Haughton Lecture

The Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Silver Medal is presented to a distinguished clinician or engineer who has made a significant contribution to the field of bioengineering through academic endeavour and research. The recipient delivers the distinguished Samuel Haughton Honorary Lecture at the annual Bioengineering in Ireland conference.


1995 James M. Sheehan, PhD, FRCSI, Blackrock Clinic, Dublin 2006 David Taylor, PhD, ScD, CEng, FIEI, Trinity College, Dublin
1996 John O’Connor, PhD, University of Oxford 2007 David E. Beverland, MD, FRCS, Musgrave Park Hospital, Belfast
1997 Pierce A. Grace, MCh, FRCSI, University of Limerick 2008 Patrick J. Prendergast, PhD, Trinity College, Dublin
1998 Annraoi M. de Paor, DSc, MRIA, University College Dublin 2009 Frank Gannon, PhD, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland
1999 Michael . M. Stephens, MSc (Bioeng), FRSCI, Mater Hospital, Dublin 2010 Clive Lee, MD, PhD, FRCSI, FRCSEd, CENG, FIEI, HRHA, RCSI
2000 Tony M. Keaveny, PhD, University of California, Berkeley 2011 Peter E. McHugh, BE, ScM, PhD, CEng, FIEI, NUI Galway
2001 Moira O’Brien, FRCPI, Trinity College Dublin 2012 C. James KirkPatrick, MD, PhD, DSc, FRCPath, FBSE, Mainz University
2002 John F. Orr, PhD, Queen’s University Belfast 2013 Richard Reilly, PhD, MRIA, FRAMI, FTCD, Trinity College Dublin
2003 R. McNeill, DSc, CBE, FRS, University of Leeds 2014 Dr. James E. Coleman, BSc (Anatomy), MCh, FRCSI, MBA
2004 Neville Hogan, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2015 Tim McGloughlin, B.E.(Mech), MEng Sc, Ph.D., University of Limerick
2005 Alexander W. Blayney, MCh, FRCS, FRCSI, Mater Hospital, Dublin 2016 Prof. Timothy O’Brien, National University of Ireland Galway
2017 Prof. David Fitzpatrick, University College Dublin 2018 Prof. Fergal J. O’Brien, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland


2018 Haughton Medal Recipient:


Prof. Fergal J. O’Brien, BA, BAI, PhD, FAS, CEng, FIEI, FEAMBES

@fjobrien, @TissueEngDublin



Research Group


Fergal O’Brien is Professor of Bioengineering & Regenerative Medicine, Deputy Director for Research & Innovation and heads the Tissue Engineering Research Group based in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. He is a graduate in mechanical engineering from Trinity College, Dublin (1997) and was awarded his PhD in 2001 in the area of bone mechanobiology, carried out between RCSI (with Prof. Clive Lee) and TCD (with Prof. David Taylor).  He subsequently carried out postdoctoral research in orthopaedic tissue engineering as a Fulbright Scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School. In 2003, he returned to Ireland as a Lecturer in Anatomy in RCSI, soon after winning a Science Foundation Ireland President of Ireland Young Researcher Award (€1.1 million) which allowed him to establish the RCSI-based Tissue Engineering Research Group (TERG).  This quickly became one of Ireland’s leading research clusters and in 2017 won Research Laboratory of the Year at the Irish Lab Awards ceremony.

He is a PI and Deputy Director of the €58 million SFI-funded Advanced Materials and Bioengineering Research (AMBER) Centre between RCSI, TCD and over 30 industry partners. He is also an adjunct professor in bioengineering in TCD and is chair of the executive committee and principal investigator in the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering.  He is currently a member of the World Council of Biomechanics and a past president of the Section of Bioengineering of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland and has previously served as biomaterials topic chair for the Orthopaedic Research Society, as an EU council member of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society and a member of Irish Medicines Board advisory committee on medical devices. In addition he is an editorial board member of 5 journals and has been a Subject Editor (Tissue Engineering) for the Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials since it was established.  He is also Co-chair of the World Congress of Biomechanics which is being held in Ireland in 2018. Since his faculty appointment, he has published almost 200 journal articles and supervised over 30 doctoral students to completion. He has presented over 100 invited talks and has a current h-index of 56 (Nov, 2017). He is a recipient of two prestigious European Research Council Awards. Other accolades include a Fulbright Scholarship (2001), New Investigator Recognition Award by the Orthopaedic Research Society (2002), SFI PIYRA (2004), Engineers Ireland Chartered Engineer of the Year (2005), Anatomical Society New Fellow of the Year (2014) and Fellowship of Engineers Ireland (2013) and the European Alliance for Medical & Biological Engineering Science (2016).

His research focuses on the development of natural polymer (such as collagen) biomaterial-based therapeutics for tissue engineering with target applications in bone, cartilage, cardiovascular, corneal, respiratory and neural tissues.  A major focus of ongoing research has been to functionalise these scaffolds as delivery systems for biomolecules to enhance their therapeutic potential as well as their use as advanced 3D pathophysiology in vitro systems.  His research has always maintained a translational focus and he is a co-founder and Chairman of the Scientific & Medical Advisory Board of SurgaColl Technologies, which has translated 2 biomaterials-based technologies for bone and cartilage repair from his lab to the clinic.