Four Irish-based researchers to attend global Nobel Laureate chemistry event

28 May 2013

The four researchers who will make the trip to Lindau, pictured with Minister Sherlock

Four Irish-based researchers of chemistry have been selected to travel to Lake Constance, Germany, to attend the prestigious Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting.

From 30 June to 5 July, the researchers will meet with more than 30 Nobel Prize Laureates from the field of chemistry, as well as more than 600 other leading international scientists from nearly 80 countries.

The Nobel Laureates will reflect on current scientific topics, such as green chemistry, chemical energy storage and conversion, and biochemical structures and processes, and present relevant fields of research for the future.

Ireland’s Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock, will present each of the four researchers with an award at the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin today. Following this ceremony, the group will then travel to meet Ireland’s President Michael D Higgins for a reception at Áras an Uachtaráin.

The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings provide a wonderful forum for inspiring and motivating young researchers and I am delighted to be able to present these awards to the first researchers from Ireland to attend this meeting,” said Minister Sherlock. “I am also delighted that the Irish Research Council will be signing a memorandum of understanding with the Lindau Foundation which will cement this relationship with Ireland and will provide opportunities for more researchers to become involved in the Lindau Meetings in the coming years.”

“We are delighted to sponsor these four outstanding researchers to attend the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings,” said  Professor Orla Feely, Chairperson of the Irish Research Council. “They are an important symbol of the quality and excellence of research undertaken in Ireland and we are excited about their future contribution to Irish research.”

“It has been our utmost concern that Ireland, a country with such a vital scientific landscape and exceptional academic history, will be represented in Lindau’s intergenerational and intercultural dialogue,” said Nikolaus Turner, Managing Director of the Lindau Foundation. “By joining our global network of academic partners, the IRC interlinks with leading universities, prestigious academies of science, renowned research institutions, esteemed foundations and innovative enterprises – in order to educate, inspire and connect the next generation of leading scientists.”

The fantastic four

The four researchers are:

·         Ross Driver, who completed his BSc (Hons) in chemistry with pharmaceutical chemistry at the National University of Ireland Maynooth (NUIM) in 2011, finishing first in his class. He was subsequently awarded funding for post-graduate study through the Irish Research Council’s EMBARK initiative. Driver is now pursuing a PhD under the supervision of Dr John Stephens at NUIM in the field of asymmetric organocatalysis.

·         Tandra Ghoshal, who studied physics at Burdwan University, (India), received a master’s degree in 2002 and completed a PhD at Jadavpur University, Kolkata (India) in 2009. She is working as a post-doctorate in the Department of Chemistry, University College Cork, and has just been appointed as a senior fellow at the university.

·         Valerie Gerard graduated in engineering from Ecole Centrale de Lille (France) and then completed a master’s degree in science in medical diagnostics in Cranfield University (UK). Gerard came to Ireland in 2009 to join Prof Gun’ko’s research group in Trinity College Dublin and work on the synthesis and in vitro testing of nanoparticles for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

·         Daniele Lo received his MSc in chemical and pharmaceutical technology at the University of Ferrara (Italy). He obtained his Doctorate at the University of Granada (Spain). In January 2011, he joined the group of Prof Paul V Murphy at the National University of Ireland, Galway, as a post-doctoral researcher and is now working on the discovery of new drugs against multi-drug resistance.

Table of elements image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years