Prof Michael Morris is a graduate of Liverpool University in 1982 (BSc and PhD). He was a post-doctoral fellow at Imperial College in London before moving to Strathclyde University as a lecturer. He then took an ICI endowed lectureship at Cardiff University for research into surface science and catalysis, which was followed by a move to ICI as a research scientist. He was appointed to a post in Materials Chemistry at UCC in 1993 and while there held the Chair of Inorganic Chemistry and was Head of the Department of Chemistry at the university. Prof Morris is a founder of Glantreo, a SME spin out for Cork, and maintains links in developing novel stationary phase materials for chromatography applications. In 2015, he was appointed Academic Director of AMBER and Professor of Surface and Interface Engineering at the School of Chemistry, Trinity College Dublin. Within BiOrbic, Prof Morris acts as a Funded Investigator on the Selective Separation Platform.
Prof Morris’s work largely focuses on self-assembly of materials in thin films. This has been geared towards production of mesoporous films and recently block-polymer microphase separation to form periodic arrangements. These periodic structures can be used to engineer surfaces for applications such as circuit elements in integrated circuitry, manipulation of light, self-cleaning surfaces and antimicrobial packaging.
PhD, University College Dublin
BSc, University College Cork
Vincent is a Professor of Microbiology at NUI Galway, and the co-founder of www.westwayhealth.com and www.glasportbio.com; co-inventor of LtAD technology (www.nvpenergy.com). He has interests in partnerships with academic colleagues and the private sector on the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and agri-industries; for treatment and prevention of biofilm-mediated infections; and on anaerobic biofilm reactor technology for biorefining, energy production and wastewater treatment.
His expertise lies in microbial biofilm and microbial ecology research, focused on: anaerobic biofilm reactor technology for biorefining, energy production and wastewater treatment; Control of biofilms in infectious disease settings and the microbial ecology of anaerobic biofilms and soil ecosystems.
Vincent is a Funded Investigator for the Agri-Food Spoke within BiOrbic, with the focus of his latest projects including: anaerobic digestion for biogas production from organic residues and wastewaters; anaerobic mixed culture fermentations for production of medium-chain carboxylate platform chemicals; nutrient re-use and recovery from wastewater and organic residues; enhancement of manure and slurry feedstocks by inhibition of methane and ammonia losses; control of greenhouse gas emissions from ruminants and pasture-based agriculture.
PhD Environmental Microbiology, NUI, Galway
BSc(H1) Microbiology, NUI, Galway
Áine Macken-Walsh is a Senior Research Officer at Teagasc’s Rural Economy and Development Programme (REDP). She is a sociologist, using narrative and action research methodologies to explore farmers’ and other actors’ subjective values, knowledges and practices. She works in transdisciplinary contexts, addressing societal challenges relating to diverse issues such as human cooperation, gender, animal health, and the bioeconomy. She uses sociological insights and participatory methods to support multi-actor co-design of policy and extension interventions.
Áine is Adjunct Lecturer at the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI, Galway; a board member of the Social Sciences Research Centre (SSRC) at NUI, Galway; and a member of the Social Sciences Committee of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA). Within BiOrbic, Áine currently acts as a Funded Investigator on the Sustainability Platform.
PhD Sociology, NUI, Galway
Dip. Community Development Practice, NUI, Galway
MA Human Rights and Democratisation, Padova
BA Sociology & Political Science, NUI, Galway
Dr J.J. Leahy is currently an associate professor in the Department of Chemical Sciences at the University of Limerick where he is involved in teaching, curriculum development and research in the area of waste management and renewable energy. He currently heads a research group consisting of chemists and chemical engineers that is focused on chemical technologies for biofuels and biorefining from wastes with particular interests in:
Dr Leahy has a strong research background in applied biofuels research and has forged strong links with major and small stakeholders with the biofuels industry nationally. He plays a key role in several major EC funded and national projects on bioenergy, biofuels and biorefineries. Within BiOrbic, Dr Leahy currently acts as a Funded Investigator on the Sustainability Platform, working on projects, such as REFLOW, amongst others.
Dr. Eoin O’Neill is Head of School and Associate Professor of Environmental Policy at UCD School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy. He holds BA (Hons) and MRUP degrees, and a PhD in planning and economics.
Eoin is an active researcher and seeks to advance research findings to inform policy. His research interests concern the interactions of people and the environment, under the broad themes of risk (perception and behaviour), and policy design (incentives and regulation of externalities). He is involved in a number of funded research projects across these areas and has published widely in international journals such as Risk Analysis, Journal of the American Planning Association (JAPA Article of the Year 2018), and Urban Studies. Within BiOrbic, Eoin currently acts as a Funded Investigator on the Sustainability Platform.
