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SFI SIRG and CDA funding announced


APC researchers have been awarded almost €1.8m through Science Foundation Ireland’s Starting Investigator Research Grant (SIRG) and Career Development Award (CDA) Programmes.  The SIRG and CDA awards help early and mid-career researchers to develop essential skills necessary to become the next generation of research leaders in Ireland.  Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan TD, announced the research funding of €22.3 million for 40 major research projects nationally.

Jennifer Mahony received €519,492 to research the interactions of bacterial viruses (bacteriophages) of the dairy bacterium Streptococcus thermophiles, used to make cheeses and yoghurts.  The proposed research aims to better understand how such phages recognise and infect the ‘starter bacteria’ used in the fermentation process. Jennifer and her colleagues want to develop novel methods for the prevention of phage infection, allowing consistent and reliable production of high quality, safe dairy products. This research will provide a science-based solution to a practical food manufacturing problem in the dairy industry which is a major player in the Irish food sector.

Gerard O’Keeffe, Department of Anatomy & Neuroscience, received a CDA of €639,453 to develop growth differentiation factor (GDF5) neurotrophic factor therapy for Parkinson’s disease.  Mark Tangney, Cork Cancer Research Centre, received a €605,767 CDA to research edible probiotics for cancer therapeutics and diagnosis.
PHOTO: UCC and Tyndall Award Winners (From Left to Right): Santosh Kulkarni, Tyndall National Institute, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, John Halligan TD, Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, Dr Gerard O’Keeffe, Dept. Anatomy & Neuroscience & APC and Dr Jennifer Mahony, Dept of Microbiology & APC.