardiovascular health and in particular the implications of pain medicines on cardiac systems. He was instrumental in the discoveries relating to the use of low-dose aspirin in preventing cardiac disease and to date has been awarded both the Irish Times/RDS Boyle Medal and the 2013 Grand Prix Scientifique -- considered the world's most prestigious honor for cardiovascular research.
Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.9 billion enterprise.
The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 17 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $409 million awarded in the 2014 fiscal year.
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