Trinity and AIB join forces for dedicated Covid-19 Research Hub

9 Apr 2020


AIB has pledged €2.4m to help accelerate Trinity College Dublin’s immunology project tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.

Trinity College Dublin will establish a new research hub at the university in collaboration with AIB, after the bank pledged €2.4m to accelerate the project.

The new research hub will be located within the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute and will play a critical role in the delivery of the Trinity Covid-19 Immunology Project. The hub will involve immunologists and infectious disease clinicians from St James’s Hospital in Dublin.

While the immunology project was already in the pipeline, this injection of funding has accelerated plans. The project will be a collaboration with the Trinity Translational Medicine Institute and the Clinical Research Facility based on the St James’s Hospital campus.

AIB’s CEO, Colin Hunt, said it’s an ambitious and pioneering project that merits every assistance in developing solutions for the short, medium and long term. “Time is of the essence and our support for the research hub begins now,” he added.

Identifying those that are ‘immune’

The research will focus on addressing the design of new drugs and vaccines, the supply and validation of commercial antibody testing kits, the development of rapid antibody testing and the investigation of the immune response in infected and recovered Covid-19 patients.

The project will be led by Prof Kingston Mills and Prof Aideen Long and will involve scientists and immunologists working on basic and applied research, including infectious disease consultants, immunologists, respiratory disease physicians and intensive care specialists working with Covid-19 patients.

Mills said: “This will provide key information for the design of vaccines and immunotherapeutic drugs for controlling the often fatal inflammation in Covid-19 patients, and will assist in developing and validating new assays for detecting antibody responses to the virus, thereby identifying those that are ‘immune’ and therefore safe to return to work.”

The research will also benefit from Trinity’s global network of collaborations and contacts in universities such as MIT in Boston and Utrecht University in The Netherlands. The hub will continue to accept contributions from other public and private sources.

Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic