Leading Health and Science Trinity Research Projects Awarded Health Research Board Funding
Oct 01, 2013
A total of 12 projects by Trinity College research groups
have been selected to receive funding from the Health Research Board (HRB) as
part of their €12.3 million investment in research projects for better
The Trinity led research projects cover a range of subjects
which have the potential to affect policy and practice and to improve patient
care and health. The research projects selected for the funding will
investigate a wide variety of disease areas and health related subjects with
research groups based across a number of TCD Schools and disciplines including
Dental Science, Medicine, Pharmacy and Genetics and Microbiology.
According to the HRB, applications for funding were assessed
by international peer review panels which looked for proposals that
demonstrated ambition and innovation that would lead to results that are
relevant both nationally and internationally. Over the next three years, each
project will receive up to €330,000 in funding.
The research projects which received funding include:
Dr Sarah Doyle of the School of Medicine
will examine age-related-macular-degeneration in the aging
Irish population and explore inflammatory related risk factors for more severe
forms of AMD with the potential to support early detection of high-risk
Professor Cliona O'Farrelly, Professor of
Comparative Immunology at the School of Medicine
will focus on the immune cells of the liver and a
particular protein, CD1d, which may provide clues to the functioning of
anti-tumour immune cells from the liver and its ability to indicate the
likelihood of a cancer returning.
Dr Lucy Norris of the School of Medicine
develop a risk score model for patients with gynaecological cancers to more
accurately identify those patients who may be at high risk of developing blood
clotting in the veins or lungs, which is a common complication of cancer and in
particular, with gynaecological cancers.
Professor G. Jane Farrar, Professor of Genetics at
the School of Medicine
conduct research into replacement gene therapy for treating two kinds of severe
and debilitating eye disorder.
Dr Lorraine O’Driscoll, Associate Professor of Pharmacology at the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences will look at
ways of manipulating specific molecules in order to try to overcome resistance
to Her-2 targeted anti-cancer drugs and to develop ways of predicting patients
who might benefit most from these drugs.
Professor Orla Hardiman, Clinical Professor of
Neurology at the School of Medicine
will use new technologies based on
brain waves (advanced EEG and MRI) to try to identify subtypes of Motor Neurone
Disease which will help in the development of new and more effective drugs.
Dr Graham Pidgeon, Associate Professor in Surgery
at the School of
will build on the pioneering work
done by his research group on oesophageal cancer and obesity. They will be the
first to examine how fat cells may alter the metabolism of tumour cells and
will examine a potential target in tumour cells to block the effects caused by
Dr Mary O’Sullivan, Associate Research
Lecturer at the School of Medicine
investigate the role of subsets of dendritic cells (specialised cells of the
immune system) in the bacterial infection that causes tuberculosis (TB). This
research should contribute to the development of better vaccines against TB.
Dr Mikel Egana, Assistant Professor
in Physiology at the School of Medicine
will look at
whether age and gender affect the exercise training induced benefits and uptake
of blood oxygen in people with Type 2 Diabetes.
Dr Mary Clare Cathcart, a Post
Doctoral Researcher in Surgery at the School of Medicine
will be conducting bench-to-bedside research examining alternative
therapies with a reduced side effect profile which target COX-2 pathways and
which may reduce the risk of oesophageal cancer development.
Dr Gary Fleming, Associate Professor
in Dental Materials Science at the School of Dental
will combine expertise in Materials
Science and Cellular and Molecular Biology to optimise clinical treatment
protocols relating to patient therapy of dental resin restoratives.
Dr Veronica O’Keane, Associate
Professor in General Adult Psychiatry at the School of Medicine
an investigation into the effects of maternal depression during pregnancy on
the baby’s cortisol levels and stress responses during the first year of life.