HRB invests €2.2m in RCSI Investigator-Led Projects for research to address emerging health challenges

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Six RCSI researchers have been awarded funding totalling more than €2.2 million by the Health Research Board (HRB) under the Investigator-Led Projects (ILP) 2022 scheme announced today.

The funding is part of an overall investment of €10m by the HRB divided across 33 new projects to support high-quality research in patient-oriented research, population health research, and health service research.

The successful RCSI lead applicants were:

  • Professor Annette Byrne, Department of Physiology and Medical Physics, for the project 'Interrogation of novel Glioblastoma Subtypes towards an improved Precision Medicine Approach for Brain Tumour Patients'
  • Professor Mary Cannon, Department of Psychiatry, for the project 'Exploring the risk factors and consequences of cannabis use in adolescence using population-based data: the CANNARISK study'
  • Professor David Cotter, Department of Psychiatry, for the project 'Investigating the relationship between the Complement Pathway and outcomes in Psychosis; from Clinical High Risk to First Episode Psychosis'
  • Professor Dermot Cox, School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, for the project 'Study of the role of platelets In Sepsis (SEPSIS)'
  • Dr Sudipto Das, School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, for the project 'Examining the diagnostic and functional role of a novel DNA methylation signature in predicting Colorectal Cancer Metastasis – INTERACT'
  • Dr Roger Preston, School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, for the project 'Increased Thrombotic Risk in Patients with Myeloproliferative Neoplasms: Linking Inflammation, Metabolism and Hypercoagulability - the CLIMB study'

Professor Fergal O’Brien, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at RCSI, said: “The outstanding success of RCSI researchers in the HRB Investigator-Led Projects scheme is a testament to the high-quality, patient-oriented and population health research taking place at the university. I congratulate the six lead applicants whose projects will explore innovative research to tackle brain tumours, psychosis, sepsis, secondary colorectal cancer, blood clots and to mitigate the risks of cannabis use in adolescence, all of which will benefit patients in Ireland and around the world.”

Commenting on the scheme, Dr Mairead O’Driscoll, Chief Executive at the Health Research Board, said: “ILP is another HRB funding scheme that clearly demonstrates Ireland’s position as a world leader in cutting-edge research. The 33 projects awarded funding all have huge potential to improve people’s lives.”

According to Dr Anne Cody, Head of Investigator-Led Grants, Research Careers and Enablers at the Health Research Board: “ILP demonstrates the HRB’s commitment to funding ground-breaking research that impacts on tomorrow’s health and social care. We are delighted to be supporting such a variety of talented investigators, with expertise ranging from immunology to community health. The awardees and their projects have come through a very competitive process and represent the best of health research In Ireland.”

The 33 successful investigator-led projects were selected by an international panel of experts following a rigorous application process. As a matter of course, a public review was undertaken alongside the scientific peer review to assess whether the research is in the best interests of the patient or the general health of the population. Successful projects were selected based on their scientific quality and innovation, impact, and feasibility. Each project will be funded for a maximum of four years.