Pat Guiry, full Professor of Synthetic Organic Chemistry at the University College Dublin, School of Chemistry and Director of the Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology, will take up the position as the 58th President of the Royal Irish Academy with immediate effect.
Prof. Guiry’s research specialises in synthetic organic chemistry, with interests in both the development of asymmetric synthetic methodology through the application of new chiral ligands in homogeneous metal-catalysed transformations, and in the total synthesis of compounds of biological interest. Since 2013, Pat has been an SSPC strand leader, his group developed the first catalytic asymmetric synthesis of isoflavanones, an important class of natural products, with potential anti-cancer and anti-microbial therapeutic capabilities.
Now a Co-Principal investigator with SSPC, Pat’s group works to develop new methodologies for the asymmetric synthesis of existing APIs and future drug candidates with particular focus on the discovery and application of organometallic complexes for industrially-relevant and small molecule organocatalysts for industrially-relevant, synthetic transformations.
Pat Guiry grew up in County Tipperary and attended the Patrician Brothers Primary School and the Patrician Brothers / Presentation Sisters Secondary School in Fethard. He studied at University College Dublin (UCD), B.Sc. 1986 and Ph.D. 1990 with Professor Dervilla Donnelly and was a visiting student in the group of Nobel Prize winner, Professor Sir Derek Barton FRS. He carried out postdoctoral research in asymmetric catalysis with John M. Brown FRS (Oxford University).
He joined UCD in 1993 and is currently the Director of the Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology and Full Professor of Synthetic Organic Chemistry since 2006. His research interests include the design, synthesis, and application of novel ligands in asymmetric catalysis, natural product synthesis, and medicinal chemistry. He has supervised 59 Ph.D. students to graduation to date, worked with 24 postdoctoral fellows and supervised over 120 final year undergraduate project students. His work has been published in over 180 peer-reviewed papers, review articles and book chapters.
He was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2013 and is an elected member of the UCD Governing Authority (third term) and of the Senate of the National University of Ireland (third term). He was the Science Secretary of the Royal Irish Academy from 2016−2020 and is the President of the Institute of Chemistry in Ireland from 2019−present and President of the EuChemS Division of Organic Chemistry.
He chairs the Board of the Young Scientist & Technology Ltd and is a Head Judge in the Chemistry/Physics/Mathematics category. He was recipient of the UCD President’s Teaching Award in 1999, the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland’s Boyle-Higgins Medal in 2014 and the Science Foundation Ireland Mentorship Award in 2020. A keen tennis player, with 19 Irish national titles to date, he represented Ireland in 2022 in the Austria Cup (ITF World Team Competition) in Florida.
We wish Pat every success in his role.