The American Academy of Microbiology have elected Prof. McInerney to its membership.
According to the American Society for Microbiology, which is the awarding body:
Each elected Fellow has built an exemplary career in basic and applied research, teaching, clinical and public health, industry or government service. Election to Fellowship indicates recognition of distinction in microbiology by one’s peers. Over 200 Academy Fellows have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, while many have also been honored with Nobel Prizes, Lasker Awards, and the National Medal of Science.
The American Academy of Microbiology has awarded membership of the academy to 2,700 scientists over the past 50 years and Professor McInerney is only the fifth Irish scientist to have been given this award.
Professor McInerney credits his election to the solid grounding in microbiology that he received while studying at NUI Galway and in particular the dedication of one of his mentors at that time, the late Dr. Richie Powell.
“Richie was quite the inspiration – a scientist passionate about his work. He died hillwalking at the age of 41. Obviously, numerous other people have helped me along the way, but I would like to dedicate this award to Richie, I’m pretty sure I would not have gotten very far if he hadn’t instilled in me an enthusiasm for microbiology, teaching and research”.
Professor McInerney’s work has focussed on understanding the merging of evolving entities into one another – for example, horizontal (lateral) gene transfer in prokaryotes and the merging event that led to the formation of the first eukaryote cells.
(The photo shows Prof. McInerney, his mother, Mary and his son Evan on the day of his DSc conferring, September 2013)