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Access Wellcome funding opportunities

28 August 2015

There is a range of Wellcome Trust funding open to Irish researchers

Two seed funding awards have just been secured by Dr Dervla O'Malley, UCC, and Dr Dermot Cox, at Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). 

Speaking about the opportunities available, Graham Love, Chief Executive at the HRB says,

'The SFI-HRB Wellcome Trust Biomedical Partnership provides access for Irish researchers to a range of schemes from initial seed funding awards like these, to much larger and substantial Senior Investigator Awards, like that won by Professor Brian McStay in NUIG earlier this year. We would strongly encourage Irish researchers to compete for these awards to help develop their research portfolios'.

Dr O'Malley's award spans two years and will examine the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in how gut bacteria influence the central nervous system. She says,

'The project aims to shed light on the neurological, endocrine and immune responses involved. Research in this field is still in its infancy, but it has enormous potenital to help people with Irritable Bowl Syndrome for example, which still has no identifiable cause or even a reliable diagnostic biomarker.

I found the Seed Award process very straightforward. It took just six months from the initial application to actually starting work. Hopefully this award will provide the preliminary data to support a larger grant in the near future'.

Dr Cox's award is for 12 months, and will examine the role of a specific protein in the development of sepsis and evaluate its potential as a drug target. 

'In terms of global drug development activity, there is practically next to nothing in the pipeline for treatments for sepsis. Sepsis is the tenth cause of death in the western world and the number one cause of death in Intensive Care Units. 

The full list of available awards under the Partnership, and their various call dates, can be viewed on the HRB website at the link below.

www.hrb.ie/research-strategy-funding/open-grants-and-fellowships/sfi-hrb-wellcome-trust-partnership/

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