Thursday 14 December 2017

Mayglass to welcome researcher Eamonn Keogh who has been backed by the Gates foundation for malaria research

By Amy Lewis

Dr Eamonn Keogh
Dr Eamonn Keogh

A Dublin-born computer scientist who has been funded €72,000 by the Gates foundation for his malaria research will pay a visit to Mayglass Primary School this Friday.

Dr Eamonn Keogh, who is now a professor of computer science and engineering in the University of California Riverside, will hold a talk and workshop for fourth, fifth and sixth class pupils on fingerprints and DNA. It will be the first time he has run a talk in the county, having paid visits to schools in Dublin, Japan, South America and elsewhere as part of his series of NFS-funded talks .

Dr Keogh attracted international attention in 2010 when he beat more than 2,400 applicants in a bid for a €72,000 grant from Bill and Melinda Gates' Foundation. The grant was given to him to fund research on a sensor-based device which helps to identify malaria-carrying insects based on their wingbeat frequency. If successful, this project could help scientists to combat the disease, which causes more than one million deaths a year.

Dr Keogh has published more than 130 papers and won several awards for both his research and his teaching skills. However, the he didn't have an easy journey to get to where he is today. After dropping out of Coláiste Caoimhin CBS in Dublin aged 15, he began working as an apprentice car painted at Crofton Motors in Kimmage. In 1987, he travelled to the US, where he worked in mechanical jobs, building and designing bikes and restoring cars to put himself through community college and then university.

Eamonn's sister Fiona Power now lives in Kilmore Quay with her husband Jim Power and their son Tommy. Nine-year-old Tommy is currently a pupil at Mayglass and it is this link that led to the organisation of Eamonn's upcoming visit.

'The kids are really excited. It's something different for them,' said 'proud sister' Fiona. 'Eamonn is a really interesting man. He will spend about 70 minutes doing a workshop on fingerprints and how they are being used in DNA. He might also explain where he lives and what he does.'

Eamonn will jetted into Dublin last night (Monday) and will stay in Ireland for six days. Along with giving a talk in Mayglass, he will return to his former primary school in Harold's Cross in Dublin to speak with the pupils.

Wexford People

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