NUI Galway academic Prof Tim O’Brien receives Mayo Clinic award

23 Oct 2019

Professor Tim O'Brien. Image: NUI Galway

Endocrinologist, clinician, scientist and teacher Prof Tim O’Brien was awarded for his work.

NUI Galway announced that Prof Tim O’Brien, dean of the university’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and consultant endocrinologist at Galway University Hospital, has received the Mayo Clinic Distinguished Alumni Award.

The award was established by the Mayo Clinic board of trustees in 1981 to acknowledge and show appreciation for “exceptional contributions” of Mayo Clinic alumni to the field of medicine.

Cork-native O’Brien previously worked as an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and as an associate professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

He established one of the first gene therapy laboratories at Mayo and published internationally recognised studies on the role of nitric oxide synthase in modulating the vascular endothelium.

O’Brien’s work in Galway

O’Brien is an internationally recognised clinician and scientist with expertise in regenerative medicine applied to the treatment of diabetes complications.

According to NUI Galway, O’Brien’s ties to Mayo Clinic allow trainees from the university and nearby Galway University Hospital to spend time at the Mayo Clinic, and for Mayo faculty to spend time in the university and the hospital in Galway.

As well as serving as lead endocrinologist at Saolta University Health Care Group and the director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute at NUI Galway, O’Brien is also co-director of Cúram, the SFI research centre for medical devices at NUI Galway.

He has twice previously been awarded the Pat McHugh Medal for best consultant teacher for his role at NUI Galway’s medical school.

NUI Galway noted that O’Brien has contributed to the local Galway economy through collaborations with medical device companies and start-ups as a result of his research activity.

“He has influenced and shaped the direction of higher education and healthcare sectors regionally and nationally. Under his leadership, the NUI Galway campus has been transformed with new buildings dedicated to biomedical science, medical education, clinical research and stem cell manufacturing,” the university added.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic