Prof. Ken Wolfe awarded Irish Research Council’s Advanced Laureate Award for pioneering project in yeasts.


Professor Ken Wolfe, UCD School of Medicine and UCD Conway Institute is an awardee under the Irish Research Council’s (IRC’s) Advanced Laureate Awards programme.

A total of almost €16 million in funding is being invested in a suite of research projects announced by the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD.

Prof. Wolfe (pictured) will undertake research based on his recent discovery that challenges the general thinking that the locations of genes along chromosomes in eukaryotes is random. This project will use experiments to test a proposed model in which the regions of chromosomes located close to centromeres (pericentromeric regions) are under strong selection to contain genes that are required during the early stages of spore development, and possibly also the early stages of bud formation in yeasts.

A portrait photo of Ken Wolfe

The IRC’s Advanced Laureate Awards support established research leaders who have a record of original and significant research contributions to carry forward groundbreaking discoveries at the frontiers of knowledge in their respective fields.  

Three UCD researchers have been selected amongst the sixteen awardees for 2023. Each awardee will receive up to €1 million in funding over a period of up to four years.

The ALAs enhance frontier research in Irish research-performing organisations across all disciplines and build the international competitiveness of senior researchers and Ireland as a whole. The awards are designed to encourage and widen the gateway to future European Research Council (ERC) funding, one of the most prestigious grant schemes in Europe, whilst boosting Ireland’s ability to retain excellent researchers in our research system. 

Announcing the new awards, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, said: “I am thrilled to announce this significant investment in basic frontier research across a wide range of fields. This funding will help push the boundaries of knowledge and research forward, it will help break new ground and enhance Ireland’s leadership internationally in solving key challenges of our time.