Aoibhinn & Company with Professor Sir Stephen O'Rahilly
This week, Aoibhinn spends an hour in the company of Professor Sir Stephen O'Rahilly. Originally from Dublin, Steve was recently knighted for his services to medical sciences. He is currently Professor of Clinical Biochemistry and Medicine at Cambridge University.
Steve explains to Aoibhinn how he heard about the proposal to offer him an knighthood and how he decided to become a British citizen in order to accept the full honour. He described the ceremony at Windsor Castle.
Steve was awarded his knighthood for his work in researching obesity and uncovering the genetic causes of some rare forms of obesity. He describes how he first became involved in this work through trying to solve the medical problems of an individual patient and how he continues to do his research in tandem with treating patients. The physician scientist is common in England but rare in Ireland.
Steve based himself in Cambridge as it was an emerging centre for clinical research. In remaining there, he had the support of his late wife Susie. Susie died two years ago and Steve paints a picture of a warm and vibrant woman.
Dublin remains central to Steve in that he considers himself a Dubliner and was reared in the city. He recalls his childhood and how his father's decision to buy him copies of Scientific American as a teenager influenced the course of his professional life. He returns regularly to the city and notes that Dubliners have treated their changing fortunes with equally.
He chose John Martin May You Never; Glen Miller A Nightingale Sang on Berkley Square and Act 2, scene 10 from The Marriage of Figaro and the final scene from Die Rosenkavalier.