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


2019 Haughton Medal Recipient:


Professor Dennis McGonagle MB BcH BAO FRCPI PhD

Professor of Investigative Rheumatology

Leeds Institute of Rheumatic & Musculoskeletal Medicine

University of Leeds


Research Group



Dennis McGonagle trained in the Mater Hospital and graduated from UCD in 1990 with a first class honour in Medicine, winning the O’Donovan Gold Medal and two other Medals in Medicine.  He undertook clinical training at the Federated Dublin Hospitals and TCD where his duties included Clinical Lecturer.  He went into Rheumatology in 1994 and moved to the University of Leeds in 2006.  He undertook his PhD into the cellular and micro-anatomical basis for inflammatory arthritis disease localisation to the joints.  In clinical research, he has used microanatomy and imaging to elucidate the pathogenesis of the seronegative inflammatory diseases and has defined the central role of the enthesis in joint pathology in several key publications including the cytokine mediated enthesitis theory of synovitis in the seronegative spondyloarthopathies (diseases that include Ankylosing Spondylitis and Psoriatic Arthritis) (Lancet 1998)  He runs clinics into immune mediated diseases and he has developed the modern immunological Disease Continuum classification of inflammation against self (PLoS Med 2006).

Following his thesis, he established a Regenerative Medicine laboratory research group with Dr Elena Jones in 2002.  The group have been working to define the biology of native joint mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in arthritis and their role in pathogenesis/repair in rheumatic diseases.  The overarching principle is to understand how native joint MSCs may be used in conjunction with joint biomechanical principles and an understanding of the joint environment to develop relatively simple and cost effective strategies (Nat Rev Rheum 2017).  The group first reported the purification and detailed phenotype of rare trabecular bone resident MSCs in 2002 (Jones EA et al Arthritis Rheum) and subsequent papers chronicling that these cells were abundant in vivo and increased in diseased bone in hip osteoarthritis.  His group discovered synovial fluid resident MSCs in 2004 and showed that these were paradoxically elevated in OA in 2008 (Jones EA et al Arthritis Rheum 2004 &2008).  With joint mechanical environment correction with Dutch colleagues, the group showed that such MSCs contribute to the earlies phases of joint repair (Baboolal T et al ARD 2015).  The work has resulted in 3 patents one of which has undergone clinical testing and is undergoing commercialisation with partner organisations for evaluation in OA joints for improved stem cell based tissue repair (Baboolal T Am J Sports Med (In press)).

The group is now studying the role of innate immunity in MSC based tissue repair and recently described human enthesis type 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3s) in human spinal ligament, the aim being to harness immunity to accelerate joint repair.

Dennis has published over 320 articles on these topics and has a Scholar H factor of 76. Dennis is Professor of Investigate Rheumatology and Section Head of Experimental Rheumatology at the Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine. He has served on the Editorial Boards of Arthritis & Rheumatism and Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, and has served as a member of the Scientific Committee of The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR).  He has also won international prizes for his work including the Verna Wright Prize in 2018 and the Philadelphia Rheumatism Pemberton Prize in 2018.