This year, the Trinity Innovation Awards went to researchers working in a wide variety of fields, from floods to neuroscience.
Last night (February 22) at the Trinity Innovation Awards 2021, leading researchers and innovators from Trinity College Dublin (TCD) were honored for their contributions to their field.
The annual event, which has been postponed since last year due to Covid-19, saw the nominees win in various categories for their research and commercial success in a wide range of areas including law, botany, computer science, economics and pharmacy.
“Trinity research provides creative solutions in areas such as floods, housing, neurodegenerative diseases, productivity and deaf research,” said TCD Vice Rector Professor Linda Doyle. She added that the event celebrates the “success of our researchers and demonstrates the value of Trinity Research and Innovation’s experience in technology transfer.”
The Provost Innovation Award was presented to Professor John O’Leary, Professor of Pathology, who leads a team of researchers at TCD with an international reputation in viral cancers, particularly cervical, ovarian, prostate, head and neck cancers.
At a personal event, Doyle said O’Leary is a clinician and scientist who divides “his time in half” to manage both sides of his career – academic and clinical. O’Leary is also a consultant pathologist at St. James’s Hospital and director of pathology at Coombe University Hospital for Women and Infants.
“What you have here is an amazing scientist whose work really matters, affects the lives of patients [and] is there in the field, “Doyle added.” Many of his group’s discoveries today are used in conventional pathology. “
For the past 29 years, O’Leary has studied disease-causing processes and how they affect patients, with an emphasis on developing accurate medicine. His work has helped to better understand the molecular pathways of disease and to develop a new set of technologies to aid recovery.
O’Leary said it was a great honor for him to receive the Provost Innovation Award, but recognition is not just for him. “This is for a research team of outstanding scientists who have made significant contributions to cancer and conducted transformational, innovative research over the past 19 years here at Trinity College,” he said.
Leonard Hobbes, director of Trinity Research and Innovation, said many TCD researchers and innovators have achieved commercial success by “collaborating with industry in the transfer of knowledge, experience and intellectual property or using their entrepreneurial skills in shaping investment spins from companies”.
According to Hobbes, Trinity’s allocations have raised more than € 200 million over the past three years and created high-value jobs, which added that TCD produces a quarter of all such dedicated companies from Ireland’s third-tier sector.
Companies that have recently graduated from the university include CaliberAI, Parvalis Tx, Vertigenius, CropBiome and Biologit.
Winners of the 2021 Prize
Professor Ian Robertson, Honored Professor of Psychology at TCD and former Dean of Research at the University, received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to neurology and scientific communication.
Co-director of the Global Institute of Brain Health, Robertson is also the founding director of the Trinity College Institute of Neurology. He is a world-renowned author and works to protect the world’s aging population from brain health threats.
Dr Helen Sheridan, Dr Mary Burke and Ronan Lyons have won in the Social Impact category for their work in a variety of fields, including the use of Irish wetlands for therapeutic and commercial purposes, mitigating future flood damage and researching the housing crisis in Hills.
The Campus Company founders ’awards went to Dr. Gavin O’Doherty of the SilverCloud mental health platform, Dr. Julie Kelly of Neuropath and Dr. Graham Cross of Adama’s research company.
Meanwhile, the inventor awards went to Professor Trevor Hodkinson and Dr. Brian Murphy of the School of Natural Sciences and Dr. Matthew Campbell of the School of Genetics and Microbiology.
Hodkinson and Murphy are the inventors of two patent families in collaboration with Dublin University College that protect microbial technology designed for use in agriculture, primarily as seed coatings to increase yields. Meanwhile, Campbell focuses primarily on molecular biology and vascular physiology related to nerve tissue, and founded Exhaura in 2019.
Dr. Rocco Lupoi and Dr. John Dinsmore have been recognized in the category of “Those to Be Watched,” labeled as entrepreneurial scholars whose research is likely to lead to Trinity’s next spin-off, commercial licensing deal or industry involvement.
Professor Danny Kelly and Professor Anne-Marie Healy were awarded in the Industry Engagement category for achievements in successfully building relationships and collaborating with industry.
Kelly heads an interdisciplinary group on musculoskeletal engineering and has funded research for more than 18 million euros, while Healy has received 10 million euros in competitive grant income and has industry experience with major pharmaceutical companies.
Professor David Taylor and Professor Lorraine Leeson won in the “Consulting” category for their contribution to the transfer of knowledge to a corporate partner through the Consult Trinity program. Taylor’s work involves the study of the material behavior of biological materials, while Lisan’s work highlights the inequality faced by deaf communities in Ireland and abroad.
Jamie Caden has recognized the new category of the “Partner Recognition” award as a key factor in the Smart Docklands partnership between Dublin City Council and the Connect Research Center at TCD.
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