33 researchers get €10m for projects addressing future health challenges

30 Aug 2022

Image: © chokniti/Stock.adobe.com

Ireland’s state-owned healthcare research board will fund projects for a maximum of four years. They will tackle issues from cancer to TB.

The Irish Government’s Health Research Board (HRB) is providing Irish-based researchers with €10m in funding to tackle emerging challenges in healthcare.

The HRB is a state agency operating under the Department of Health. It is dedicated to funding and supporting health research.

Under its latest funding drive, it will fund 33 different projects in various institutions in Ireland. The investigator-led projects will be based around patient-oriented research, population health research and health service research. Each project will be funded for a maximum of four years.

11 researchers from Trinity College Dublin (TCD) were awarded funding. Their projects will look at topics ranging from the use of psychedelics to treat depression, to elder care, to children born with very low birth weights. TCD received a €4m slice of the €10m total.

Six academics from the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI) were awarded HRB funding. They received more than €2.2m for projects ranging from the role of platelets in sepsis to precision medicine for brain tumour patients.

Prof Fergal O’Brien, deputy vice-chancellor for research and innovation at RCSI, said the awards were “a testament to the high-quality, patient-oriented and population health research taking place at the university”.

Two researchers from Maynooth University also received a total of €740,000 in funding from the HRB. Their projects will investigate antimicrobial-resistant pathogens and a rare allergic reaction that affects the oesophagus.

Other researchers from University College Cork, University College Dublin, University of Limerick, NUI Galway and Dublin City University also received funding awards for projects ranging from the barriers to home haemodialysis, to developing colon cancer therapies.

Commenting on the scheme, Dr Mairead O’Driscoll, chief executive at the HRB, said it clearly demonstrated Ireland’s position as “a world leader in cutting-edge research”.

“The 33 projects awarded funding all have huge potential to improve people’s lives. Brain tumours, rheumatoid arthritis, psychosis, tuberculosis, antimicrobial resistance, sepsis, home haemodialysis and the risks of cannabis use in adolescence are just some of the challenges this funding scheme is tackling in the most innovative of ways,” she added.

All of the projects that received funding from the HRB were selected by an international panel of experts following a thorough application process. A public review was undertaken alongside the scientific peer review to assess whether the research was in the best interests of the patient and the general health of the population.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.