€12m invested in four research projects by US-Irish R&D programme

9 Apr 2020

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A total of €12m will be invested in four research projects across a wide variety of topics.

Launched in 2006, the US-Ireland Research and Development Partnership includes funding from Ireland, Northern Ireland and the US. It will now see €12m invested in four research projects.

The four awards announced will support more than 40 research positions across 10 research institutions, for three to five years, and are supported by a dozen research government agencies across the three states.

These latest research projects include work that aims to enable next-generation optical communication for a smart connected society, as well as a project to eradicate bone infection using cold plasma treatments.

The researchers leading these projects are:

Dr Ivan O’Connell, Tyndall National Institute

O’Connell, head of precision circuits at Tyndall and a SFI Connect Centre researcher, will lead a project to develop next-generation integrated optoelectronics for communication and sensing applications using nanomaterials. This project is partnering with Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and the University of Utah.

Prof Paula Bourke, University College Dublin

Bourke will partner with QUB and Jefferson University to develop new therapies for orthopaedic infection with antibiotic-resistant microorganisms using cold plasma.

Prof Thomas Walther, University College Cork

Walther will partner with QUB and the New York University School of Medicine to identify a pharmacological treatment for cerebral malaria, a severe neurological disease syndrome with a high mortality rate, especially in children.

Dr Michael Conall Dennedy, NUI Galway

Dennedy will partner with Ulster University and Kansas State University to research an image-guided approach for minimally invasive microwave thermotherapy of aldosterone-producing adenomas for the treatment of secondary hypertension.

Addressing major health challenges

Dr Darrin Morrissey, chief executive of the Health Research Board (HRB) that is co-funding the Irish components of the research projects with Science Foundation Ireland, said: “The HRB is committed to supporting highly innovative international research collaboration through the US-Ireland R&D Programme.

“These new awards have strong potential to create new knowledge and address major health challenges in society and demonstrate the high calibre of researchers we have in Ireland.”

Speaking of her new funding, Bourke added: “I am delighted that our project has secured this significant funding from the US-Ireland Research and Development Partnership to address the serious medical complications which can arise due to bone infection following orthopaedic surgery.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic