New director general for SFI

12 Feb 2007

An Irish scientist who has held senior executive positions with prominent European research bodies has been appointed to lead Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), and will have a pivotal role in building up Ireland’s scientific and research and development infrastructure up to 2013.

Dr Frank Gannon (pictured) has led the Heidelberg-based European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) as executive director.

A former board member of SFI, he currently serves on a range of high-level scientific advisory boards at institutes throughout the world and has had over 200 research articles published in international journals.

Prior to his appointment at EMBO, Dr Gannon was director of the National Diagnostic Centre and associate professor in the Department of Microbiology at University College Galway.

Dr Gannon received his PhD in 1973 from the University of Leicester in England. He was a postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Wisconsin in the US and the University of Strasbourg in France.

His major research interest is the expression and functional regulation of Estrogen Receptor which plays a major role in breast cancer. These studies have provided leads to novel treatments or therapeutic approaches to these and other cancers.

“I am looking forward to taking up this key appointment at SFI,” Dr Gannon said. “This is an exciting and challenging period for Irish research but also one of great opportunities.

“I am fully committed to working in SFI in co-operation with the scientific community and all of the key government departments and agencies to ensure that Ireland is internationally renowned for the excellence of its research and at the forefront of translating this into economic and social progress,” he commented.

By John Kennedy