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Many congratulations to APC Investigators and associated faculty who have been awarded more than €2.6m via SFI Frontiers for the Future Programme

The SFI Frontiers for the Future programme comprises two funding streams:

  • Awards – 26 larger scale innovative, collaborative excellent research programmes that have the potential to deliver economic and societal impact will receive €28m in funding.
  • Projects – 45 high-risk, high-reward research projects will receive €25 million to facilitate highly innovative and novel approaches to research.

Dr Yvonne Nolan, UCC, received one of the larger Awards (€831,773) for her research on “Mechanisms underpinning the interplay between chronic neuroinflammation and exercise on cognitive function during middle age. Together with collaborators Dr. Olivia O’Leary (UCC), Dr. Jane English (UCC), Dr. Aisling Ryan (Cork University Hospital) and Professor Paul Lucassen (University of Amsterdam), Dr. Nolan aims to determine how inflammatory signals in the brain and circulatory system interplay during ageing, Alzheimer’s disease and in response to exercise, to regulate neuroplasticity and memory.

Prof Mike Prentice’s Project in UCC “Bacterial Microcompartment Engineering: building them up and knocking them down” was awarded €400,439. Prof. Prentice will study bacterial microcompartments and find ways of adapting them to deliver cancer treatments, and by interfering with them inside bacteria, find new ways to inhibit the growth of bad bacteria.

Dr Sinead Corr, based at Trinity College Dublin, was awarded €477.450 for her Project “Exploring miR-21 in the dialogue between the microbiome and immunity to decipher mechanisms of disease”.

Prof Ken O’Halloran, UCC was awarded €432,355 for his Project “INSPIRE DMD: Interventional strategy to protect and increase respiratory efficacy in Duchenne muscular dystrophy”.

Dr Gerard O’Keeffe, UCC was awarded €476,039 for his Project “Defining the potential of HDAC5 and HDAC9 as novel therapeutic targets for Parkinson’s disease”.

Announcing the funding, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, TD, said: “Congratulations to all the researchers who have received funding today as part of the SFI Frontiers for the Future Programme. I am delighted to support this programme which funds individual-led research, with an emphasis on areas of high-risk, high-reward, which will help us build a better future for Ireland through discovery, innovation, and impact.” 

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland said: “This was a highly competitive process and I’m delighted that we are able to fund 71 new research grants through the SFI Frontiers for the Future programme. These are highly skilled, talented, and dedicated researchers and it is crucial that we invest in their excellent ideas and research, to maintain and build on Ireland’s global standing in research, innovation, and discovery.  I would like to thank the Higher Education Institutions for their support in delivering this new programme.”

SFI Press Release