University Cork College
David Sheehan received a First Class Hons. BSc in Biochemistry from UCC in 1980 and then took his PhD in Biochemistry at Trinity College Dublin in 1985 for work on glutathione transferases (GSTs), important detoxification enzymes found in most organisms. He received a DSc for published work from the National University of Ireland in 2009 in recognition of his many peer-reviewed publications on proteins in general and enzymes in particular. Proteins are the agents of biological change and enzymes are proteins that act as catalysts making chemical reactions possible under very mild conditions of temperature, pressure and acidity such as we find in biology. Very few of the tens of thousands of chemical reactions that happen in even the simplest cells, would occur to any appreciable extent if it was not for enzymes. Prof Sheehan has continued to study GSTs throughout his career, but also became interested in stress-response proteins generally as markers of toxicity, especially in environmental toxicology. More recently, his group has become involved in study of entire protein complements of cells – the proteome – as this changes in response to pathology and/or toxicity. Prof Sheehan pioneered two dimensional electrophoresis studies in environmental toxicology and he has developed new methods for selecting subsets of proteins carrying specific chemical lesions. Prof Sheehan is a frequent grant and journal referee, member of the editorial boards of Drug Testing and Analysis, Toxins and International Journal of Proteomics and is a committee member of the British Biophysical Society. He received one of the first President¿s Awards for Excellence in Teaching in 2001 and is author of the internationally-acclaimed textbook Physical Biochemistry: Principles and Applications (Wileys, 2009).