Irish America Award ‘Life Sciences 50’

Recognition for work in improving vision for patients with age-related macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness in the western world)

A Waterford Institute of Technology academic has been recognised for his contribution to medicine at a prestigious awards ceremony in New York.

WIT’s Professor John Nolan, Principal Investigator of the Macular Pigment Research Group (MPRG) made the 2015 Irish America Healthcare and Life Sciences 50 list.

On 7 October, Irish America magazine celebrated the Healthcare/Life Sciences 50 honorees at a reception in New York City.

The Irish America Healthcare and Life Sciences 50 recognizes the work of Irish-American and Irish-born medical professionals who are contributing everyday to the health and wellness of our communities, from pharmaceuticals, medical devices and biotechnology to research and development and medical care. The Healthcare / Life Sciences 50 are featured in the August/September edition of Irish America.

A native of Carrick on Suir, Tipperary, Prof Nolan said it is a great honour for him and his family to be recognised in this way.

“For me, this award reflects the efforts of all my team who continue to work tirelessly in our important research field. Our work has already contributed greatly to science and medicine, and it is amazing that the nutrients that we have been studying and identifying are now used worldwide for human health, in particular to improve vision for patients with age-related macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness in the western world),” he said.

“Our recent work using nutrition for Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive function represents exciting potential for the future. It is wonderful that we have been able to achieve this work in Waterford, Ireland, at the Waterford Institute of Technology, and that our multi-disciplinary team have access to cutting edge specialised technology, which empowers them conduct research at the highest level,” he continued.

“I am also most grateful to our research sponsors, the European Research Council, and the Howard Foundation, UK, for their continued support of our work, without which awards such the Irish America, Healthcare and Life Sciences 50 – 2015 would not be possible.”

“Professor Nolan’s work is making a significant impact in the field of vision research and latterly dementia. As such his work plays a significant part in the promotion of WIT as a seat of learning and centre for cutting edge research on both the national and international stage. His award as an honoree of the Irish America Healthcare and Life Sciences 50 list is highly prestigious and is not only a recognition of the quality of the research contribution made by Professor Nolan and the research team he leads to his field of expertise but brings great honour to the entire research community in the School of Health Science and the wider academic community within WIT,” stated Professor John Wells, Head of the School of Health Science, WIT.