Professor Mark W.J. Ferguson commenced as Director General of Science Foundation Ireland in January 2012 and as Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland in October 2012. Professor Ferguson is Chair of the European Commission Pilot Advisory Board for the European Innovation Council and is a founding member of the Small Advanced Economies Initiative. He was Chair of the eHealth Ireland Committee, (2015 – 2017), a member of the EU High Level Expert Group on Horizon 2020 Impact (2017) and has been involved in a number of international reviews of R&D systems, including Hungary, Denmark and Canada. Previously he was Professor in Life Sciences at the University of Manchester (since 1984) and co-founder, CEO and Chairman of Renovo Group plc (1998-2011).
He is the recipient of numerous international research awards including the 2002 European Science Prize (jointly), and is the author of 329 research papers and book chapters, 61 patent families and author / editor of 8 books. He has contributed to a number of scientific films, documentaries, TV and radio programmes and held offices in 16 international scientific societies, including President of the European Tissue Repair Society. He has wide ranging research interests in cellular and molecular mechanisms in scarring and wound healing, developmental mechanisms in normal and cleft palate formation, alligator and crocodile biology including temperature dependent sex determination.
Mark graduated from the Queens University of Belfast with degrees in Dentistry (BDS 1st class honours), Anatomy and Embryology (BSc 1st class honours, PhD) and Medical Sciences (DMedSc), holds Fellowships from the Royal Colleges of Surgeons in Ireland (FFD), and Edinburgh (FDS), Fellowship of the Irish Academy of Engineering and is a Founding Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci). He is a member or Fellow of a number of learned Societies, and was made a “Commander of the British Empire” (CBE) by the Queen in 1999 for services to Health and Life Sciences.