Welcome message from Head of School, Professor Wim Meijer

Whether you have arrived at this page by accident or design, greetings, and welcome to the School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science.

SBBS is privileged to enjoy a community that is gender balanced, diverse, and international at all levels. Our staff and students come from all cultural and social backgrounds, offering a wealth of different life experiences and perspectives. These qualities are as valuable to us as our members’ individual talents and abilities, as they all combine to produce an innovative and dynamic community that works together in the finest tradition of collaborative scientific curiosity. This is one of our School's finest characteristics and I strongly believe it is fundamental to our success.

We all share the responsibility of nurturing our community by respecting the needs and experiences of those working alongside us and valuing them for their contributions. As part of our School's commitment to the Athena Swan charter and the principles of equality, diversity, and inclusion, we have created these pages to bring together practical resources aimed at supporting all staff and students in their time at SBBS. Empowering all members to realise their full potential benefits everybody, so, whether you are already part of our community or considering joining us, I invite you to explore the sections below and see what makes SBBS one of the best places to work in UCD.

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I am a lecturer in the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science (SBBS), with specific involvement in the Neuroscience and Pharmacology degree programmes.  I run an active research group in the UCD Conway Institute, with a focus on understanding age-related conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and investigating potential treatment strategies. I am also the current Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) officer for the School. In addition, I am a husband and a dad to two great little girls.

As part of the SBBS self-assessment team, I was actively involved in the process of achieving our Athena SWAN Bronze Award, which I was honoured to accept on behalf of our entire School in October 2019. Athena SWAN has the primary focus of promoting career and gender equality within science, technology engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM). Its overall remit is to ensure staff of all genders can reach their full potential, within a supportive environment. The bronze award is recognition of our commitment to gender equality, and as EDI Officer I oversee the implementation of our Athena SWAN action plan as we work together towards achieving this goal.

The EDI committee adopts a broader role of promoting and maximising inclusiveness in SBBS.  My priority is to ensure that SBBS offers a welcoming, inclusive and supportive environment in which to work and study, so that people from all genders, cultures and backgrounds experience a happy and secure environment. The EDI Officer role is a recent initiative in SBBS, and one which I take over from Assoc. Prof. Siobhán McClean who has spearheaded all our endeavours so far. I am lucky to follow such a passionate and committed colleague, and I look forward to the opportunity to mould and develop the role. I am looking forward to overseeing initiatives that enhance the culture for all and help to shape policy in equality, diversity and inclusion in the School. I welcome all suggestions to improve and support inclusivity in the School, so if you have any ideas please let me know.  

The SBBS EDI Committee, working closely with the SBBS Social Committee and SBBS-based student societies, have several initiatives in progress to enhance the SBBS community. We are planning several social, societal and academic events throughout the year, along with support and development programmes for staff and students in SBBS. So please keep an eye on our SBBS and EDI page for all the latest updates. I look forward to engaging with all members of the School to improve our work-life balance and place SBBS among the happiest workplaces in UCD.