MRUP, University College Dublin
BA (Hons), University College Dublin
Jane’s research expertise is in the field of ecology, with an emphasis on human impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. She seeks to understand the processes and consequences of changes in land management and non-native species invasions, using plant-pollinator interactions as a model system. There is global concern over loss of pollination services and her research informs biodiversity conservation and agriculture, both nationally and internationally.
She employs field-based experimental studies combined with laboratory analyses to characterise insect behaviour, plant breeding systems, biodiversity and conservation of pollinators and their impacts on plant population dynamics. Her research programme is inter-disciplinary: her own expertise covers both botanical and zoological fields, but she also collaborates widely with geographers, socio-economists, chemists and molecular biologists, both nationally and internationally.
Professor Tasman Crowe is Director of the UCD Earth Institute and a member of the School of Biology and Environmental Science at University College Dublin. He is a marine ecologist with particular interest in research applicable to environmental policy and management. His research has characterised individual and combined impacts of a range of stressors on marine benthic ecosystems, particularly on rocky shores. He has also worked on biomonitoring tools, eco-engineering of artificial structures, stock enhancement, invasive species, marine protected areas and the consequences of biodiversity loss for ecosystem functioning and the cultural value of marine ecosystems. He has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers in international journals and has edited a book for Cambridge University Press entitled Marine ecosystems: human impacts on biodiversity, functioning and services (2015). He is a member of the editorial board Cambridge University Press’s Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation Series and of Ireland’s National Biodiversity Forum and is President of the European Marine Biology Symposium.
PhD, University of Sydney
Prof. Oscarson has made major contributions to the development of new methods in protecting group techniques, glycosidation methods and the development of new spacers and methods for glycoconjugate formation.
Oscarson and his group are one of the world-leading groups in oligosaccharide and glycoconjugate synthesis, especially considering complex structures of microbial origin, and built up collaborations with leading glycobiologists and -immunologists. In these joint ventures the synthetic structures have been used as essential tools to investigate biologically relevant carbohydrate-protein interactions and develop drug and vaccine candidates against various infectious diseases.
For the development of new vaccine candidates and to study the immune response towards carbohydrate antigens, the Oscarson group have synthesised complex CPS- and LPS structures from several bacteria and fungi, E. coli, V. cholera, H. influenza and ducreyi, N. meningitidis, S. pneumoniae, M. catarrhalis, Salmonella, and C. neoformans, and investigated their immunological properties in collaboration with leading academic groups and industry.
Recently, he has developed new carbohydrate-based mucolytics in collaboration with a group at UCSF.
PhD, Stockholm University (SU)
Paul’s interests lie in synthetic organic chemistry and medicinal chemistry. He is currently working on the development of new and efficient ways to make novel molecules that possess biological activity.
His current projects include:
DPhil Synthetic Organic Chemistry, University of York
BSc, University of East Anglia
Marina Rubini graduated at the University of Padova (Italy), before starting her PhD at MPI for Biochemistry under the supervision of Prof. Ned Budisa, where she worked on protein engineering and design with non-natural amino acids. After obtaining her PhD degree in 2004 from the Technical University of Munich, she undertook postdoctoral work in the group of Prof. Arne Skerra (TU Munich) and in the group of Prof. Andreas Marx (University of Konstanz) where she established the expertise of incorporation of non-natural amino acids into proteins in the laboratory of the PIs. In 2012 she became a junior group leader at the University of Konstanz, with focus on modulation of protein folding and stability and creation of homogeneous decorated proteins by “click” chemistry. Since October 2016 she is Assistant Professor (permanent academic staff member) for Chemical Biology at UCD, where she is working on (i) the synthesis and introduction of non-natural amino acids into proteins, in order to gain new insight into protein folding pathways and mechanisms, (ii) semisynthetic approaches to study the effect of post-translational modifications, (iii) enzyme engineering for biocatalysis; and (iv) biosynthetic production of fluorinated antifungal peptides.
PhD, TU Munich, Germany
After a BSc and PhD (Physical Chemistry) at UCC, James was a post-doctoral research fellow at University of Reading between 1996-1999 and an honorary research fellow at QUB between 1999-2000.
Professor Sullivan joined the UCD Department of Chemistry as an assistant lecturer in Physical Chemistry in 2000. He is currently a senior lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry in the UCD School of Chemistry and Deputy Head of School and college Vice Principal for Teaching and Learning.
