A leading Biotech scientist and entrepreneur in the US has donated $100,000 to Ulster University to support scholarships for medical students in the North West.
Dr Susan K Whoriskey is a research scientist and pioneering biotechnology entrepreneur with strong Donegal roots traced back to Creeslough.
Dr Whoriskey has a strong family tradition of research in medicine. As a result of her Donegal roots, she sought to made a transformational gift to Ulster University’s newly launched Medical Education Fund. Her generous donation of $100,000 through the Irish American Partnership will support three students through each year of their four-year degree at the School of Medicine.
Speaking from her home in Massachusetts, Dr Whoriskey said: “As human beings we are most vulnerable when we or a loved one is sick. Educating doctors is a moral value for caring for others. What better way for me to put my belief into practice than to step up myself to support these medical students. I hope that my gift inspires others to give to the Ulster University School of Medicine. As the first medical school in that area, it will provide doctors to serve in that community – truly a gift that keeps on giving.”
Dr Whoriskey has worked with Moderna since it was a start-up and has been involved in the founding of several top biotech companies, including Cubist, Momenta and Vera, all of which are working on a Covid-19 vaccine. She has also been Entrepreneur in Residence at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Dr Whoriskey who is an Honorary Graduate of Ulster University, has rich ties to the North West and there is a strong family tradition of research in medicine:
- Dr Whoriskey’s Great-Grandfather, John Whoriskey from Creeslough, Co. Donegal departed Derry in a boat during the Great Irish Famine.
- His son, John J. Whoriskey, went on to study at Harvard Medical School. John J. (who was Susan’s Grandfather) ran smallpox vaccination clinics and cared for Tuberculosis patients and victims of the 1918 flu pandemic.
- John J. Whoriskey passed down his love of medicine to his sons whom both attended Harvard and Tufts Medical School.
- Susan’s father Frederick was the Medical Director of the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Memorial Hospital and Chief of Staff at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, where he vaccinated children against polio.
Today, Dr Whoriskey is keeping the family legacy alive through her pioneering work as a biotechnology entrepreneur.
Foundation Dean of the School of Medicine, Professor Louise Dubras who will lead the School of Medicine said: “We want the next generation of our healthcare workforce to truly represent the communities they will serve. Widening access to the opportunity to study medicine is something we are passionate about at Ulster University and our School of Medicine which will train community-focused, globally ambitious doctors. We have already seen our community come together, with local and global companies such as Optum Ireland coming on board, as well as individual donors.
“We are immensely grateful to Dr Whoriskey for her transformative gift which demonstrates a deep commitment to medical students in the North West, an area close to her heart given her deep family roots here. We hope Susan’s visionary gift will inspire others to support the widening of access to study medicine at Ulster University”.Tags: