Dr. Daniel O' Hare (1980-1999)
Leagan Gaeilge Anseo
Dublin City University (DCU*; formerly NIHE Dublin) celebrated its first 40 years of operation in November 2020. Throughout these years, the School of Biotechnology^ has been a dynamic unit within the university's science faculty. It provided NIHE's first PhD graduates in 1985 and its first BSc Biotechnology graduates in 1986. The School's innovations and successes in research and teaching have continued up to the present day.
This webpage records some key events and achievements during our first four decades.
It details the School's immense contribution to DCU's development, and to the flourishing of the life sciences and of science-based industry in Ireland.
The School's core strength has always been its people: their talent, quality and dedication continue to drive our growth and development into our fifth decade.
Many have contributed to this story, but particular mention is due to Keith Rochfort (who constructed this webpage) and to Pádraig Walsh (who recorded the School's 1980-1997 history).
Assoc. Prof. Ciarán Fagan
(*known as the National Institute for Higher Education (NIHE) 1980-89; granted autonomous university status under the Dublin City University Act of 1989)
(^known as the School of Biological Sciences 1980-1998)
Cheiliúraigh Ollscoil Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath (OCBÁC*) a céad 40 blian ar an bhfód i mí Shamhna 2020.
I rith na blianta seo, bhí Scoil na Biteicneolaíochta^ in haonad bríomhar i nDámh Eolaíochta na hollscoile.
Sholáthraigh sí a céad céimithe PhD do NIHE i 1985 agus a céad céimithe BSc i mBiteicneolaíocht i 1986.
Lean an Scoil le nuálaíocht agus rathúlacht i dtaighde agus i múinteoireacht go dtí an am faoi láthair.
Sa leathanach idirlíne seo, déantar taifead ar roinnt de na príomh-eachtraí agus gaiscí i rith ár gcéad daichead blian.
Tugtar sonraí ar ionchur ollmhór na Scoile d'fhorbairt OCBÁC, agus d'fhás maith na neolaíochtaí beatha agus do thionscal na heolaíochta in Éirinn.
Neart a foirne a bhí ina príomh-láidreacht don Scoil riamh: is iad a mbua, ardchaighdeán agus dúthracht a spreagfaidh lenár fás agus forbairt sna blianta atá romhainn.
Is iomaí duine a chuir cloch leis an gcarn seo, ach is cóir tagairt faoi leith a dhéanamh do Keith Rochfort (a thóg an leathanach idirlíne seo) agus do Phádraig Walsh (a bhailigh stair na Scoile 1980-1997).
Ollamh Comhlách Ciarán Ó'Fágáin
(*darb ainm An Foras Náisiúnta um Ard-Oideachais (NIHE) BÁC 1980-89; bronnadh stádas ollscoile uathrialaitheach air faoin Acht um Ollscoil Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath 1989.)
(^faoin teideal Scoil na nEolaíochtaí Bitheolaíochta 1980-1998)
Dr. Daniel O' Hare (1980-1999)
Dr. Owen Ward (1980 - 1986)
National Institute for Higher Education (NIHE) Dublin enrolls is first students on its Glasnevin campus. Foundation of the School of Biological Sciences
Recombinant DNA biochemistry and DNA sequencing earn Nobel recognition (Chemistry)
The NIHE as viewed from Collins Avenue, with the Henry Grattan building seen in the background
The first recombinant biopharma plant in Ireland opens: Schering-Plough, Brinny, Inishannon, Co. Cork
The first graduates from BSc Analytical Science programme graduate (a programme delivered jointly with the School of Chemical Sciences).
The Nobel prize in Physiology and Medicine is awarded for the principle for production of monoclonal antibodies.
NIHE's first two PhD graduations come from the School of Biological Sciences.
These are the first Doctoral graduates in Ireland outside the University sector.
Publication of the School's first peer-reviewed research paper:
Ryan EM & Ward OP. (1985) Study of the effect of beta-1,3-glucanase from Basidiomycete QM-806 on yeast extract production. Biotech Lett 7: 409-412. DOI: 10.1007/BF01166213
The first 14 graduates from BSc. in Biotechnology graduate.
The first five graduates from research MSc projects.
Chairman's Medal awarded to Siobhán Bergin.
Prof. Martin Clynes (1987-1989)
The National Cell and Tissue Culture Centre established as one of three Bio Research Ireland-sponsored laboratories
BioResearch Ireland established to commercialise ideas and expertise of Irish colleges and research institutions.
