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Shortlisted - Professor Paul Ross


Professor Paul Ross, APC Microbiome Ireland

Impact: International

This research promotes an understanding for the first time of the human (oral and gut), environmental, dietary (fermented foods) and cultural (Smokeless tobacco Toombak) Sudanese microbiome. The research team explored how microbiome science can be advanced in a country such as Sudan with under-resourced infrastructure for microbiome research and we worked with the first Sudanese Microbiome Committee. This research aimed to bring a new forecast to the Sudanese population’s susceptibility to diseases such as oral cancer and non-communicable diseases but also the development of how unique Sudanese diets can provide benefit through previously unexplored traditional microbiome-fermented foods niches.

The Sudabiome impacts at the triad of community, national and international levels making this a profoundly reflective project in relation to the implementation of SDG goals and research achievements. The Sudabiome project achieved a comprehensive community profiling of the oral cavity microbiome of Sudanese Toombak smokeless tobacco users at hotspot locations throughout the inner linings of the mouth and through this have impacted on the local community understanding of how disastrous diseases such as oral cancer may come to develop in this population and be increased. It was further aimed through the Sudabiome to generate robust datasets useful in studying the complexity, variability, and effects of microbial communities in humans and the Sudanese environment with optimisation of this information to further enhance comparability at an international level, such as with the Irish population and Sudanese Irish migration portfolios. The research team further aimed to impact on the integration of tradition and science with urgency to apprehend how the microbiome relates to key areas in Sudan’s population dietary nutritional profiles.


  • 3.a – Implement the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
  • 3.d – Improve early warning systems for global health risks
  • 11.4 – Protect the world's cultural and natural heritage
  • 11.a – Strong national and regional development planning
  • 12.a – Support developing countries' scientific and technological capacity for sustainable consumption and production
  • 12.2 – Sustainable management and use of natural resources
  • 17.3 – Mobilise financial resources for developing countries
  • 17.6 – Knowledge sharing and cooperation for access to science, technology and innovation
  • 17.9 - Enhance SDG capacity in developing countries

Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

Research and Innovation

Taighde agus Nuálaíocht

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