May 9, 2021


Your News Buddy

12 people in the life science industry you need to know

Want to know who is changing the world of life sciences? We bring together a small selection of leaders in medtech, pharma, biotech and policy.

If this person has shown us anything, the importance of the life sciences industry. From early groundbreaking research with Covid-19 in producing a lot of high-efficacy vaccine, it is clear that research, talent and funding in areas such as biotech, pharma and medical devices are important.

With that in mind, we would like to highlight just a few people who work within the various fields of the life sciences industry, from the research leader to the leaders at the top of the sector.

Emer Cooke

In November 2020, Irishwoman Emer Cooke was appointed executive director of the European Medicines Agency, the EU representative that oversees the testing, approval and administration of medicinal products for member states.

Duty brings 30 years of experience in international duty control. He previously worked for the European Commission pharmacist and as the director responsible for all regulatory activities associated with the medical product at the World Health Organization.

Cooke graduated with a degree in pharmacy from Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and spent many years in his early career working in the pharmaceutical sector in Ireland.

Luke O’Neill

Known on the airwaves of Ireland for discussing all things scientific and, most recently, Covid-19, Prof Luke O’Neill is an immunologist and chair of biochemistry at TCD. As well as his radio contributions, he has also written numerous books, the most recent of which is ‘Never Mind the B # ll * cks, Here’s the Science’.

O’Neill has also been part of the development of TCD spin-outs Opsona Therapeutics and Inflazome, the latter of which snapped a € 380m deal by pharma giant Roche last year.

He too co -founder of Sitryx, an Oxford-based biopharma startup that aims to control cell metabolism with the development of therapeutics in immuno-oncology and immune-inflammation.

Kerry Thompson

Dr Kerry Thompson is lecturer and program director for the MSc in microscopy and imaging at NUI Galway. She received her PhD in 2010 and in 2018 was elected honorary secretary of outreach and education of the Royal Microscopical Society in the UK.

In December 2020, Thompson was awarded over $ 750,000 with funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a fund designed to support biomedical imaging researchers and the development of technology to drive the discovery of cures, prevention or disease management.

Thompson’s funding will be used to support a new center of excellence at NUI Galway that offers STEM professionals, scientists and researchers the latest training in bio-imaging and testing.

Patsy Carney

Waterford native Patsy Carney has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and has held senior positions at a number of pharma companies in Ireland and the UK in both operations and business development.

Patsy Carney, director at Kinetic Labs, stood in the facility with a lab coat and goggles folded her arms.

Patsy Carney. Photo: Kinetic Labs

He is the founder of pharma company EirGen, which US company Opko bought in 2015 for $ 135m. Carney is now the director of Kinetic Labs, a new purpose -built science innovation center in Waterford, which acts as a private ‘renting a lab’ space for the region.

Christine Loscher

Prof Christine Loscher is the assistant dean of research at Dublin City University (DCU). He completed his PhD in immunology at NUI Maynooth in 2007, and founded the Immunomodulation Research Group and became director of the Nano-Bioanalytical Research Facility at DCU.

Loscher currently heads the university Covid-19 research and innovation hub, established in May last year. Speaking of launching the initiative, he said: “The hub is a living example of a rapid research initiative … to make a strong and positive contribution by providing solutions to the many challenges we face. now.”

Michael Zaworotko

Support Silicon Republic

Prof Michael Zaworotko joined the University of Limerick (UL) in 2013 as head of crystal engineering at the Bernal Institute. He is among the top 20 research chemists in the world and his interests are focused on designing crystal structures that can be used in the pharmaceutical and energy industries.

In 2017, he was appointed as co-director of the Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Center (SSPC), in conjunction with Prof Gavin Walker.

Zaworotko has been involved in a number of innovative studies and research projects, including a greenhouse concept that could one day allow communities to produce food anywhere in the world in any conditions, and the discovery of a potentially revolutionary material which will help provide fresh water to millions.

Anne Jones

With over 25 years of experience in the life sciences industry, Dr. Anne Jones is a veteran of the sector. In 2018, he will appointed CEO of Genomics Medicine Ireland, and was appointed COO when it re -established the business as Genuity Science last year.

Prior to his current role, Jones worked in leadership positions at U.S. -based firm Danaher and Agilent Technologies.

He has a research background, graduating from NUI Galway in microbiology and molecular biology and completing his PhD at Cancer Research UK where he studied protein biochemistry and molecular biology with a focus on human DNA repair.

John Greally

Galway native Dr John Greally serves as professor of genetics, medicine and paediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, where he is currently a force in implementing new ways to perform human research of epigenetics.

Greally attended NUI Galway where he subsequently undertook an internship in medicine and surgery. In the US, Greally has received numerous awards for services in his field and was co -hosted by the American College of Medical Genetics in 2013.

Ciara Clancy

Physiotherapist and medtech entrepreneur Ciara Clancy is the founder and CEO of Beats Medical, a company that aims to empower people with Parkinson’s disease through an app that uses individual metronome therapy.


Ciara Clancy on stage at Inspirefest 2015. Photo: Conor McCabe Photography

In 2019, the Beats Medical app will be provided seal of approval from Parkinson’s UK, the largest Parkinson’s disease charity in Europe.

Clancy was awarded the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur in 2017 and he was also named Lie in wait for Europe at the Cartier Women’s Initiative 2015, a year in which she, too appeared at Inspirefest.

Barry Heavey

Joined Accenture in 2017, Barry Heavey leads the science practice of multinational practice in Ireland.

He previously worked as global head of life sciences and engineering at IDA Ireland, a position he has held since 2012. His career has involved roles in various organizations in Austria, the UK and the US, with a common theme being his passion for the application of biotechnology to medicine.

Heavey has a degree in biotechnology from NUI Galway, a PhD in genetics from the University of Vienna, and an MBA specializing in financial strategy from the University of Edinburgh.

Orlaith Ryan and Sharon Cunningham

In 2018, Orlaith Ryan and Sharon Cunningham started Shorla Pharma, a Tipperary -based drug startup focused on gynecological and pediatric cancers.

Two women wearing white lab coats are leaning against a countertop in a lab setting.

Orlaith Ryan and Sharon Cunningham. Photo: Shorla Pharma

Cunningham is a chartered accountant, while Ryan is a scientist and biochemist. They worked with senior roles at EirGen Pharma in Waterford, before deciding to start their own healthcare business.

In June 2020, the start raised $ 8.3m in Series A funding and earlier this month submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an oncology drug designed to treat T-cell leukemia, which will take a step closer to launching its first product in the U.S..