Luke O’Neill investigates inflammation –a highly complex process that is provoked in the body during infection by bacteria and viruse but also in response to trauma and injury. Inflammation restores us to health but for largely unknown reasons it can go rogue and give rise to a whole range of inflammatory diseases which remain difficult to treat.
He has worked on innate immunity, which lies at the heart of inflammation. He has uncovered new molecules and biochemical processes that are triggered by sensors of infection and tissue injury, including the Toll-like receptors and inflammasomes, and the signals they drive that stimulate inflammation, notably cytokines including interleukin-1. He is using his findings to help in the effort to develop badly-needed anti-inflammatory medicines.
He was awarded the Royal Dublin Society / Irish Times Boyle Medal for scientific excellence in 2009, the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal for Life Sciences in 2012 and the European Federation of Immunology Societies Medal in 2014. He was elected a member of EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organisation) in 2005.
Chair and Professor of Biochemistry, School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College Dublin