Dr. Katherine Fitzgerald is a professor of medicine and Co-Director of the Program in Innate Immunity at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She received her B.Sc. in biochemistry from the University College Cork, Ireland and a Ph.D. from Trinity College in 1999. Since then she has worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Trinity College and joined the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 2004 as an assistant professor.
Among Fitzgerald’s many breakthroughs in medicine include the discovery of Mal/Tirap, a central adapter in TLR4 signing. Her work and writing in a number of prestigious medical journals continues to expand knowledge of immunology.
Fitzgerald is the recipient of numerous honors and awards throughout her illustrious career. In 2011 she was awarded the Irish Times Public Lecture Award, and in 2014 was given the BD-Investigator Award as well as the Eli Lilly and Elanco Company Award.This past St. Patrick’s Day, she was awarded the SFI St. Patrick’s Day Science Medal, an award given to Irish scientists who have excelled in either academic or industrial development. Taoiseach Enda Kenny said at the ceremony, “Professor Fitzgerald has made significant impact in her field of immunology, a research area for which Ireland is ranked first globally.”
Of her Irish heritage, Fitzgerald said, “I am very proud to be amongst an esteemed diaspora of Irish scientists, engineers, and technology leaders that have made the U.S. their home. I value the excellent training I received in Ireland which laid the foundation on which I established my own career.”