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Ian O’Neill a Winner at Science for All

info UCC’s 2015 Science for All Competition was won by Ian O’Neill for his talk on Crohn’s Disease. Ian emerged as the overall winner following the final presentations last night when he impressed the judges with his talk “Crohn’s disease: When good bacteria go bad?”.

Ian O’Neill is a local student, from Turners Cross, Cork. He holds both a BSc and an MSc in Physiology from UCC. After working for a time in Apple Computers, Cork and taking some time out for travelling in New Zealand, Ian returned to his studies to undertake an MSc in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics at the University of Manchester. His current research, in UCC’s Molecular Cell Biology PhD Programme, is on bacteria associated with Crohn’s Disease and the effect these bacteria have on the immune system. His research supervisor is APC Principal Investigator Dr David Clarke in the School of Microbiology.

The UCC Science for All competition now in its 11th year, challenges young scientists to communicate the excitement of their research with the general public in an easily understandable manner, without using jargon. Ian follows in the famous footsteps of a previous winner Fergus McAuliffe who now presents RTE’s successful programme “Science Squad”.

Other competitors on the evening included Pharmacist Kathleen Fitzgerald who spoke about prostrate cancer; Zoologist Usna Keating who discussed birds affected by forests; Engineering Physicist Prasanna Ramaswamy who talked about the need for lasers for faster home internet; and Neuroscientist Alice Wyse Jackson who spoke about her research on retinitis pigmentosa, a form of blindness.

The panel of judges for the final was chaired by Mr John Dolan, Features Editor, Evening Echo, and also included Ms Donna O’Driscoll (Director of Marketing & Communications, UCC), Dr Angela Sheahan (Food Industry Training Unit, UCC and Past-President Speak Easy Toastmasters, Mallow) and Mr Ian Winning (Transportation Division Cork City Council). Professor William Reville, Professor Emeritus, UCC was MC on the evening. Snatch Comedy group provided the entertainment at the intermission.

The competition is organised jointly by the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science, the APC, and Tyndall National Institute ( The competition is run as part of a postgraduate research training module in Science Communication and Outreach.

Photo: Mr John Dolan, Features Editor, Evening Echo and Ian O’Neill, Winner UCC Science for All 2015

26 March 2015