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Posted 02 July 2012

1 in 3 Science Foundation Ireland Principal Investigator Awards go to UCD researchers

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD has announced €39 million in funding for 30 flagship scientific research projects via the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) ‘Principal Investigator’ (PI) Programme. 10 of the 30 projects awarded funding are headed up by University College Dublin (UCD) researchers.

"These awards are critical to the investment in science and engineering in Ireland as they support Ireland's leading scientists and engineers. Our academics should be encouraged by a very strong result for UCD,” said Professor Des Fitzgerald, Vice-President for Research at UCD congratulating the UCD awardees.

“The community should be encouraged to see the awards support fundamental research. This research underpins the priority areas identified by Government in the National Research Priority Exercise and is essential in maintaining a strong science and engineering infrastructure in Ireland."

Announcing the awards Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “Over the past decade, Ireland has built up a very substantial infrastructure and a reputation for basic scientific research, and many of the high-end jobs we have created in multinational and indigenous companies are directly related to these achievements.”

The Director-General of Science Foundation Ireland, Prof. Mark Ferguson, said: “The PI projects for 2012, selected following a highly-competitive, peer-reviewed process, are investigating some of the most important issues facing humanity today. From research into cancer, strokes and Alzheimer’s, to communication networks, next-generation thermoelectric devices and improving future flood risk predictions for Ireland among others, recipients have demonstrated both an in depth understanding and an ability to make measurable strides in their respective fields.”

The breakdown of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) ‘Principal Investigator’ (PI) Programme awards across 11 Research Bodies is as follows: UCD (10); TCD (7); UCC (2); Tyndall National Institute Cork (2); NUI Maynooth (2) UL (2); Cork Institute Technology (1); NUI Galway (1); DCU (1) DIT (1) and Teagasc (1).

The 10 UCD researchers to receive the SFI Principal Investigator Awards include:

  • Prof Hans-Benjamin Braun, UCD School of Physics - Physics behind next generation magnetic storage technologies

  • Prof Orla Feely, UCD School of Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering - Nonlinear effects in circuits and systems analysis, control and applications

  • Dr Oliver Blacque, UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, and UCD Conway Institute - Dissecting secretory and endocytic membrane transport pathways in targeting proteins to cilia, a prevalent disease-associated cellular organelle

  • Prof Patrick Guiry, UCD School of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology - Asymmetric Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Lipoxin Analogues and Tetrahydrofuran Derivatives

  • Prof Desmond Higgins, UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science, and UCD Conway Institute - Clustal Omega and the future of Multiple Alignments

  • Dr Emmeline Hill, UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science - Integrated genomics approaches to understanding genetic contributions to system-wide exercise physiology parameters in a large animal model

  • Dr Jennifer McElwain, UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science - Predicting biome-level vegetation responses to future global change: Implications for future flood risk

  • Prof Donal O'Shea, UCD School of Chemistry and Chemical Biology - BF2-Tetraarylazadipyrromethene Based Stimuli-Responsive Near-Infrared Fluorescent Imaging Platforms

  • Prof Helen Roche, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science, and UCD Conway Institute - Dietary fatty acids, adipose inflammasome mediated activation of inflammation in insulin resistance – novel therapeutic targets

  • Prof Cormac Taylor, UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science, UCD Conway Institute - Regulation of inflammatory gene expression by oxygen and carbon dioxide during hypoxic inflammation

(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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