Who We Are

Welcome to The Irish Association of Pharmacology (IAP), a distinguished organization dedicated to representing Pharmacology and Therapeutics on the island of Ireland. Founded in the mid-1990s by the esteemed late Professor John Feely, a visionary researcher and clinician, the IAP remains committed to fostering the advancement of pharmacology locally and globally.

In 2016, the IAP gained formal recognition as an unincorporated association, solidifying its status as a reputable and influential entity within the field. Building upon the remarkable legacy of Professor Feely, our association strives to honor his ambitions and unwavering dedication to the development of pharmacology.

Our Future Aims

  • Advancing Pharmacology Research: We wholeheartedly promote both basic and clinical pharmacology research throughout the island of Ireland, fostering scientific discoveries that drive medical advancements and improve patient outcomes.
  • Facilitating Exchange and Collaboration: We provide a dynamic platform for scientists in Pharmacology & Therapeutics, as well as allied disciplines in research and industry, to exchange knowledge, ideas, and collaborate on innovative projects
  • Forging International Connections: As a member of esteemed international associations, we open doors to global forums and contacts, facilitating research, development, and fruitful international collaborations for our esteemed members.
  • Advocacy for Positive Change: By becoming an effective advocate for the field, we champion the interests of pharmacologists and promote policies that drive progress, improve healthcare, and contribute to the betterment of society.

Our Committee

President : Professor Christian Waeber

Prof Christian Waeber, Head of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at University College Cork, is a distinguished researcher with a remarkable career. He began as a Ph.D. student at Novartis Basel, where he characterized the pharmacological profile and signaling pathways of 5-HT1D receptors. Later, he conducted groundbreaking research at Harvard Medical School, investigating the role of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptors in blood vessels and the brain. Prof Waeber’s team has made significant strides in understanding S1P’s impact on cerebrovascular disorders, diabetes, atherosclerosis, pulmonary hypertension, and stroke recovery. Their work with fingolimod has shown promising results in protecting the brain from ischemia-induced damage, potentially revolutionizing stroke treatment.

Vice President: Professor Martina Hennessy

Prof. Martina Hennessy is an esteemed clinical pharmacologist and consultant physician at St. James’s Hospital Dublin, with clinical expertise in hypertension, cardiovascular risk, and medication safety. She serves as an Associate Professor in Consultant Medical Education at Trinity College Dublin. Prof. Hennessy’s notable contributions include her role as Clinical Director of the Wellcome-HRB Clinical Research Facility at St. James’s Hospital, overseeing over 300 studies, including 80 regulated clinical trials. Her exceptional leadership has led to significant advancements in aseptic compounding, GMP capacity, and expertise in advanced therapy and gene therapies for Hemophilia and Spinal Muscular Atrophy. As a founding Director of the Irish Clinical Academic Training Programme, she continues to be a driving force in medical education research with a focus on academic career development.

Secretary : Professor Dermot Cox

Professor Dermot Cox is the Pharmacology Lead at the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, renowned for his groundbreaking work in platelet-bacteria interactions. With a BSc in Pharmacology from the University College Dublin and a Ph.D. in Immunology from Dublin City University, his international expertise includes six years leading a GPllb/llla antagonist drug project in Japan. As an academic editor for PLOS One and an advisory board member of the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, Prof. Cox’s contributions to pharmacology are highly esteemed, while his dedication to teaching and consulting for pharmaceutical companies further solidifies his prominent position in the field.

Treasurer : Dr Orla Barry

Dr. Barry holds a PhD in Pharmacology and MA (H.Ed.) with a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from University College Cork, Ireland. Her research career includes post-doctoral positions in the US, focusing on isoprostanes as indicators of oxidant stress. She identified novel mitogenic signalling pathways in esophagogastric micrometastatic cancer during her time as a Health Research Board (HRB) fellow.

Dr. Barry’s current work revolves around understanding how tumour signalling events drive oncogenic progression and finding effective treatment options. Her research group studies serine/threonine kinases, like Paks, p38 MAPKs, and PKCs, investigating their role in proliferation, malignant transformation, cell death, and differentiation, particularly in oesophageal cancer. She also explores epigenetic changes in the genome as potential biomarkers for cancer detection and treatment response.