UCD Home | About UCD | UCD News & Events | Virtual Tour | Contact UCD | Staff Directories | UCD Sitemap | UCD Connect


INSPIRE is a consortium of all Irish third level institutions with international leading research capability in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. INSPIRE was funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) via PRTLI4.


INSPIRE is a collaborative framework which aims at establishing Ireland as an internationally-recognised centre of excellence in Nanoscience research and graduate education. It provides shared access to advanced instrumentation, graduate courses and new strategic partnerships. The three key research domains in INSPIRE are Nanoelectronics, Nanophotonics and Bionanoscience. In each domain there is clear evidence of existing research excellence, collaboration across institutions, international research leadership and value-added relationships with industry. In addition, these domains and the connections between them have been identified strategically and are structured to allow Nanoscience nationally to play an increasing role in other National programs.

Prof. Kenneth Dawson currently chairs the BioNano research strand which has been extremely successful in encouraging collaboration across institutions within the consortium and to the wider community. The INSPIRE BioNano International Conference was held in Oct 2009 entitled “BioNano: Inspiring Responsible Development for Society and the Environment”, and attracted over 100 participants from Ireland and abroad. Following its success BioNano postgraduate workshops were held in Oct 2010 in the Conway Institute, University College Dublin.

INSPIRE is a collaboration between:

Investing in your future  


Trinity College Dublin (CRANN)

  • John Boland
  • Diarmuid O’Brien
  • Paul Miney

University of Limerick (MSSI)

  • Edmond Magner
  • Tofail Syed
  • Gordon Armstrong

University College Cork (Tyndall)

  • Roger Whatmore
  • Paul Galvin
  • Eoin O’Reilly
  • Mary-Claire O’Regan

Dublin Institute of Technology (FOCAS)

  • Hugh Byrne (Vice-chair BioNano Strand)
  • Alan Casey
  • Ailbhe Macken
  • Gordon Chambers
  • Laura Walsh

Dublin City University (NCPST & RINCE)

  • Robert Forester
  • Liam Barry
  • Tia Keyes

National University of Ireland, Galway (LightHOUSE)

  • Gerard O’Connor
  • Richard Sherlock
  • Yuri Rochev
  • Claire O’Connell

Cork Institute of Technology (CIT)

Representative Publications

  • Monopoli M., Walczyk D., Lowry-Campbell A., Elia G., Lynch I., Baldelli Bombelli F., Dawson K. A. Physical-chemical Aspects of Protein Corona: relevance to in vitro and in vivo biological impacts of nanoparticles. 2010, J Am Chem Soc. In press
  • Naha P. C., Bhattacharya K., Tenuta T., Dawson K. A., Lynch I., Gracia A., Lyng F M., Byrne H. J. Intracellular localisation, geno- and cytotoxic response of polyN-isopropylacrylamide (PNIPAM) nanoparticles to human keratinocyte (HaCaT) and colon cells (SW 480). 2010, Toxicol Lett. Epub ahead of print]
  • Bexiga, M., Varela, J., Wang, F., Fenaroli, F., Salvati, A., Lynch, I., Simpson, J. C., Dawson, K.A Cationic nanoparticles induce caspase 3-, 7- and 9-mediated cytotoxicity in a human astrocytoma cell line. Nanotoxicology, 2010 Dec 15. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Lesniak A., Campbell A., Lynch I., Salvati A., Dawson K.A.  Serum heat inactivation affects protein corona composition and nanoparticle uptake. 2010, Biomaterials. Published
  • Naha, P.C., Casey, A., Tenuta, T., Lynch, I., Dawson, K.A., Byrne, H.J., Davoren, M. Preparation, characterization of NIPAM and NIPAM/BAM copolymer nanoparticles and their acute toxicity testing using an aquatic test battery. Aquat Toxicol. 2009, 92, 146-154.
  • Monopoli M. P., Bombelli F. B., Dawson K. A., Nanobiotechnology:nanoparticle coronas take shape. Nature Nanotechnol. 2011, 6(1), 11-2.