Dr Rosemarie Carew from Drombane has become the first Irish person to win the prestigious FEBS journal prize for young scientists, with a cash prize of E10,000.
A past-pupil of the Ursuline Secondary School, Thurles, Rosemarie was recognised by FEBS (Federation of European Biochemical Societies) for being the first author of a paper judged to be the best by a graduate student or young post-doctoral research worker published in FEBS journal 2011.
Rosemarie, 29, was awarded her prize in Seville, Spain where she attended a plenary FEBS ceremony and gave a 20 minute presentation on her work.
Speaking about winning the award, Rosemarie said: “I was in shock when I first heard the news. It was three years since I had done the research and a lot had happened in the meantime so I had never expected this.”
Submitted in February 2011 and published in September 2011, winning the award had never occurred to Dr Carew who is currently working as a pharmacologist for Firecrest Clinical in Limerick.
Rosemarie carried out her PhD research in UCD Conway Institute and UCD Diabetes Research Centre under the supervision of Dr Derek Brazil, who said: “Her paper focused on the role of a molecule called IRS2 which she found played an important role in the processes involved in kidney damage that we might see during diabetes for example.
“I am continuing this work in my laboratory and results from Rosemarie’s thesis will form the basis of new grant applications in my lab here in Queen’s University Belfast.”
Rosemarie’s current role as a pharmacologist allows her to mix her college, research and industry experience and is a happy medium for her.
“I’m working in an area doing clinical trials, dealing more with patients and I really like what I’m doing as I’m in a different area every week,” adds Dr Carew.
Parents, Joan and Seamus were delighted to accompany their daughter to Seville to receive her award but Joan admits they weren’t entirely aware of the prestige of the prize until they were at the conference with 600 scientists.
Mrs Carew said: “We were mesmerised by the whole experience. Rosemarie was very low-key about it and we didn’t realise the significance of it really until we met Dr Brazil.”
Discussing what she might spend her E10,000 on, Rosemarie said: “I haven’t received it yet so it’s hard to imagine spending it until I actually have it in the bank, but a holiday might be on the cards.