International success for SFI-funded researchers
Trinity-based pioneers secure prestigious European research awards
TechLife | 01 Feb 2011 :
Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has welcomed the announcement that two of its leading funded researchers, professors Luke O'Neill and Ken Wolfe - both based at Trinity College Dublin - have each been successful in securing special funding from the prestigious European Research Council (ERC).
Established in 2007, the ERC is the first pan-European funding organisation for frontier research and funds senior research leaders (ERC Advanced Grant) and younger, early-career top researchers (ERC Starting Grant). As well-established researchers with notable track records, Prof O'Neill and Prof Wolfe have been chosen as part of the Advanced Grants programme, in which €590 million in funding is being provided to 266 leading scientists around the globe to pursue innovative projects.
ERC is the newest component of the EU's Seventh Research Framework Programme and comes within the remit of the EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn.
Commenting on the news, Dr Graham Love, Director of Policy at SFI said "The quality of scientific research being conducted in Ireland is now consistently recognised at the highest level internationally, illustrating just how far we have progressed in this field over the past decade. Both Prof Wolfe and Prof O'Neill are engaged in outstanding scientific exploration in the areas of genetics and immunology respectively and their latest funding success represents a boost for them personally, their teams and for Ireland's scientific community."
Wolfe is Professor of Genome Evolution at TCD, and his funding under the ERC Advanced Grants programme will go towards research on the evolution of yeast species - an area of research is of particular significance to the food and drink industries).
O'Neill, who is TCD Professor of Biochemistry and SFI Researcher of the Year (2009), has received his ERC grant allocation to assist with his pioneering research into the immune system.