Research & Innovation

Clare Hurler Scores Teagasc Fulbright Scholarship to Harvard

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Clare Hurler Scores Teagasc Fulbright Scholarship to Harvard

Clare Hurler Scores Teagasc Fulbright Scholarship to Harvard
June 13
11:42 2018

An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Simon Coveney, TD, and Chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Ireland, Reece Smyth, announced 37 Fulbright Irish Awardees for 2018-2019 at a recent awards ceremony in the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence, Phoenix Park. Shane O’Donnell, a Teagasc Walsh Fellow PhD student based at Teagasc, Moorepark Food Research Centre and a member of the Clare senior hurling team received the Teagasc-Fulbright Award.

Shane O’Donnell is a Teagasc Walsh Fellow PhD student based at Teagasc, Moorepark (APC Microbiome Ireland) and is pursuing his PhD in association with University College Cork (UCC). He has previously received a BSc in Genetics at UCC. His current research focuses on the effect the genus Lactobacillus has on human health through its impact on the gut microbiota. As a Fulbright student to Professor Jing Kang’s laboratory in Harvard University for a period of six months, he will conduct a trial analysing the impact Lactobacillus casei has on the gut microbiome. Specifically, he will look at the role of L. casei in ameliorating symptoms associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, utilising a transgene mouse model capable of maintaining an ideal Omega 3/Omega 6 ratio.

Shane O’Donnell’s PhD is co-supervised by Professor Catherine Stanton, Teagasc and Professor Paul Ross, UCC and is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s Food Institutional Research Measure (FIRM). Shane O’Donnell said: “I am honoured to receive such a prestigious award and to be part of such a high-achieving cohort of individuals. I am thoroughly looking forward to continuing my research in Harvard and embracing every experience that this opportunity will bring.”

An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Simon Coveney, TD, said: “I am delighted to extend my warmest congratulations to the 37 Irish Fulbright Awardees for 2018–2019. People are at the heart of the extraordinary relationship between Ireland and the United States, and the Fulbright Commission has an unrivalled record in selecting the very best people as Fulbrighters. This year’s Awardees will have the exciting opportunity to study, work, and experience life in the U.S., to forge new relationships, and to represent the best of contemporary Ireland to the United States. I wish this year’s awardees every success for their time in the United States.”

Chargé d’affaires Reece Smyth, U.S. Embassy, said: “I warmly congratulate the 2018-2019 cohort of Irish Awardees. The Fulbright Awards are highly competitive, globally recognised, and associated with excellence and prestige. We are proud to have such bright minds embarking on educational and cultural exchanges to the United States, and we look forward to seeing the fruits of their studies and research when they return to Ireland.”

The Fulbright Programme in Ireland was established in 1957 and annually awards grants for Irish citizens to study, research, or teach in the U.S. and for Americans to do the same in Ireland. Since its formation over 2,000 postgraduate students, scholars, professionals, and teachers across all disciplines have participated in the programme between the U.S. and Ireland. The Commission is supported by the U.S. Department of State and the Irish Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs. It is also a registered charity. The next round of applications for Fulbright Irish Awards will open on 31st August 2018, interested applicants should visit for more information.


Winner of the Teagasc-Fulbright award for 2018 Shane O’Donnell, Teagasc Walsh Fellow, with Dr Lance O’Brien, Head of Foresight, Strategic Development & Business Planning, Teagasc.

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