Luke O_Neill

Luke O’Neill

Professor of Biochemistry, Entrepreneur, Author, Science Ambassador

The world-leading immunologist proving the power of science and data as tools that serve humanity 


One of the world’s most influential scientists, with an increasingly global profile, multi award-winning Professor Luke O’Neill is passionate about engaging people on scientific topics. And with every audience—corporate, scientific or general—he succeeds. The recipient of the Science Communicator of the Year Award in 2020, Luke has made contributions regarding Covid-19 to Sky News, The Washington Post, Channel 4, Euronews and the Wall Street Journal.

In March 2021, University College Dublin awarded him the George Sigerson Award for Inspiring Aspiring Scientists. And in October 2021, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, announced that O’Neill would be one of three ambassadors for the government’s Creating Our Future campaign, which is asking the people of Ireland to engage in a conversation about the role research can and should play in addressing opportunities, challenges and hopes for the future.

Science in the Service of Humanity

In school, O’Neill’s strongest subject was English, but he soon turned to science for its potential for discovery, and today he very much sees himself (and other scientists) as an explorer. As a biochemist and leading immunologist (in the top 1% in the world), O’Neill is obsessed with the basics of how things work, down to the molecular level.

That passion is palpable wherever he speaks, as he visibly bubbles over with energy in his quest to explain how science works in the service of humanity. 

Illuminating, Entertaining, Funny Speaker

O’Neill is an accessible, warm and funny speaker who often brings his audience on tangents that are by turns illuminating and compelling. Seduced by his infectious enthusiasm and belief in the power of science to help us live better lives, people come away having learnt something new, or with a new understanding.  

Broadcaster, Author, Communicator

As well as regular slots with leading Irish broadcaster Newstalk, Luke is in demand globally as a contributor on scientific developments. Wherever he speaks, his humanity, expertise and positivity shine through. He has also written four books, Keep Calm and Trust the Science (October 2021): Never Mind the B#ll*cks, Here’s the Science (2020); Humanology: A Scientist’s Guide to our Amazing Existence; and The Great Irish Science Book.

In November 2020 Luke was named Science Communicator of the Year. In 2018, Clarivates named him one of the world’s most influential scientists. He is co-founder of three spin-out companies (Opsona Therapeutics, Inflazome and Sitryx), which are developing treatments for inflammatory diseases. He has won numerous awards for research including the European Federation of Immunology Societies medal, the International Cytokine and Interferon Society Milstein Award, The Royal Dublin Society Boyle Medal for Scientific Excellence, and The Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal for Life sciences. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016.

Luke is a natural communicator and is in demand as a motivational science speaker at large company events as well as delivering at boards, C-Suite roundtable and think tanks to help them plan for the future. Some of the companies that have engaged Luke recently include Aviva (see case study) Bank of Ireland, Cartrawler, Google (across Europe), Microsoft-Irish staff and the Fianna Fail Parliamentary Party. In his spare time, he is a keen musician and plays with his band – The Metabollix.


Innovation:  Understanding the process of innovation
Scientists live and die by innovation, but to succeed you have to be willing and brave enough to be wrong. In this keynote, Luke explores how the principles of scientific training can be adapted to business in order to give teams the confidence to take the risks we need to take to innovate successfully.  



  • The Science of Decision-Making. 
    Science is about predicting the future—about how things might work. In this talk, Luke elaborates on how adapting scientific research principles can support leaders to make better decisions, and get better results. 
  • Science for business leaders. Things to watch out for in the coming year that will help leaders better understand, predict and navigate their markets.

Get Informed with Luke O’Neill

With the vaccine roll-out underway and restrictions easing, everyone wants to know what to expect around Covid-19, vaccines and other treatments in the coming months. It’s also important to learn what you can do to stay well and help prevent serious illness.  

Make sure your team is up to date, confident and informed. In this webinar, Luke talks for 30-40 mins and then the audience gets to put their Covid-related questions to one of the top immunologists in the world.  


  • Update on Covid-19 
  • Review of the vaccines to date: efficacy, side effects, misinformation 
  • Boosting your immune system (Vitamin D, Iron & nasal sprays)
  • Antigen testing & home testing for Vitamin D/Iron
  • Planning travel, going to a restaurant, seeing your friends and family
  • Staying safe into the future





“Luke spoke at both our conferences, for international customers and for suppliers. On both occasions, he was outstanding – and the feedback (and marking) from our international attendees reflected that.  He combined deep subject matter expertise, with a very engaging style, and an ability to communicate in a manner that all could understand” Patrick Kennedy, Chairman, Car Trawler


“I just want to let you know that the talk with Luke went really well last Friday. We had 98 employees sign up which was a fantastic uptake. There were plenty of questions and the feedback has been great. I’ve had a few people mention to me that they’ve gone back in again to listen to it.” Virtual Staff Event, Bord Gais

“Thanks for helping us to arrange Prof. O’Neill for our webinar last night. Staff and customers are raving about him.” United Health Wholesale, Staff Event

“Thank you so much for appearing at our virtual conferences. I really appreciate you giving us some of your valuable time.The feedback on your segment has been amazingly strong with attendees really appreciating access to your enormous knowledge and your accessible, down to earth communication style. ” Cormac Barry, CEO, Car Trawler

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