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Ruairi Robertson receives Fulbright Award

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APC’s Ruairi Robertson, a PhD student with Catherine Stanton in the School of Microbiology UCC and Teagasc Moorepark Food Research Centre, has been awarded a Fulbright Award to undertake further postgraduate research in the United States.

Jointly funded by the Irish and US governments under the Ireland-United States Commission for Educational Exchange, the Fulbright Awards offer Irish and US students, scholars and professionals with the opportunity to study, lecture, and research at leading universities and institutions in the US and Ireland respectively. They were first established in 1957.

Ruairi is the Fulbright-Marine Institute-Teagasc Student Awardee for 2015/2016. Ruairi will carry out research at Harvard University for 9 months under the supervision of Professor Jing X Kang investigating the role of omega-3 fatty acids on the gut microbiota.

Ruairi has had a very successful year. He was the winner of the HEA and Irish Independent “Making an Impact” Competition which encourages Irish postgraduate researchers to communicate how their research is making an impact to Irish and global life. Following over 200 entries, 5 finalists were selected to present in the Helix in Dublin City University in front of a panel of judges and 150 audience members. Ruairi spoke about his research on omega-3’s from algae and their role in gut and brain health in his talk “Food for thought” for which he was awarded the audience prize (€2,500). William Wilson, Institute of Technology, Sligo took the panel prize. Details and clips from the event can be found here: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/education/concrete-ideas-make-a-big-impact-at-student-competition-31167387.html

In addition, Ruairi and Sreeram Udayan, from Ken Nally’s group were awarded first prizes for the “Waxing Lyrical” and “The Grand Plan” categories of the 2015 UCC Doctoral Showcase.

And Ruairi was awarded second place in the FameLab Ireland Final, in which he spoke about the infant gut microbiota and how it differs between c-section and normal birth babies. Ruairi’s presentation can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTx-r05yoc4

9 June 2015