Michael Stewart McNulty

  • Born: 1944 (United Kingdom)
  • Inducted: 2013
Stewart McNulty was born in Dublin, Ireland, and graduated from the University of Dublin, Trinity College with a veterinary degree in 1967 and a PhD in biochemistry in 1971. His PhD work involved purifying a bacterial DNA polymerase and investigating its polymerase and nuclease activities. A move into virology appeared to offer a means to combine his veterinary and biochemistry training. He successfully applied for a lectureship in veterinary virology at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, and worked there from 1971 until 1975. He then moved to Belfast to the virology department at the Veterinary Research Laboratories (VRL) at Stormont. He succeeded Brian McFerran as head of the virology department in 1986, and to the joint appointment of Chief Veterinary Research Officer in the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (with responsibility for all aspects of the work of VRL) and Professor of Veterinary Science in Queen's University Belfast in 1992.  He took early retirement in 2001 due to clinical depression.

Stewart has published approximately 150 papers in peer-reviewed journals, covering both mammalian and avian viruses, and largely prompted by diagnostic submissions to the laboratory. He was a member of the Stormont team that first isolated and characterised egg drop syndrome virus in the late 1970s. Subsequently he worked on viruses that he had detected in avian faeces using direct electron microscopy. These included turkey and chicken rotaviruses and chicken enterovirus-like viruses; many of the latter are now known to be astroviruses. He has also worked extensively on chicken anaemia virus. He was awarded the R F Gordon medal in 1995 and the Tom Newman Memorial Award in 1996 for his contributions to poultry science. He became a member of the Houghton Trust in 2012.

A keen sportsman, Stewart has 63 international hockey caps for Ireland. He captained the Irish team and has coached men's and women's hockey teams at club and international level. He still averages five gym sessions per week. He also enjoys walking, and reading novels and political comment. Married to Margaret since 1970, he has two daughters, Anna and Katrina.

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