New ‘CLASS Acts’ podcast series reveals the people behind the research


Telling other scientists about your work is a vital part of research life at UCD Conway Institute. Every Tuesday at 12pm, the Institute community of PhD students, postdoctoral fellows, principal investigators and support staff come together to hear stories of experiments and findings in research projects. Guest speakers in the Conway lecture and seminar series (or CLASS for short) are UCD colleagues, external scientific collaborators or guests from research laboratories in Ireland and beyond.

The ‘CLASS Acts’ podcast series goes behind the Powerpoint slides to reveal the people at the heart of research at UCD Conway Institute. What motivated them to pursue a career in science? What journeys have they taken along their career path? What areas of research are they pursuing? Who has influenced their careers along the way?

Some of the people in this pilot initiative are familiar faces in UCD Conway with long-established research groups in the Institute. Others are recent arrivals to UCD and are just beginning to build their own team in the Institute. All of them have spoken about their work at CLASS during the past year.

UCD Conway Institute · Cormac Taylor: CLASS Acts (UCD Conway)

The host for this podcast series is Dr Eoin Cummins, Assistant Professor in Physiology in the UCD School of Medicine and a Conway Fellow. Eoin leads a research group studying how carbon dioxide and oxygen affect cellular behaviour.

Eoin is also passionate about educating the next generation of scientists and medics and actively contributes to equality, diversity & inclusion initiatives within UCD. He was inspired to create the CLASS Acts podcast to share the many and varied backgrounds and journeys taken by Conway researchers on their routes to scientific success.

Scientists profiled in the 2021 UCD Conway 'CLASS Acts' podcast
(top l-r) Conway Fellows, Professors Cormac Taylor, UCD School of Medicine; Niamh Nowlan, UCD School of Mechanical and Material Engineering; Virginie Gautier, UCD School of Medicine & Centre for Experimental Pathogen Host Research
(bottom l-r) Conway Fellows, Assistant Professors Sergio Rey, UCD School of Medicine; Martina Wallace, Agriculture and Food Science; Associate Professor Rory Johnson, UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science.

In episode 1, Cormac Taylor recounts his early career in science and postdoctoral years in Harvard Medical School before coming back to Ireland to pursue research in the area of hypoxia and inflammation. Cormac shares his experiences as a mentor and a mentee and discusses the role of scientists in the age of ‘fake news’. Cormac also shares his musical talents with an original composition inspired by the COVID-19 lockdown.

Episodes will be released weekly until the end of November 2021. Subscribe to the UCD Conway channel on SoundcloudSpotify or Apple Podcasts.