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Professor Desmond O'Neill


PROFESSOR IN MEDICAL GERONTOLOGY (Trinity Inst. of Neurosciences (TCIN))


As a medical undergraduate of TCD, Prof O'Neill spent a year in Marseilles as a volunteer with a NGO working with older people. He subsequently trained as a geriatrician in St James's Hospital and the University of Bristol. Following an appointment as consultant geriatrician in Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham he returned to Dublin and currently is the senior academic in Medical Gerontology at the TCD campus at Tallaght University Hospital. His focus of research (h-index = 32) is rooted in gerontology and the neurosciences, with a strong emphasis on liaison with the humanities. He has pioneered a number of initiatives, including first Medical Director of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland; founder-Chair of Council on Stroke of Irish Heart Foundation; co-PI on first Irish longitudinal study on ageing (HESSOP-2); co-PI on Irish National Audits of Stroke and Dementia Care; founder-editor of first Irish gerontology journal 'Irish Ageing Studies Review'; chair of Irish government Working Group on Elder Abuse, producing blueprint 'Protecting Our Future'; co-founder National Centre for Arts and Health; member of team that developed the European Masters in Gerontology; co-PI on first Irish Cochrane Review on ageing; and founder member and subsequent president of the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society. He has subsequently led on the Irish Traffic Medicine Programme, which has developed innovative Certificates in Traffic Medicine and Road Safety with the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland. He has been extensively involved in the Age-Friendly University initiative, successfully proposing to adoption in TCD and the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, and on the steering committee of the founding Age-Friendly University, Dublin City University. He has been honoured as the first Irish gerontologist to be awarded Fellowship of the Gerontological Society of America, and first Irish geriatrician to be awarded Fellowship of the American Geriatrics Society.
  Age related diseases   AGED, AUTOMOBILE DRIVING   Ageing, memory and other cognitive processes   Ageing, stroke, dementia   ALZHEIMERS DISEASE   ALZHEIMERS-DISEASE   Biomedical ethics   DEGLUTITION   DEGLUTITION DISORDERS   DEMENTIA   DRIVING   Gerontology   MEMORY CLINICS   OLDER PERSONS   STROKE   TRANSPORT
 Healthy Ageing Research Project
 Irish National Stroke Audit
 Music Therapy in Stroke
 Artists in Hospitals
 Robotics in Stroke

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Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
French Fluent Fluent Fluent
German Basic Basic Basic
Details Date From Date To
Chair, Government Working Group on Elder Abuse 1999 2002
Chair, National Review Group on Implementation of Policy on Elder Abuse 2003 2010
President, Dublin University Biological Association 2001 2002
Medical Director, Alzheimer Society of Ireland 1993 2004
Founder/Chair, Council on Stroke, Irish Heart Foundation 1997 2009
Secretary, Irish Gerontological Society 2003 2008
Secretary, European Union Geriatric Medical Society 2006 2008
Founder Board Member, European Union Geriatric Medical Society 1999 2006
Member, OECD Working Group ERS4, Ageing and Transport: Mobility Needs and Safety Issues 1998 2001
President, Irish Gerontological Society 2008 2011
President-Elect, European Union Geriatric Medicine Society 2008 2009
President, European Union Geriatric Medicine Society 2010 2011
Member, International Advisory Board, World Demographic Association Forum 2011 2014
Co-Chair, RCPI Working Group on Fitness to Drive 2010 2011
Chair, National Centre for Arts and Health 2010
Immediate Past-President and member Executive Board, European Union Geriatric Medicine Society Jan 2012 Dec 2013
Executive Board Member, International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics, European Region (IAGG-ER) 2011 2015
Member, Editorial Board, European Geriatric Medicine 2011
Provisional member, Humanities and Arts Committee, Gerontological Society of America 2014 2016
Member, Humanities and Arts Committee, Gerontological Society of America 2016
Chair, Policy Group on Ageing, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland Feb 2016
Council Member, RCPI Oct 2014 Oct 2018
Chair of the Humanities and Arts Committee, Gerontological Society of America November 2018
Editorial Board, Journal of Transport and Health March 2018
Vice-Chair, Meath Foundation August 2017
Committee Member, Irish Transportation Research Network August 2018
Kulturgerontologie, medizinische Geisteswissenschaften und Ethik in, editor(s)Likar R, Kada O, Pinter G, Janig H, Cernic K, Sieber C , Ethische Herausforderungen des Alters, Stuttgart, Kohlhammer Verlag, 2019, pp171 - 177, [O'Neill D], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED  URL
Creativity and Healthy Aging in, editor(s)Coll P. , Healthy Aging: A Complete Guide to Clinical Management, New York, Springer, 2019, pp313 - 318, [O'Neill D], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Cognition and Health Aging in, editor(s)Coll, PP , Healthy Aging: A Complete Guide to Clinical Management,, New York, Springer-Verlag New York, 2019, pp169 - 180, [Briggs R, Kennelly S, O'Neill D], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Driving assessment in, editor(s)O'Hanlon S, Smith M , A comprehensive guide to rehabilitation of the older patient 4e , London, Churchil Livingstone, 2019, [O'Neill D], Book Chapter, IN_PRESS
O'Neill D, Culture in gerontology, Den åttende norske kongressen i geriatri, Oslo, 8-9 April, 2019, Norsk forening for geriatri, Invited Talk, PRESENTED
O'Neill D, Need for better understanding of the meaning and individual experience of ageing , International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics European Region 2019 Congress , Gothenburg, Sweden, 22-25 May, 2019, International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics European Region, Invited Talk, PRESENTED  URL
McDonald L, McCarthy P, Khan M, Hogan P, Kelleher E, Murphy P, Quinn J, Desmond R, McHugh J, Strickland M, Cahill M, Maung SW, Keohane C, O'Neill D, Ryan D, Mykytiv V, Enright H. , A Multicenter Report on the Natural History of Myelodysplastic Syndromes in Very Old Patients (aged over 85 years), Leukaemia and Lymphoma, 2019, Notes: [(epub ahead of print)], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Fitzpatrick D, Samuelsson O, Holmerová I, Martin FC, O'Neill D, Who are the main medical care providers of European nursing home residents? An EuGMS survey, European Geriatric Medicine, 10, (1), 2019, p135 - 139, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Monaghan O, O'Neill D, Lifetime housing, urban design and health, Ir Med J, 112, (2), 2019, pP865 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Gugliucci M, O'Neill D, Health Professions Education: Advancing Geriatrics/Gerontology Competencies through Age Friendly University Guiding Principles, Journal of Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, 2019, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL

