Latest SFI awards announced

9 Sep 2003

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has announced that it is to provide €9.5m in funding to 11 top researchers as part of its latest round of research project approvals. The scientists are based at third-level institutions in Dublin, Cork and Galway.

The awards will fund a range of projects in the biotechnology and information and communications technology areas. They include research into diseases of the retina and AIDs-related infections and the investigation of sentient networks and nanomaterials for novel electronic devices. One recipient will be investigating technologies with potential to improve medical diagnostics.

Welcoming this announcement, SFI director general Dr William Harris (pictured) said: “Our mission is to build and strengthen scientific and engineering research and its infrastructure in the areas of greatest strategic value to Ireland’s long-term competitiveness and development. To achieve this, we invest in researchers who are most likely to generate new knowledge and leading-edge technologies that can best advance Ireland’s research, technological and economic competitiveness. These 11 researchers fulfill all of these criteria.”

With this announcement more than 130 researchers and their teams (totalling more than 700 scientists or engineers) have been recruited to or retained in Ireland because of SFI research investments.

The funding recipients are as follows: Dr Denis Shields, Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) – protein science; Dr Liam Bannon, University of Limerick; human/machine interaction; Prof Thomas Cotter, University College Cork (UCC) – genetics and cell biology; Prof Werner Blau, Trinity College Dublin (TCD) – carbon nanotubes with applications in electronics and new enhanced materials; Prof John Waddington, RCS – investigating brain function; Prof Vincent Cahill, TCD – middleware for sentient computing; Dr Justin McCarthy, UCC – researching neuro-degenerative diseases; Dr Alan Ryder, NUI Galway – ultra-high sensitivity fluorescent spectroscopy for use in medical diagnostics; Dr Wim Meijer, University College Dublin – the study of genes that affect AIDS-related diseases; Dr Stefano Sanvito, TCD – theory and modelling of spin transport leading to a new generation of electronic devices; and Dr Paula Murphy, TCD – early mammalian development, concentrating on the emerging limb and face.