Trinity’s Prof Ed Lavelle recognised by ISI for vaccine research

9 May 2023

Image: © Aleksej/

Lavelle primarily focuses on developing injectable and mucosal vaccines for infectious diseases, along with therapeutic vaccines for cancer.

Prof Ed Lavelle of Trinity College Dublin has been recognised by the Irish Society for Immunology (ISI) for his major contributions to immunology research and education.

He has received the ISI’s Annual Award, which is given to “outstanding Irish immunologists” that push forward our understanding of immunology and health improvement.

Lavelle works in Trinity’s School of Biochemistry and Immunology, with his research primarily focused on developing injectable and mucosal vaccines for infectious diseases.

He also leads a research group that is developing therapeutic vaccines for cancer and investigating vaccine strategies that promote “immunogenic cell death”, with the goal of enhancing protective immunity.

Lavelle was the president of the ISI from 2012 until 2020, during which time he organised multiple conferences, chaired session and acted as a peer reviewer for immunology journals. He has also supervised 21 PhD students to completion.

In 2019, Lavelle received nearly €96,000 from the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA) programme. This SFI programme provides capital and training in entrepreneurship skills to researchers that seek to commercialise their life’s work.

Last year, Lavelle was a recipient of Trinity’s Innovation Awards, receiving one of the year’s “inventors” awards, along with Dr Marco Ruffini of Trinity’s School of Computer Science and Statistics.

Lavelle will present a public lecture at 7pm tonight (9 May) in the Tercentenary Hall in Trinity’s Biomedical Sciences Institute. This lecture will get to the core of how vaccines work and is available for anyone to attend.

“This is a golden era for vaccine research and we hope that our work on vaccine adjuvants can contribute to further advances, particularly for cancer vaccination where there is a desperate need for novel and more effective approaches,” Lavelle said.

Last month, Trinity awarded its 2023 Dawson prize in Genetics to Dr Katalin Karikó, the Hungarian-born scientist whose research into mRNA vaccines helped create life-saving vaccines against Covid-19.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic