TCD and UCD Microbiologists Establish a New Joint Academy

Posted on: 14 December 2010

The Inaugural Meeting of the Dublin Academy of Pathogenomics  & Infection Biology  (DAPI) was held on Thursday  December 9th last  in the Health Sciences Building at UCD. The meeting was organised by Professor Jay Hinton (School of Genetics and Microbiology, TCD) and Professor Steve Gordon (UCD), and involved a series of focused research talks from junior scientists based at the two universities.

 “This first meeting of the Academy  showcased  the high quality research going on across Dublin and focused on understanding how bacterial pathogens cause disease,” explained Professor Hinton.  “We were delighted to host the inaugural DAPI meeting in UCD and see this as the start of an exciting joint venture between UCD and TCD in the area of infection research,”  continued  Professor Gordon.

 The keynote presentation was given by Professor Carmen Buchrieser from the Institut Pasteur, Paris, entitled ‘Intracellular parasitism, the driving force of evolution of Legionella sp.’. Legionella bacteria can grow inside protozoa in water supplies, and can infect human lungs to cause Legionnaire’s disease. Professor Buchrieser’s work has revealed that Legionella contains an unexpectedly high number of eukaryotic-like proteins, which can alter mammalian cell functions during the intracellular life of L. pneumophila. These bacterial genes are likely to have been transferred to the bacteria from protozoa that had been infected by Legionella.

The day ended with the presentation of four prizes to PhD students for the best research talks (Brian Conlon, UCD, and Kelly Kane, TCD), and for excellent poster presentations (Jing Chen, UCD, and Emma Jane Smith, TCD). Funding for the event was provided by TCD, UCD, and the Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance.

DAPI group
Dublin Academy of Pathogenomics  & Infection Biology Group

The DAPI Academy was formed in 2010 to enhance synergy in research and teaching between microbiologists based in Trinity College Dublin and in University College Dublin. The Academy currently involves  nineteen laboratories which are using functional genomic methods to study bacterial pathogens of humans and animals. Initially,  DAPI is focused on research topics in bacteriology, and is intended to span other areas of microbiology relating to infectious disease in the future.

The founding of DAPI reflects the strength of Dublin internationally as a centre for research and teaching in the areas of pathogenomics and infection biology. The Academy will help to maximise the use of research infrastructure in TCD and UCD for the pursuit of advanced research in bacterial pathogen biology and host-pathogen interactions. It will enhance the educational experience of undergraduate and postgraduate students at the two universities who are involved in this area of biology, as well as benefit postdoctoral researchers.

The Academy publishes information about its educational and research activities on its website, together with announcements about future Academy events. For more information see