Bioengineers Celebrate ERC Successes

Posted on: 30 September 2015

The Trinity Centre for Bioengineering (TCBE) celebrated four European Research Council (ERC) grants recently awarded to its Principal Investigators, who are seeking to develop new devices and therapeutics for a range of debilitating conditions.

Director of TCBE and Professor in the School of Engineering at Trinity, Daniel Kelly, secured an ERC Consolidator Award, while Professor in Bioengineering, Caitriona Lally, Associate Professor in Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering, David Hoey, and Senior Research Fellow in Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering, Mark Ahearne, have all secured ERC Starter Awards.

The ERC's mission is to encourage the highest quality research in Europe through competitive funding and to support investigator-driven frontier research across all fields, on the basis of scientific excellence. To celebrate this achievement, all awardees spoke about their research at an event in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute on Friday September 25th.

In addition, four other alumni from the TCBE who received ERC awards returned to Trinity for the day to talk about their research.

From left to right: Award winners, Professor Triona Lally, Professor David Hoey and Dr Mark Ahearne of Trinity, with alumni Dr Niamh Nolan, Professor Damien Lacroix and Dr Laoise McNamara with TCBE Director, Professor Daniel Kelly and Professor Fergal O'Brien of the RCSI.

The ERC is funding these investigators to undertake research in diverse areas, from improving our understanding of diseases like osteoporosis, to developing new therapeutic options to treat blindness, cardiovascular disease and osteoarthritis. 

Commenting on this achievement, Director of TCBE, Daniel Kelly, said: “Having our Principal Investigators receive such a large number of prestigious ERC grants is a reflection of the growing strength of bioengineering research in Ireland. These grants will enable teams of multidisciplinary researchers to be hired to work on developing solutions to global problems.”

“In the coming years, the outputs of these projects will have transformative impacts on healthcare and the medical device industry.”

Chair of the TCBE Executive and Professor of Bioengineering & Regenerative Medicine in RCSI, Fergal O’Brien, who is also an ERC awardee, added: “The world-class bioengineering research funded by these awards is increasingly translational in nature and has the potential to benefit patients and society over the coming years. Initiatives such as our €58million Advanced Materials & Bioengineering Research (AMBER) centre – funded by Science Foundation Ireland and industry – are helping this vision to become a reality.”    


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