PROBE: Research Uncovered at Trinity College Dublin

Posted on: 28 September 2018

Members of the public are again invited to journey through the best that Irish research has to offer with an intimate, engaging, and interactive programme at this pop-up festival, PROBE, which takes centre stage in Trinity College Dublin’s Front Square from 5 pm today, Friday September 28.

PROBE at Trinity College Dublin is a free public pop-up festival showcasing the diverse range of academic research taking place in Dublin by engaging and involving the public with live experiments, exclusive demonstrations, interactive workshops, and much, much more.

PROBE, a collaboration between Trinity College Dublin and Science Gallery Dublin, is part of European Researchers’ Night, which takes place in cities across the continent on the same date. It features a total of 30+ events, talks and research experiments carried out by Trinity researchers, with plenty to do and see for families, students and interested people of all ages.

PROBE is free to attend, though activities with restricted numbers will be ticketed on Eventbrite. For more information and to view the full PROBE programme, visit

Among this year’s highlights are:

  • Tetractys

Tetractys brings together science, music and visual art. Joao Cabral’s research, carried out in the School of Computer Science and Statistics in Trinity College Dublin, examines synaesthesia – a condition that is characterised by sensory overlapping. The colour patterns and shapes of the art works are musically interpreted by a musician and digitally animated with software to produce multisensory experiences.

  • Thinking differently about nerves

The brain is an exceedingly complex and poorly understood organ. Enormous cross-talk between different signals in different parts of the brain is required to carry out the simplest of tasks, such as eating an apple. A team of Trinity researchers from the School of Medicine led by Prof. Eric Downer have developed an animation that allows us to see exactly how the nerves in our brain talk to each other, and instruct our body to play along.

  • Bright Club

Bright Club is a variety night for lateral minds, where researchers become comedians for a night! Each event features academics from science, humanities, and social science talking about their work alongside professional comedians and musicians. Over 40 events have taken place across Ireland since 2015 in Dublin, Galway, Cork, and Athlone. With comedy, music and more besides, Bright Club is the only variety night where you’ll furrow your brow before laughing your face off.

  • Fatty Liver Disease, a consequence of obesity:  can weight loss tackle both?

Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), a disease of the liver directly caused by obesity, has become the most common cause of liver disease in the Western world, and can lead to liver failure, liver cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. A team of researchers led by Prof. Suzanne Norris at St. James’ Hospital devised a 12- week hospital based programme that included aerobic exercise and diet intervention therapy to evaluate whether weight loss can reverse the disease’s progression.  Visit the team at PROBE to see what they found!

Additional researchers from Trinity featured at PROBE include:

– Dr Annabel Smith, School of Zoology, who will present an exhibit on how plants survive wildfires

– Dr Martin Caffrey, TBSI, who will explore the societal impacts of antibiotic resistance and future ways we might combat this

– Dr Margaret Dunne, School of Biochemistry and Immunology, will display the wide range and crucial impact of different immune cells in diseases such as cancer

– Dr Lisa Corrigan, School of Nursing & Midwifery, will relay the science behind yoga during pregnancy

– Dr Gary Moran, School of Dentistry, will show how the oral microbiome can impact oral hygiene and health

– Researchers from AMBER, who will explain how they are uncovering the world of nanotechnology and provide a glimpse of our future