Dr Daniel Kelly, lecturer in Trinity College Dublin’s (TCD) School of Engineering, and a principal investigator at the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering, has been awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Starter Grant of €1.5m.
Kelly’s research focuses on stem cells called “mesenchymal stem cells” that can be isolated from within damaged or diseased joints to regenerate and repair articular cartilage, potentially preventing arthritis. His research also investigates how environmental factors regulate adult stem cells and the subsequent functional properties of the tissues they produce.
“The results emanating from Kelly’s research will improve the quality of life for people suffering from damaged and diseased joints. The Trinity Centre for Bioengineering has a focused research programme delivering excellence in research, education and innovation, but also the translation of innovative solutions into medical devices and interventions that enhance patient care, thus enriching and facilitating the development of the medical device industry in Ireland. Kelly’s project is a perfect example of how bioengineering can positively impact healthcare,” commented Prof Richard Reilly, director of TCD’s Centre for Bioengineering.
Prof Margaret, O’Mahony, head of the School of Engineering, also commented on Kelly’s achievement: “This ERC award is a major achievement and reflects the outstanding research being conducted by Dr Kelly … one of only two Irish scientists to receive this prestigious award.”
The grant is a significant achievement, with the awards only given to the top 300 scientists across Europe – less than 10pc of those who apply.
At the end of last month, Jonathan Coleman, principal investigator at the Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices, also received a European Research Council starter grant.