UCD Covid-19 Response

The UCD Community is rising to the challenge posed by the global pandemic

Centres of Research at UCD

Some of the university’s research laboratories, institutes, centres and major programmes are working continuously to respond to the Covid-19 crisis, including within UCD’s affiliate university hospitals.


UCD National Virus Reference Laboratory

Led by Dr Cillian de Gascun, chair of the HSE’s Coronavirus Expert Advisory Group, the NVRL is the largest testing facility in the country and a centre for research in virology and infectious diseases.


UCD School of Medicine

Staff from the UCD School of Medicine have been active at the frontline, providing care for patients with Covid-19, giving clinical leadership and leading programmes of research that seek to further the disease and improve treatment of patients. UCD has some of the world’s leading physicians and scientists who are actively leading the fight against this disease. The school established a Covid-19 Research Group coordinated by Professor Peter Doran and Professor Michael Keane to ensure we are leading the pushback against the pandemic. 


UCD Health Affairs and the Ireland East Hospital Group

Facilitated by UCD Health Affairs, UCD's Health Science colleges work with the 11 hospitals of the IEHG, to which UCD is the primary academic partner. They work together in developing and implementing the strategic vision and direction for healthcare education, research and innovation across the group, and an Academic Health Science System which launched in 2020 and has enabled the group to boost care in the community and develop a recovery plan following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Chief Academic Officer of the Ireland East Hospital Group and Vice Principal for Health Affairs Professor Tim Lynch leads the Office of Health Affairs at UCD. Learn more about the research to tackle Covid-19 between UCD and IEHG, a lot of which involved centres and institutes listed below.


UCD Clinical Research Centre

Led by Professor Peter Doran, the centre focuses on innovative, translational health care research at our university hospital partners St Vincent’s University Hospital and Mater Misericordiae University Hospital. Clinical research helps discover ways to improve medical care and to establish new treatments. Learn more about research to tackle Covid-19.


UCD Centre for Pathogen Host Research (CEPHR)

Led by Professor Paddy Mallon, CEPHR brings together researchers and research groups from across UCD who focus on infection-related research. CEPHR members comprise clinical, translational, statistical and biomedical researchers working interactively on aspects of host and pathogen research from the UCD School of Medicine, UCD School of Biology and Biological Sciences, and UCD School of Politics and International Relations. It works closely with the UCD National Virus Reference Laboratory (NVRL). Read more about research funded under the national Covid-19 Rapid Response call here and here.


Critical Care Clinical Trials Network

Led by Professor Alistair Nichol, the Irish Critical Care-Clinical Trials Group (ICC-CTG) conducts key drug trials and related studies in the population, supported by the Irish Critical Care-Clinical Research Centre (ICC-CRC), which is funded by the HRB. Professor Nichol is currently leading the first drug treatment trial in Ireland for critical Covid-19 patients.


UCD Centre for Precision Surgery

Led by Professor Ronan Cahill, the UCD Centre for Precision Surgery brings together clinicians, researchers and industry to better surgery. Many of its members are frontline surgeons focussed on ensuring emergency and critical surgery (including operations for cancer) continue effectively and safely during the pandemic, and all work cross-sectorally for tangible advancement in surgical safety and quality from both the patient and healthcare professional perspective. The centre works closely with UCD AnatomyUCD Biomedical Engineering and UCD Computer Science as well as with the Royal College of Surgeons In Ireland.


UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research

Led by Professor William Gallagher (Director), alongside Professor Catherine Godson (Personalised and Translational Medicine), Professor Cormac Taylor (Underpinning Biosciences Research) and Professor Stephen Gordon (One Health), the Conway Institute runs interdisciplinary research programmes conducted by over 400 research staff from across the university and its affiliate hospitals. Professor Gallagher is also chair of the HSE Covid-19 Laboratory Research and Development Product Solutions Group.


One Health 

One Health is a research theme umbrella leveraging multi-discipline faculty, industry partnerships and international institutional networks to maximise health and well-being through a combined focus on human, animal and environmental health. UCD collaborates with international partners under the One Health research theme to find novel solutions to global problems including Covid-19. Under One Health, UCD has researchers with broad expertise in infectious disease. The research portfolio spans areas such as emerging viruses, air and water-borne infections, and foodborne pathogens. Defining the molecular basis of host-pathogen interactions as a route to developing new control tools underpins our research approach. 


UCD School of Veterinary Medicine

Academics from the school have made significant contribution to the Covid-19 response effort, including expertise in infectious disease pandemic modelling from Professor Simon More from the UCD Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Risk Analysis, and virological and zoonotic diseases research from Assistant Professor of Virology Gerald Barry.  Learn more about the research that goes on in Ireland’s only School of Veterinary Medicine in the school’s research themes, including the One Health research programme led by Prof Stephen Gordon, Professor in Infection Biology across UCD School of Veterinary Medicine, UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, and UCD School of Medicine.

Find more UCD researchers focused on Epidemiology.


UCD School of Mathematics and Statistics

Staff from UCD School of Mathemastics and Statistics have lent their support to the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group to NPHET and are members of other key research units in the response including the Insight Centre for Data Analytics. The school also works closely with the UCD Conway Institute for Biomolecular and Biomedical Research.


UCD School of Chemistry

There are two active projects in the school addressing the urgent national need regarding testing of Covid-19. The projects involve research into magnetic nanobeads for use on an alternative testing platform for Covid-19. These projects are being run by Stokes Professor of Chemistry Gil Lee, and Associate Professors of Chemistry Dermot Brougham and Susan Quinn. Learn more about the school’s research.     


UCD Centre for Disability Studies


Led by Professor Christine Linehan (Director) and Associate Professor Suzanne Guerin (Deputy Director). Activities at the centre include a national and international portfolio of multi- and inter-disciplinary research, teaching, training, and public engagement seminars that aim to develop our understandings of disability. Professor Linehan has been awarded funding by the Health Research board under the national Covid-19 Rapid Response call for her project 'Impact of Covid-19 on Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Caregivers.'


Social and Behavioural Studies (Geary Institute)

A multidisciplinary programme based in Ireland’s leading social science research centre, conducting major and longitudinal studies including the Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe.

Learn more about public health research at UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science.


UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy

Led by Professor Philip O’Connell, the institute supports research in empirical social and behavioural sciences within organised themes and research centres, bringing together researchers to stimulate discussion on theories, methodologies and empirical results.

Find out more about the policy response to Covid-19 through research and analysis on PublicPolicy.ie/covid, managed by the Geary Institute.    


I-Form, SFI Research Centre for Advanced Manufacturing

Led by Professor Denis Dowling from UCD School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering, the centre conducts high-impact manufacturing research, focusing on the application of digital technologies to materials processing, bring together expertise in materials science, engineering, data analytics and cognitive computing.

Learn more about ongoing research and innovation at the UCD College of Engineering & Architecture.