The Jerry Dolovich Memorial Lectureship was awarded for the 15th time this year by the American Academy of Asthma Allergy and Immunology. Trinity Professor in Dermatology, Alan Irvine, and Consultant Dermatologist at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital and St James’s Hospital was the first Irish clinical scientist to be awarded this honour. He presented the prize lectureship on February 23rd last to a meeting of several thousand clinicians and scientists in San Antonio, Texas. Irvine has been awarded the honour in recognition of discoveries made with his long time collaborator Irwin McLean of the University of Dundee over the past seven years. These discoveries have shed light on the importance of the skin barrier in the development of eczema, asthma and allergic disease and have changed how these diseases are understood.
Professor Irvine has been Consultant Dermatologist in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital and St James’s Hospital since 2002 where he has developed a department that sees approximately 7,000 children per annum with specialist clinics in atopic dermatitis, vascular birthmarks, laser treatments and genetic skin disease. He is also attached to the National Children’s Research Centre. His adult clinics provide a service for complex atopic dermatitis and genodermatoses.
He qualified in Medicine from Queen’s University Belfast in 1991 and in 1998 he was awarded a research doctorate (MD) in Human Genetics, also from Queen’s University. He completed Dermatology Higher Professional Training in Belfast, with a CCST award in July 1999 and then undertook fellowships in paediatric dermatology; in London (Great Ormond Street Hospital/ Institute of Child Health) and Chicago (Children’s Memorial Hospital/Northwestern University), where he was a Fulbright Scholar.
His research interests are in epithelial genetics, initially in relation to single gene disorders and more recently in complex disease, in particular atopic dermatitis. Current research interests are focused on the interplay between genetics, physical skin barrier characteristics, the microbiome and immunogical responses in early onset atopic dermatitis.