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  • Award Boost for Learning and Research at NUI Galway

Award Boost for Learning and Research at NUI Galway

Jan 15 2021 Read 309 Times

More than $750,000 to radically expand microscopy training for scientists and researchers in academia and industry in Ireland has been awarded to Dr Kerry Thompson of NUI Galway.

The funding was confirmed by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), a philanthropy founded by Dr Priscilla Chan and her husband, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, that matches engineering with grant-making, impact investing and policy and advocacy work. It is part of a $32 million philanthropic package to support biomedical imaging researchers and the development of technology to drive the discovery of cures, prevention or management of disease.

Dr Thompson is a researcher in anatomy at NUI Galway’s School of Medicine and Centre for Microscopy and Imaging, and also Chair of the RMS Outreach and Education Committee. She will use the funding to support accelerated learning and research in biological sciences.

“We use microscopy to visualise, measure and analyse the biological processes that underlie health and disease,” she said.

“There are hundreds of scientific roles that require specially trained microscopists and imaging scientists. One example is accelerated drug discovery which was used for the development of covid vaccines – it would not have been possible without imaging experts.

“The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative recognises how scientific imaging advances research. The invaluable funding we have secured places imaging scientists at the heart of ground-breaking research to accelerate discovery.”

Dr Thompson is one of 22 imaging scientists in 11 countries around the world who are being supported with CZI’s latest funding round, while NUI Galway is the only institution on the island of Ireland to have been supported by CZI.

The funding will support a new centre of excellence at NUI Galway offering STEM professionals, scientists and researchers cutting edge training in bio-imaging and analysis. 

“Microscopy is the linchpin of modern biological research,” Dr Thompson said.

“The funding will facilitate a paradigm shift in research in Ireland. It will elevate the role that imaging has at the frontline of discovery. The critical expertise and capabilities that we will be able to impart will be invaluable as we develop advanced training programmes to enhance technical aptitude.”


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