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Maria Velasco, Irish Research Council Scholar, 'The cerebellar network between neurons (red), astrocytes (yellow) and microglia (green) in a mouse organotypic slice culture'. Copyright Irish Research Council

Did you know? Recent Irish achievements in research

One of the objectives of the Irish Research Council (IRC) is to create a culture of world class research for the benefit of the country as a whole. Let’s take a look at some of the most impressive work done by Irish researchers in 2017, which ranges from the mapping of stars to development of treatments for Parkinson’s disease.
Sustaining and indeed growing Ireland’s investment in individual researchers with creative, cutting edge ideas will pay serious dividends
  • An international team of scientists was led by Dr Eamonn O’Gorman, an astronomer at the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies, to produce the most detailed image of a star, other than our own Sun, to date.
  • Dr Aimee Stapleton, a researcher at the University of Limerick, discovered that electricity can be generated be applying pressure to the proteins found in both egg whites and tears.
  • UCD Associate Professor, Dr Emilie Pine, led a team of researchers in creating the ‘Industrial Memories Project’; which is a digital and location based interactive version of the Ryan Report, which focused on the traumatic history of Ireland’s former industrial schools.
  • Niamh Moriarty, a researcher at NUI Galway, was part of a team which made a major breakthrough in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. They discovered that treatment with transplanted brain cells in improved dramatically if they are implanted within a supportive matrix made from the natural material collagen.
  • Dr Mark Maguire, an anthropologist in Maynooth University, discovered that there are major differences in terms of how different groups of people respond to terrorist attacks and that reactions by women in the immediate aftermath are commonly the most appropriate.

The Director of the Irish Research Council, Peter Brown, said that 2017 had been a very productive year for researchers funded by the IRC. “It’s important to recognise the continuing excellent standard of the researchers we fund, across all disciplines. Sustaining and indeed growing Ireland’s investment in individual researchers with creative, cutting edge ideas will pay serious dividends into the future-economically, socially, educationally and culturally,” he said.