A World Leading SFI Research Centre - Science Foundation Ireland - For What's Next



The APC Microbiome Ireland SFI Research Centre, founded as the Alimentary Pharmabotic Centre in 2003, is about people working together across the boundaries of traditional research sectors. The APC has created a lively trans-disciplinary environment with clinicians, clinician-scientists and basic scientists from diverse backgrounds working in teams, sharing ideas and resources. Although focused upon the magic and mysteries of the gastrointestinal bacterial community, (the microbiota), the scale and scope of the work has become one of the fastest moving areas of biology, of relevance to all branches of human medicine and veterinary science, and is of growing importance to the economic welfare of society.

The microbiota is not only a target for treatment and prevention of disease, it is a repository for functional food ingredients and even new drugs and is a source of novel biomarkers of disease risk. APC researchers welcome collaborators from industry, large and small enterprises, indigenous and multi-national, and have extensive experience with the food, agriculture, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostic sectors. The scientific organisation of the APC consists of a matrix of vertical pillars or themes of intellectual pursuit which are supported by multiple horizontal or shared technology platforms. This ensures freshness of ideas and support for intellectual curiosity while serving as a magnet to attract and drive industry-focussed research.

The APC is a national institute and resource which continues to serve as an agent of change –creating an environment conducive to innovation and challenging obstacles and outdated concepts in education. It is outward looking with an international reputation as a leading global microbiome institute, with a broad range of academic and commercial partnerships. APC Microbiome Ireland builds on many success stories of its earlier years a looks to the future with energy, enthusiasm and confidence.

APC Microbiome Ireland


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Mission, Vision and Values


  • To bring talented researchers, clinicians and industry together to develop microbiome based knowledge, solutions and products to tackle societal challenges and support economic growth. 


  • To continue to be global research leaders who positively impact human and planetary health through excellent microbiome science and innovation.


  • teamwork, leadership, intellectual honesty, excellence, impact and the creation and maintenance of an environment conducive to learning and innovation.



Since its establishment in 2003, APC Microbiome Ireland has become a global leader in microbiome research and has continued to demonstrate the impact of APC research on society and on the Irish economy . Some highlights of this are:

  • For every €1 investment by SFI, APC has attracted another €1.84 of inward investment for APC research
  • APC helps to generate €1.2m for the Irish economy each week, including expenditure and taxation impact.
  • In analysis of the multiplier effect of investment, the report showed a return of €5.60 return to the economy for every €1 state investment in APC
  • 10 APC Principal Investigators were included ranked in the top 1% of researchers in the Clarivate Analytics 2018 Highly Cited Researchers List
  • APC scientific discoveries have contributed to global health challenges such as antimicrobial resistance, obesity, mental health, successful ageing and inflammatory diseases
  • APC works closely with industry. In the last 5 years, 56 collaborative projects with industry have secured over €30million in R&D funding from industry for APC research.
  • APC has produced over 2,500 publications in its 15-year history, which have been cited 80,873 times, equating to an average 32 citations per paper.  40% of the APC publications have been from international collaborations with co-authors based in 59 different countries.
  • APC papers have a citation rate over twice the world average, and 25% of APC publications are among the top 10% most frequently cited papers globally.
  • APC has developed and trained 550 alumni who have advanced to positions in academia, industry and the healthcare sector across the globe
  • APC has a vigorous education and public engagement programme.  APC researchers interact with approx. 80,000 members of the public annually.

APC Aims

  • To investigate the means by which intestinal microbiota influence health and disease, and to position Ireland at the forefront of this exciting research area
  • To develop new therapies for lifelong debilitating gastrointestinal conditions such as inflammatory conditions of the gut, GI infections, cystic fibrosis, metabolic disorder
  • To explore commercial opportunities in the pharma, food, diagnostics and veterinary sectors to develop economic benefit for Ireland and a societal benefit for patients and consumers
  • To develop robust collaborations with industry partners with similar scientific goals
  • To develop the scientific leaders of tomorrow by attracting the brightest and most enthusiastic students to our postgraduate programme and creating a research and training environment  for all APC researchers that is renowned for its excellence
  • To provide a resource for industry by delivering a high level of expertise, know-how and facilities
  • To actively promote communication with government, Irish and international industry and the public, in particular schools and young people, on issues such as gastrointestinal disorders, probiotics and functional foods as well as keeping the public abreast of new research discoveries

Visitors’ Information

The APC headquarters are located in the Bioscience Building in University College Cork. The UCC website provides visitor information.

Host Institution

Host Logos - UCC and Teagasc

Partner Institutions

APC Microbiome Ireland

Biosciences Building, University College Cork, Ireland,