Researcher of new MRSA treatment among winners of €5.5m science fund

23 Oct 2017

Dr Rachel McLoughlin of Trinity College Dublin was one of the recipients of this year’s Investigator Awards in Science. Image: Paul Sharp/SHARPPIX

Three biomedical researchers from Trinity have been jointly awarded €5.5m to further their projects.

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), in partnership with Wellcome and the Health Research Board (HRB), has announced the three biomedical researchers to receive this year’s Investigator Awards in Science.

Dr Rachel McLoughlin, Prof Daniel Bradley and Prof Mani Ramaswami are all based at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and have been jointly awarded €5.5m to further their various projects.

This includes McLoughlin’s research to help improve antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) treatment options, Bradley’s sequencing of the genome of ‘Atlantic-edge’ populations, and Ramaswami’s investigation into how the brain regulates access to feelings, perceptions and memories.

McLoughlin said: “The award will enable me to expand my research programme at TCD and enhance my reputation as a leader in my field.”

Ramaswami added that the award will support his interactions with scientists and institutions in India, USA and the UK as well as providing valuable new opportunities for students and young scientists in Ireland.

Dr Mairéad O’Driscoll, interim chief executive at the HRB, said: “You’re competing with some of the world’s best when you apply for Wellcome funding. So, these awards are a ringing endorsement of professors Bradley, Ramaswami and Dr McLoughlin.

“In the case of Dr McLoughlin, we are delighted that she can build on her previous HRB-funded work in the area of MRSA and the search for a vaccine for the superbug. I wish them all every success in their endeavours.”

The SFI-HRB-Wellcome Biomedical Research Partnership has funded biomedical research in Ireland since 2010, and aims to support outstanding researchers and innovative research programmes in biomedicine.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic