Entire villages that disappeared, real-life organ regeneration and the genius of World War II statisticians were among the surprising and fascinating stories that illuminated the work of world-leading Trinity researchers funded by the European Research Council (ERC) at a public showcase, Research at the Frontier, held in the Science Gallery.
Research at the Frontier provided a unique opportunity to hear about the astonishing research taking place at Trinity, learn about its impact on the world around us, and meet some of Europe’s top researchers to chat to them about their work and what the future may hold.
Trinity’s distinguished ERC-funded speakers were:.
> Associate Professor in Social Neuroscience, Redmond O’Connell, who is currently investigating the neural signals that underpin decision-making in the human brain.
> Professor of Chemical Physics, Jonathan Coleman, also an AMBER Investigator, whose research focuses on two-dimensional nanomaterials and their applications for printable electronics and sensors.
> Professor Valeria Nicolosi, Head of the Characterisation and Processing of Advanced Materials and an AMBER Investigator, who works on nanomaterial science that underpins the cutting-edge higher power batteries and long-life supercapacitors of the future.
> Professor of Environmental History in Trinity, Poul Holm, who talked about the cross-over in his research between marine science and history, and specifically how fisheries have contributed to environmental and societal change in the North Atlantic.
> Professor Danny Kelly, Director of the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering and an AMBER Investigator, who discussed his development of 3D bio-printing for whole joint regeneration, which could treat injuries and diseases such as osteoarthritis, without complex surgery.
> Professor Aoife McLysaght, Head of the Smurfit Institute of Genetics in Trinity, who discussed her research on gene duplication and its role in evolution and disease.
Since 2007, Trinity’s researchers have secured 32 ERC awards worth approximately €50 million in total. Twelve of these are held by the SFI-funded materials science research centre, AMBER — more than any other research centre in Ireland. In addition, Trinity’s researchers have partnered with other institutions in two other awards and secured five ERC proof of concept awards.
Speaking about the significance of ERC funding, Dean of Research at Trinity College Dublin, Professor John Boland, said: “European Research Council funding is now recognised as a benchmark of research excellence in Europe.”
“Funding from the European Research Council represents 45% of Trinity’s overall research income from Europe since 2014. This funding programme is of significant strategic importance to the University to fund both existing research and attract in the best international talent.”