Irish-American scientist Returns to her Roots and Inspires Locals

2016-05-24 Dr Mary Guinan-8417Local development company Atlantic Corridor in collaboration with the ‘United States Embassy Creative Minds Series’ was pleased to welcome a most inspirational speaker and author, Dr. Mary Guinan to the region earlier this week.

During her time in the Midlands, Dr. Guinan addressed a number of secondary schools students in Westmeath and Offaly, telling stories about her barrier-crossing career in science and worked to encourage more young people to consider science as a future course of study and work. Mary Guinan, PhD, MD, was the founding dean of the School of Community Health Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and is now professor emerita. She was the first woman to serve as the chief scientific advisor to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She has roots in Co. Offaly and was proud to be taking part in a series of public events in schools and other venues to promote science and technology education in the region. This was all carried out through her association with the Midlands Science Diaspora, a network that is being developed by Atlantic Corridor.

Dr.Guinan commented,

‘A key focus of Atlantic Corridor’s work is placed upon deepening relationships with diaspora members with a background in science, engineering or a related industry discipline so I was delighted to come to the Midlands this week to share some of my own experiences and background with people here of all ages. There are many Irish and Irish American people who have made a significant contribution to science abroad but future success will be achieved through collaborations, sharing of knowledge and working together. The Midlands science diaspora project provides a platform for like-minded people to connect and hopefully create mutually beneficial opportunities, particularly those with a STEM related focus and I was delighted to be a part of that this week in Offaly and Westmeath.’

In addition to school visits and meetings with like-minded public health and science professionals, a special public interview was held in the Tullamore Court Hotel where Dr. Guinan talked about her fascinating career in science, her brand new book, ‘Adventures of a Female Medical Detective’ and this was followed by discussion, debate and learnings. A visit to Integra LifeSciences was also arranged as part of the visit. Integra LifeSciences, a world leader in medical technology, is dedicated to limiting uncertainty for surgeons, so they can concentrate on providing the best patient care. Integra offers innovative solutions in orthopaedic extremity surgery, neurosurgery, and reconstructive and general surgery. The Tullamore facility opened its doors in December 2006 and has grown from 5 employees to over 105 employees in its 10 successful years of operations.

Jackie Gorman, CEO of Atlantic Corridor said,

‘We have enjoyed a very successful week-long programme of events with Mary Guinan and feel it has been really beneficial, particularly towards our quest to encourage and excite more young people about the wide range of career choices science can offer. We would like to thank everyone for supporting the various events that we provided during the week and we look forward to connecting with many other members of the global Irish who may be able to make that valuable educational difference here in the Midlands in the future.’