Patrick O’Donovan TD, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, has announced a €34 million investment in research across seven higher education institutions as part of Science Foundation Ireland’s Frontiers for the Future programme. 

The Advanced Therapies theme featured prominently with 4 research groups, all based at Trinity College Dublin, receiving grants supporting pioneering projects in gene therapy, immunology and vaccines over the next 4-5 years. The ATMP-applied projects funded by SFI are:

  • Prof. Jane Farrar from the Trinity College School of Genetics and Microbiology – a €1.3 million grant to explore the development of novel gene therapies for dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Prof. Farrar’s team aims to create and test new gene therapies in various model systems, identifying the most effective treatments and potentially combining them into dual-therapies for enhanced efficacy.
  • Prof. Andrew Bowie from the Department of Biochemistry, Trinity College – a €1.3 million grant to explore how cells respond to viruses and how human PYHIN proteins contribute to human antiviral immunity.
  • Prof. David Finlay from the Department of Biochemistry, Trinity College – a €1.27 million grant to explore how oxysterols, like cholesterol, modulate Natural Killer (NK ) cell activity via a new type of “OFF” switch. Studying how this “OFF” switch works and its role in controlling the immune system will potentially lead to new immunotherapies for patients with immunological diseases.
  • Prof. Kingston Mills from the Department of Biochemistry, Trinity College – €1.3 million grant to study the immune responses to Bordetella pertussis in the nasal tissue. This will inform the design of a more effective vaccine against pertussis, based on intranasal delivery of the vaccine, formulated with molecules that generate sterilizing immunity and immunological memory in the respiratory tract.