James directs the BSc programme in Chemistry with Environmental and Sustainable Chemistry and the MSc programme in Chemistry through Negotiated Learning. He is the director of the Environmental and Sustainable Catalysis Laboratory, with over 25 years of experience in the preparation, characterisation and application of heterogeneous catalysis as they relate to environmental and sustainable chemistry.
Ongoing projects relate to the use of catalysts in depollution of chemistry (deNOx, C(s) oxidation and aqueous organic oxidation), green chemistry and photocatalysis (selective oxidation, artificial photosynthesis and CO2 photo-decomposition) and, catalytic biorefining (FAME production, glycerol valorisation and cellulosic bio-diesel).
Current bio-refining work supported by BiOrbic relates to the catalytic and photocatalytic upgrading of lignin.
Professor Donna Marshall researches and teaches in the supply chain management field at University College Dublin. She is a world-class sustainable supply chain scholar, Head (Vice Principal) of Research, Innovation and Impact for the UCD College of Business, President of International Purchasing and Supply Education and Research Association (Apr 2020), and UCD Co-Director of Centre for Business and Society (CeBaS).
Ranked among top 25 and top 6 female supply chain researchers in Europe, publishing in high-impact internationally-reviewed journals, such as Sloan Management Review, Journal of Business Ethics, Production and Operations Management, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Journal of Supply Chain Management and Supply Chain Management International Journal; winning programme funding of €30 million and leading international, interdisciplinary research teams; extensive teaching experience and winning multiple teaching awards; strategic development and implementation at multiple levels in research teams, the College of Business, and the University.
Leadership roles in international high-ranking journals, professional organisations, other Universities and conferences as well as pro bono advising United Nations, companies, NGOs, government and the media on supply chain sustainability and transparency issues.
Andy Prothero is Full Professor of Business and Society, at the Business School in University College Dublin, Ireland. Prior to moving to UCD in 1999 Andy lectured at Universities in Wales and Scotland and she gained her PhD from the University of Cardiff. Andy’s research broadly explores the area of Marketing in Society. Specific research projects have focused on, for example, advertising to children, motherhood and consumption, and sustainable consumption. The area of sustainability marketing has been a key focus of Andy’s work since the early 1990s and she has published widely in this area. Andy was the Guest Editor of a special issue on Green Marketing in the Journal of Marketing Management in 1998, two guest issues of the Journal of Macromarketing in 2014 and 2015 and she also currently serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Macromarketing, and as Associate Editor for the Journal of Marketing Management. Andy teaches at Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Executive levels, and won a School of Business Outstanding Educator award for her postgraduate teaching in 2002, and another School of Business teaching award for both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in 2009. In 2012 Andy received a UCD President’s Award for Teaching and Learning.
Professor O’Doherty’s research encompasses the field of animal nutrition, food chemistry, functional foods, mammalian growth biology and digestive physiology in monogastrics. The overall objective of his research programme is to develop novel sustainable husbandry strategies to enhance pig productivity and health while imparting a positive impact on environmental load. Other research interests include alternatives to antimicrobials in pig diets, role of nutrition and the environment, modifying immune function and the gastrointestinal microbiota, feedstuff evaluation, and controlling enteric diseases in pigs without antimicrobials. Over the last 15 years, he has led a systematic discovery-based research programme into the effects of diet on gut metabolism and digestion in pigs and, amongst other discoveries, is credited with establishing the role of marine bioactives as alternatives to infeed antimicrobials in pig nutrition. He is widely regarded as a world authority on digestive health and food evaluation science in monogastrics animals.
DSc, University College Dublin
PhD, University College Dublin
M.AgrSc, University College Dublin
B.AgrSc, University College Dublin
Dr Brunton has an MSc and PhD from the School of Agriculture and Food at University College Dublin. He has 30 years of expertise in food chemistry, sample extraction and chromatography analysis. Nigel specialises in the area of phytochemicals and recovery of valuable compounds from food waste. He has published 191 journal articles and his current google scholar H-Index is 51. Since 2012, he has been awarded over EUR1.1m in research funding from agencies including the European Commission (H2020), Science Foundation Ireland and the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine. He is a work-package leader in an H2020 grant and Spoke project leader at BEACON. He presently supervises 5 graduate students, 1 post-doctoral fellow and 3 research assistants. Dr Brunton works with a range of companies including those interested in recovering products from waste, those that develop technologies to recover food ingredients, and those that seek to use valuable recovered products. He has recently submitted 2 invention disclosures on plant bio-actives that will be exploited.
