The Wellcome Trust Award is worth almost €1.3m over 5 years for research into cell meiosis and genetics, work which could lead to advancements in human reproduction and fertility treatments
Dr Elaine Dunleavy of NUI Galway has received an award under the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)/Health Research Board (HRB)/ Wellcome Trust Biomedical Partnership. The announcement was made at a joint partnership meeting held in the Irish Embassy in London.
The vision of the Wellcome Trust, the UK-based global charity, is to achieve extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. This is accomplished through a broad range of funding schemes in support of outstanding researchers and innovative research programmes in biomedical and clinical research.
Dr Elaine Dunleavy will receive almost €1.3m in funding over five years for her research into the area of cell meiosis and genetics. Fundamental to the understanding of genetic diseases, including cancer progression, are the mechanisms that control chromosome segregation during cell division.
Using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model system, Dr Dunleavy will examine how the DNA-binding protein ‘CENP-A’ regulates chromosome segregation, particularly during the production of eggs and sperm. This research could lead to potential advancements in human reproduction and fertility treatments.
Commenting on the awards, Prof. Mark Ferguson, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland, said: “The SFI-HRB Wellcome Trust Biomedical Partnership recognises and funds outstanding scientists in the field of biomedical research. I would like to congratulate and Dr Dunleavy on her achievement in obtaining funding through this highly competitive process. I would encourage the Irish biomedical research community to apply for funding under the partnership and have the quality of their research work recognised internationally by the Wellcome Trust”
Commenting on the announcement of the awards Dr Kevin Moses, Director of Science Funding at the Wellcome Trust, said “We are delighted to have awarded a Research Career Development Fellowship to Dr Elaine Dunleavy. These are prestigious fellowships that aim to provide the brightest biomedical scientists in Ireland with the best possible start to their independent research careers. We hope that Dr Dunleavy are well on their way to becoming the scientific leaders of the future. We look forward to hearing from researchers of this calibre from the Irish biomedical and public health research community.”
Welcoming the announcement, Enda Connolly, Chief Executive of the Health Research Board said ‘Given the level of competition for Wellcome Trust funding, Dr Dunleavy must be commended for topping international standards to secure these awards. The SFI-HRB-Wellcome Trust Partnership has opened up a wealth of opportunity for researchers across a wide variety of Wellcome Trust award schemes. Given the Health Research Boards investments to develop and build capacity in clinical research in recent years, we believe even more Irish researchers will now be well placed to successfully compete in these schemes in the future’.