A leading Irish academic and Emeritus Professor of Medicine at University College Cork has been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Inventors, which recognises inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society.
Prof Fergus Shanahan, who is also the founding director of APC Microbiome Ireland, the SFI Research Centre at UCC, was elected to the academy which recognises prolific academic inventors across the globe.
Prof Shanahan is an inventor of over 20 patents in the field of microbiome science and gastroenterology, the most significant of which relates to the use of a unique probiotic strain of Bifidobacterium targeted at people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
This patent was licensed to industry and subsequently marketed on a global scale.
He is also a co-founder of three spin-out companies, PrecisionBiotics Ltd, Atlantia Food Clinical Trials Ltd and 4D Pharma Cork PLC, all of which continue to thrive in the Cork region.
Commenting on the news of his latest accolade, Prof Shanahan expressed gratitude for the award but credited it to others including "shared minds and collaboration among friends and colleagues at University College Cork and in industry".
Dr Sally Cudmore, Interim Director of Innovation, UCC said it is wonderful to see Prof Shanahan "acknowledged on the world stage as an innovator and entrepreneur".
"The products developed from his inventions in microbiome science have been marketed since 2009 and have improved the quality of life of millions of patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other inflammatory disorders of the gastrointestinal tract," she continued.
Prof Shanahan is invited to be inducted at the Fellows Induction Ceremony to be held at the NAI annual meeting in June 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.