December 17, 2002
Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology is officially launched

The President of UCD, Dr Art Cosgrove, officially launched the Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology (CSCB) after the conclusion of its first symposium entitled “Recent advances in Synthesis and Chemical Biology”, which took place on December 17th at UCD’s Astra Hall. 

The CSCB - a collaborative venture between Trinity College Dublin (TCD), the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland (RCSI) and UCD - is one of the key parts of the Conway Institute and the major component of the UCD submission in 2001 to Cycle 3 of the Higher Education Authority’s Programme for Research in Third Level Education. Present at the launch were Professor John Hegarty, Provost of TCD, and Professor Kevin O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer of RCSI as well as Professor Pat Guiry, Dr Paul Murphy and Dr Donal O’Shea, the research leaders of the CSCB.

Launch photo
Professor Pat Guiry (CSCB); Dr Art Cosgrove (President of UCD);
Dr John Hegarty (Provost of TCD); Dr Paul Murphy (CSCB); Dr Donal O’Shea (CSCB) and Professor Kevin O’Malley (Chief Executive Officer of RCSI)

At the official opening event, the President, Dr Art Cosgrove, commended the initiative, which facilitates the strategic development of the institution’s research capabilities, enhances the quality and relevance of graduates, and supports high quality inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional research. He added that UCD strategically chose to focus on the research area of synthesis and chemical biology, a field that aims to understand the chemical basis of life and medicine. Within the spectrum of a ‘molecules to medicines’ approach to biomedical research, the design, synthesis and analysis components of discovering lead drugs for medicine is carried out by the 37 investigators within the CSCB.

Official Launch photo

President of UCD, Dr Art Cosgrove; Professor Kevin O’Malley,
Chief Executive Officer of the RCSI; and Professor John Hegarty, Provost of TCD

Dr Art Cosgrove announced that planning permission had recently been obtained for 2,000 sq m of new laboratory, seminar and office space, to be linked to almost 1000 sq m of refurbished existing laboratory space. He stated that despite the pause in capital funding from the Government, alternative funding arrangements are being pursued in order to ensure that the building programme will not be delayed.

The President of UCD highlighted that the human capital is the major component of the CSCB and 25 PhD studentships and 32 Postdoctoral fellowships have been allocated across the spectrum of CSCB investigators for the period of 2002-2006.
Speakers at Launch Symposium
Invited lectures at the CSCB Inaugural Symposium.
From left: Professor Thomas O’Halloran (Northwestern University); Professor Dorit Hanein (The Burnham Institute); Professor Bernhard Lippert (Universität Dortmund); Professor Richard Taylor (University of York); Professor Dudley Williams (University of Cambridge) and Professor Amos B. Smith (University of Pennsylvania).


The Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology inaugural Symposium featured a programme of lectures from highly distinguished scientists from the US and Europe attracting a large attendance of academics, postdoctoral fellows, postgraduate and undergraduate students from UCD, TCD, RCSI and other universities in Ireland and Europe. In addition, PhD students and staff from the affiliated CSCB inter-institutional departments - departments of chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering and industrial microbiology at UCD; the departments of chemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry at TCD; and the department of chemistry at RCSI - presented more than 50 posters on their research work during a social reception. Significant scientific companies were also represented through a trade exhibition and sponsorship.

Postgraduate Poster Exhibition
Postgraduate Poster Exhibition at the CSCB Symposium

Dr Paul Murphy

Dr Paul Murphy (CSCB, UCD Chemistry) and Symposium invited speaker Professor Richard Taylor (University of York) at the CSCB inaugural reception

Prof Pat Guiry and Dr Kevin O'Connor

Professor Pat Guiry (CSCB, UCD Chemistry) and Dr Kevin O’Connor (CSCB, UCD Industrial Microbiology) discussing a postgraduate poster


Prof Kevin Nolan
Dr Andy Robertson (Director, Conway Institute) and Dr Kevin Nolan (CSCB, 
RCSI Chemistry)