Almac McKervey Award Presented for Excellence in Chemistry

July 2, 2019

Craigavon, N.I., 01 July 2019 Almac Group, the global contract pharmaceutical development and manufacturing organisation, has today announced this year’s recipient of the ‘Almac McKervey Award for Excellence in Organic Chemistry’.

The award, established in 2018 as a commemoration to the life and work of one of Ireland’s most distinguished scientists, Professor Tony McKervey, who passed away in June 2017, was made to Queen’s University Belfast MSci Chemistry student, Jonathan Farrell.

Prof Tom Moody, VP Technology Development and Commercialisation, Almac Sciences, presented the award to Jonathan during the Queen’s School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Graduation awards ceremony on 28th June. Jonathan, who is from Richhill, also received a £1,500 bursary towards his tuition fees and a 12 month placement with Almac to gain practical industry experience and mentorship.

Born in Ederney, Co Fermanagh in 1938, Tony earned a degree in Chemistry from Queen’s in 1961. A former Professor of Organic Chemistry at both University College Cork and Queen’s University Belfast, Tony founded Almac’s Sciences Business Unit in 1992 and continued to support Almac as a member of the Sciences’ senior management team until his death at the age of 78.

Professor McKervey was an esteemed academic and an industry expert, having received the ASTRA Award of the Royal Dublin Society in 1986 and the Boyle-Higgins Gold Medal of the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland in 1993.  He also authored over 270 published research papers in world-renowned journals.

Prof Moody said: “I am pleased to present today’s Almac McKervey Award to Jonathan in memory of our esteemed colleague and friend Tony.  Jonathan has demonstrated exemplary performance throughout his degree to date and I hope, that in receiving this recognition today, he will progress to a long and rewarding career in chemistry. Many congratulations.”

Upon receiving the award, Jonathan said: “I am thrilled to accept this prestigious award from Almac and Queen’s. The practical experience I will gain during my work placement at Almac will enable me to deepen my knowledge and understanding of organic chemistry as I learn from the experts. Professor McKervey was such an inspiration to students and I am humbled to receive an award in his name.”

Dr Gary Sheldrake, Deputy Head of School, said: “Our connection with Almac and Professor McKervey in both research and teaching go back many years to the very roots of the company. We are delighted that Almac has decided to remember Tony by establishing this prestigious Award and we wish to extend our congratulations to Jonathan as well for this recognition of his achievement.”

Following the ceremony, Jonathan’s name was added to the perpetual commemorative wall plaque at the David Keir building at Queen’s- a replica of which is displayed at Almac’s global headquarter facility in Craigavon.

The Almac McKervey Award, which is open to students studying Chemistry or Medicinal Chemistry at the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Queen’s, is presented each year to the top applicant, selected on both their academic achievement and performance at an interview with Almac’s chemistry experts.


Notes to Editor

About Almac Group
‘Partnering to Advance Human Health’

The Almac Group is an established contract development and manufacturing organisation that provides an extensive range of integrated services to the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors globally. The services range from R&D, biomarker discovery development and commercialisation, API manufacture, formulation development, clinical trial supply, IRT (IVRS/IWRS) through to commercial-scale manufacture.

The international company is a privately owned organisation that has grown organically over the past five decades now employing over 5600 highly skilled personnel across 18 facilities including Europe, the US and Asia. Click here to view our facilities.

We have a global reputation for excellence built over 50 years of client service, delivering expertise right across the drug development lifecycle and offering a tailored solution to each of our clients.

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