News & Events


8 Sep 2022
L/R: Dr. Harriët Schellekens, Dr Frances Shiely, Prof. John Cryan, Dr Elizabeth Brint and Dr Linda O'Keeffe.

MEET the amazing Dr. Harriët Schellekens, Dr Frances Shiely, Prof. John Cryan, Dr Elizabeth Brint and Dr Linda O'Keeffe. Their projects are all newly funded by the Health Research Board (HRB) as part of its Investigator-Led Projects (ILP) 2022 scheme.

The four University College Cork-led projects have been awarded combined funding of over €1.6m. They were four of 33 projects that received a combined €10m from the HRB under the scheme.

Prof Cryan and Dr Schellekens’ project based at APC Microbiome Ireland focuses on a novel probiotic approach to target weight gain in patients taking antipsychotic medications.

Dr Shiely’s project is entitled “Development, validation, and dissemination of the PRECIS-3 tool to support the design of pragmatic randomised controlled trials: Towards making clinical trials part of routine clinical care”.

Dr Brint’s project seeks to develop the IL-36 receptor antagonist as a therapy for colon cancer.

 “The immune system is rapidly emerging as a key player in the development and progression of cancer”.

She says a better understanding of the relationship between tumours and the immune system will allow for the development of better therapies to fight cancer.

 “With this funding we will explore the role of one immune protein, IL-36, in colon cancer progression and spread, and examine whether this protein represents a new therapy in the fight against cancer,” Dr Brint said.

Dr O’Keefe’s project focusses on cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The aim of the project she says is to improve understanding of sex-specific socioeconomic pathways to CVD risk using a combination of life course epidemiology and advanced causal inference methods.

The 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.

For more information on the HRB's Investigator-Led Projects (ILP) 2022 scheme visit HRB

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