UL early career researchers awarded over €1.85 million in SFI funding

Career Development Award recipient, Dr Pat Kiely, University of Limerick
Career Development Award recipient, Dr Pat Kiely, University of Limerick
Four University of Limerick researchers have been awarded in excess of €1.85 million in funding by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) as part of today’s €23 million funding announcement by Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock. The UL research awards included Career Development Awards to Dr Pat Kiely, Dr Sarah Hudson and Dr Christophe Silien and a Starting Investigator Research Grant to Dr Stephen Dooley.
Dr Mary Shire, Vice President Research, UL welcomed the announcement; “The Career Development Awards and Starting Investigator Research Grants programmes from Science Foundation Ireland are essential in supporting the next generation of world-class researchers in Ireland. Programmes like these enable our best researchers to pursue their work to make a real impact for society.”
The research activities supported through these grants are in the vital fields of cancer, alternative energy, nanoscience and drug delivery.
Career Development Award recipient, Dr Pat Kiely is undertaking research into colon cancer. Dr Kiely explains; “Approximately 3,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer every year in Ireland and it is the second most common cause of cancer death in Ireland.”

Dr Kiely’s research is focused on a protein called RACK1, he explains: “RACK1 is present in all cells and its role is similar to that of a conductor of an orchestra. When the conductor does not work properly, things go wrong, leading to the development of cancer. The work here is designed to reveal RACK1 function as a potential prognostic marker and therapeutic target in colon cancer and establish inhibitory peptides with novel therapeutic prospects as anti-cancer drugs.”
Dr Kiely’s research is a unique collaboration between bioscientists, engineers and medics. Dr Kiely explains; “will be based in the Department of Life Sciences, MSSI and Stokes Institute where we will use state of the art microscopy and novel cell monitoring platforms to advance our understanding of colon cancer. The project will also help forge stronger links between UL and clinicians based in University Hospital Limerick.”
University of Limerick – SFI Career Development Award Winners
Dr Christophe Silien, Nonlinear optical micro-spectroscopy for multiplex susoension immunoassay. Department of Physics and Energy, University of Limerick.
Dr Sarah Hudson, Bio-availing of Antimicrobial Resources. Dr Hudson is a researcher with the Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre, (SSPC), University of Limerick.
Dr Pat Kiely, Targeting RACKI as a dynamic cog downstream of growth factor. Dr Kiely’s research is based in the Department of Life Sciences, MSSI and Stokes Institute at the University of Limerick and will help forge stronger links between UL and clinicians based in University Hospital Limerick.
University of Limerick SFI Starting Investigator Research Grant Winner
Dr Stephen Dooley, Realistic Reaction Kinetics Models for the Production of Platform Chemicals and Designer Fuel, Carbolea – research group for advanced biomass strategies and technologies, University of Limerick.