PhD in Food Science. University College Dublin. Description: My thesis was concerned with detection and quantification of lipid oxidation in cooked turkey breast muscle by instrumental and sensory analysis.
MSc. in Food science, University College Dublin (2nd Class honour). Description: My final year project involved the sizing of homogenized milk fat globules using laser diffraction spectrometry
BSc. in Chemistry (2nd Class honour) with Pharmacology and Biochemistry as minor subjects
Dr Zhu has a long-held interest in the synthesis of oligosaccharides and glycoconjugates, including synthesis of carbohydrate mimetics. He has special interest in design and synthesis of sulfur-linked glycosides, which are chemically and enzymatically more stable than normal oxygen-linked glycosides but often biologically more active. He has published over 50 peer-reviewed papers. Most of them focus on chemical synthesis of different thioglycosides, such as S-linked glycopeptides and S-linked oligosaccharides. Xiangming has developed the first direct approach to alpha-glycosyl thiols, which are key building blocks for the synthesis of various thioglycosides. One of his recent projects is to develop novel immunostimulants based on thioglycoside structures, in which the first total synthesis of an S-linked glycolipid was achieved.
Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Georgia, Athens, U.S.A.
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany
PhD in Organic Chemistry, Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Shanghai, China
BSc in Chemistry, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua, China
Dr O’Reilly’s research interests focus on the development of biocatalysts and biocatalytic methodology for the synthesis of high-value chiral compounds, particularly those with interesting biological activities. Her research targets enzymes capable of mediating transformations that are challenging to achieve using more traditional chemical approaches, including transaminases and alcohol dehydrogenases. While these enzymes often display exquisite regio- and stereoselectivity for their native substrates, the scope of wild-type enzymes can be limited, and enzyme engineering is often required to broaden their substrate range and improve their properties.
Elaine is interested in engineering enzymes for applications in synthetic chemistry and in designing methodology to simplify their use, including the design of biocatalytic cascades to avoid protecting group manipulations and costly purification steps. Her key skills include synthetic chemistry; protein engineering; assay development; and biocatalytic methodology development.
Current projects focus on: (i) the development of a chemoenzymatic approach for the synthesis of iminosugars from monosaccharides; (ii) oxy- and aza-Michael chemistry for the chemoenzymatic synthesis of chiral nitrogen cycles; (iii) the design of protein catalysts from non-catalytic templates.
PhD in Organic Chemistry, University College Dublin.
Thesis topic: “Synthesis of non Proteinogenic amino acids for biological application” (Dr F. Paradisi)
BSc (Hons) Chemistry, University College Dublin
Dr Rai leads research in the recovery and analysis of natural bioactive molecules extracted from terrestrial plant/food, animal and marine sources. The bioactive molecules are either nutrient based (proteins/peptides, polysaccharides, lipids, etc.) or non-nutrient secondary metabolites that could be ingredients for functional food development or natural biocontrol agents and/or that have pharmaceutical potentials. In addition, he has keen interest in assessing the effect of industrial or domestic processing of food on retention and alteration of bioactive molecules or affecting the food quality. Rai is a Principal Investigator on four different projects: 1. the impact of novel processing on the nutritional and functional qualities of potatoes cultivars; 2. Recovery of polyphenols from brewer’s spent grains and their biological activities; 3. Polyphenols from fresh-herb by-products as natural preservative and 4. Seaweed metabolites.
Dilip is Senior Research Officer at Teagasc – Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority, and holds an adjunct assistant professorship at UCD School of Chemistry. He leads a research group in food bioactives, their extraction and characterization.
PhD in Medical Biochemistry,Karolinska Institute, Stockholm
BSc in Applied BioSciences jointly awarded by Trinity College Dublin and Dublin Institute of Technology, Kevin Street, Dublin
Diploma in Biomedical Sciences, Dublin Institute of Technology, Kevin Street, Dublin
David’s primary research interests are in the engineering of proteins for the creation of new biotechnological applications in areas such as affinity chromatography for the purification of proteins of therapeutic, diagnostic and research value; and the development of highly sensitive biosensor applications for the detection of an kinetic analysis of protein interactions with drugs, proteins and affinity molecules. He is a specialist in proteomic applications, including array-based and MS-based interrogation of protein:protein interactions. He has patents granted in novel platform technologies based on engineered calcium binding proteins and patents pending in phage displayed libraries of novel protein scaffolds for identification of synthetic proteins for drug and diagnostic applications.