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O'Neill D, The Humanities and Me: Desmond O'Neill, 2019, -, Miscellaneous, PUBLISHED
O'Neill D, Politicians are ignoring obvious solutions to the health crisis, Irish Times, 2018, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
O'Neill D, Medical Humanities Blog: Celebrating Gounod at Tavistock House on his Bicentenary, 2018, -, Miscellaneous, PUBLISHED
O'Neill D, Orthopaedica Hibernica, Review of Orthopaedica Hibernica, by Fitzpatrick D, Fogarty O, Nixon J , Irish Medical Times, 2018, p38 , Notes: [7 September], Review, PUBLISHED
O'Neill D, BMJ Blog: Singing in the New Year, 2017, -, Miscellaneous, PUBLISHED
O'Neill D, BMJ Blog: Technology and the Medical Humanities, 2017, -, Miscellaneous, PUBLISHED
O'Neill D, Mercenary conduct - An Irishman's Diary on two Wild Geese and the murder of Albrecht von Wallenstein, 2017, -, Notes: [Irishman's Diary, 20th Feb], Miscellaneous, PUBLISHED
O'Neill D, BMJ Blog: Eros and Methuselah-love and sexuality are important parts of human wellbeing, 2017, -, Miscellaneous, PUBLISHED
O'Neill D, Medical Humanities Blog: The European Doctors Orchestra and the Irish Medical Choir, 2017, -, Miscellaneous, PUBLISHED
O'Neill D, BMJ Blog: Combating bar-stool gerontology, 2016, -, Miscellaneous, PUBLISHED


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Award Date
Sheppard Memorial Prize, Irish College of General Practitioners 1982
Peter Beckett Memorial Prize, Dept of Psychiatry, TCD 1982
Elizabeth Brown Prize, British Geriatrics Society 1988
Fellowship, American Geriatrics Society 2006
All-Ireland Inspirational Life Award March 2010
Marjory Warren Lecturer, British Geriatrics Society May 20111
Irish Heart Foundation National Stroke Champion 22 November 2011
University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine Humanism in Aging Leadership Award January 2013
Visiting Professor, Australian and New Zealand Geriatric Medicine Society June 2013
Guest Editor, Geriatric Medicine CME, Clinical Medicine April 2014
Fellowship, Gerontological Society of America June 2014
Joseph T Freeman Award, Gerontological Society of America Nov 2014
Inaugural Presidential Medal and Lecture, Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Sept 2015
Irish Healthcare Award: Best Education Project: Traffic Medicine Project 5 Nov 2015
Irish Healthcare Award: Best Education Meeting: Traffic Medicine 5 Nov 2015
Adjunct Professor, Dept Psychology, Maynooth University 2018
L J Hurwitz Memorial Lecture 2019, Queen's University Belfast 30 May 2019