At BEACON, he is leading a project to engineer the key enzymes responsible for the synthesis of bioplastic polymers to expand the repertoire of polymers available for bioplastic synthesis. His latest project, in collaboration with the University of Nottingham, will employ metabolic engineering strategies in microorganisms to harness spent bioprocessing media waste as a food source in new bioprocesses for drug manufacture. The research will be completed in collaboration with the biopharmaceutical sector to drive the circular economy in this key unmet need, converting waste into new bioprocess fuel.
PhD, University College Dublin
David Brayden is Full Professor of Advanced Drug Delivery at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin (UCD) and is also a Senior Fellow of the UCD Conway Institute. Prof. Brayden is a pharmacologist and spent 10 years as a senior scientist at Elan Pharmaceuticals (1991-2001). He is the author or co-author of more than 200 research publications and patents mainly in the area of oral drug delivery.
He is currently a co-lead Principal Investigator in the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Medical Devices (CURAM). He is a funded investigator in the SFI Beacon Centre. Prof. Brayden was elected as a Fellow of both the Controlled Release Society (2012) and of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (2017). Research areas include working out oral, buccal, and joint-injectable delivery routes for therapeutics peptides; intestinal epithelial transport of new peptides from food, and nanoparticle formulations of anti-inflammatory molecules for arthritis.
1st Class B.Sc. Hons. Degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology, UCD
M.Sc. in Pharmacology, UCD
M. Phil. in Pharmacology, University of Cambridge, UK
Ph.D in Pharmacology, University of Cambridge
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Cystic Fibrosis Research Laboratory, Stanford University, California
Prof Murphy has been a lecturer in UCD since 2001 (senior lecturer, 2014; professor, 2017), and teaches in the undergraduate programme in microbiology, and the postgraduate MSc in biotechnology, and biotechnology and business. He is currently the programme director for the masters degrees in the School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science. Cormac established a research group to investigate the biotransformation of xenobiotic compounds in microorganisms, with a particular focus on organofluorine compounds and drugs.
He has acquired external grant funding from a range of sources (European Union, Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, Irish Research Council) and has supervised 19 PhD students to completion. He has published over 75 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters. From 2011-2013 Cormac was the Vice-Principal for Research and Innovation in the UCD College of Science. He is a funded investigator in BEACON investigating the biosynthesis of semi-synthetic lipopeptides.
PhD, Queens University Belfast (QUB)
Professor Babu’s current research focuses on advanced polymeric materials, which addresses key global challenges of functional materials, polymer composites, clean water, biobased polymers from renewable resources and production of chemical building blocks using waste as a resource.
He has over 17 years of experience in polymer processing, membrane separation, nanocomposites, biodegradable polymers and polymer characterisation. He worked in Clariant Gmbh and Asahi-Kasei Corporation, Japan before joining Trinity College Dublin, in 2003. Currently he is partner in BBI-JU AGRICHEMWHEY flagship project focusing developing the packaging products based on second generation PLA and he is recently funded with EU-China project Mix-Up investigating the conversion of mixed waste plastic to value added products. He is at the forefront of industrial research representing TCD in AMBER Centre of Excellence in Material Science, BiOrbic Bioeconomy Research Centre, DPTC – Dairy Processing Technology Centre, and FHI – Food for Health Ireland.
He is co-founder of two spinout companies: Bioplastech Limited (2009), and Selfsense Technologies (2014), and a founding member of Irish Bioeconomy Foundation (IBF). He was recipient of the Trinity Innovator award for 2018.
Research Associate Professor, School of Chemistry, Trinity College, Dublin
Funded Investigator SFI BiOrbic
Funded Investigator, SFI AMBER
Investigator, CRANN, Trinity College, Dublin
Senior Research Fellow & Centre Manager, Polymer Research Centre, School of Physics, Trinity College
Senior Polymer Chemist, Materials Ireland Polymer research centre – worked on developing and implementation of nanocomposites technologies in the Irish polymer industries through support of Enterprise Ireland.
Research Associate, Asahi-Kasei Corporation, Japan – worked on developing the polymer nanocomposites for various applications such as membranes, packaging, automotive applications, foams etc.
Executive-Product development & Technical sales in Clariant Gmbh, India – worked on developing and marketing the specialty textile auxiliaries for dyeing, printing and spinning of textiles.
Postdoctoral Fellow in Department of Polymer Science, University Department of Chemical technology, Mumbai, India – worked on developing the polymer additives based on 1,3-butanediol.
PhD graduate, Chemical Engineering Department, University Department of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, India