The NIHE gains autonomous university status under the Dublin City University Act (No. 15 of 1989), signed into law by Uachtarán na hÉireann on 11 June 1989.
"2.—(1) The National Institute for Higher Education, Dublin, shall by virtue of this section become and be a university and shall be known in the Irish language as Ollscoil Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath and in the English language as Dublin City University and shall perform the functions assigned to it by the Act of 1980 as amended by this Act."
The first DCU logo is commissioned.
Prof. Richard O'Kennedy (1990 - 1999)
The Albert College Extension is completed, providing additional laboratory and teaching space.
The National Cell and Tissue Culture Centre moves to purpose-built laboratories in new Hamilton research building.
The number of non-self citations of School publications exceeds 1,000.
The invention of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and oligonucleotide-based, site-directed mutagenesis is awarded the Nobel prize in Chemistry
City Biologic, a School-based campus company established by Dr. Brid Quilty and Mr. Robert Lawson, begins operations.
Launch of taught MSc. in Biological Sciences
The School's total number of published papers exceeds 100.
The number of non-self citations of School publications exceeds 2,500.
The School celebrates its 50th PhD graduate.
The cumulative number of graduates from BSc in Biotechnology exceeds 300.
The Orla Benson Award for Postgraduate Research is established.
Publication of 'Stabilizing Protein Function' by Ciarán Ó Fágáin
School of Biological Sciences changes its title to School of Biotechnology.
Chancellor's medal awarded to PhD graduate Anthony J. Killard
The School's total number of published papers exceeds 200.
The School completes its move to the new Lonsdale building
Higher Education Authority PRTLI 1: Establishment of National Centre for Sensor Research (NCSR) & other DCU research centers
Prof. Richard O' Kennedy (2000 - 2001)
Prof. Albert Pratt (2000-2001)
The School celebrates its 100th PhD graduation from the School.
The cumulative number of graduates from BSc in Biotechnology exceeds 500.
Chancellor's Medal awarded to Edward T Mee.
The number of non-self citations of School publications exceeds 10,000.
Foundation of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Prof Richard O’Kennedy is awarded the Royal Irish Academy Biochemistry Medal and Fellowship of the Institute of Biology of Ireland.
Dr. Brid Quilty edited “Abstracts from the Eleventh Irish Environmental Researchers' Colloquium: Water and Our Environment, Dublin City University, January 2001.” Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, vol. 101B, no. 3, 2001, pp. 255–271.
Prof. Ferdinand von Prondzynski (2001 - 2009)
Dr. Brid Quilty (2001 - 2004)
World's largest recombinant biopharma facility begins construction: Wyeth, Grange Castle, Dublin 22
Establishment of Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology (IRCSET)
The development of mass and of nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometric techniques for the study of biological macromolecules is awarded the Nobel prize in Chemistry.
DCU commissions a new logo to represent it
The establishment of International Centre for Neurotherapeutics (ICNT) within DCU
The School's total number of published papers exceeds 300.
Launch of taught MSc course in Bioinformatics (with School of Computing as partner)
Higher Education Authority PRTLI 3: Establishment of National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology (NICB)
Prof. Ian Marison (2005 - 2010)
Launch of taught MSc course in Biomedical Diagnostics
Article co-authored by Dr. Ciarán Ó Fágáin is featured on front cover of 'Trends in Biotechnology'
The discovery of RNA interference and of gene silencing by double-stranded RNA earns the Nobel prize in Physiology and Medicine.
Launch of PRTLI Cycle 4-funded 'Targeted Therapeutics and Theranostics' Structured PhD Programme (T3) with ICNT.
Faculty Outstanding Graduate Researcher Award presented to PhD graduate Barry J Ryan.
Higher Education Authority PRTLI 4: Establishment of Targeted Therapeutics & Theranostics (T3) structured PhD programme with International Centre for Neurotherapeutics (ICNT)
The first 20 graduates from BSc in Genetics & Cell Biology graduate.
The discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) earns the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
The School celebrates its 200th PhD graduation.
Inauguration of the School's Annual Research Day.
The number of non-self citations of School publications exceeds 20,000.
Dr. Ena Prosser
Faculty Outstanding Graduate Researcher Award presented to PhD graduate Noeleen J Loughran.
Launch of MSc in Bioprocess Engineering with Trinity College Dublin as partner.
The School's total number of published papers exceeds 500.
Prof. Brian MacCraith (2010 - 2020)
Prof. Ian Marison (2010)
Donal O' Shea
Higher Education Authority PRTLI 5: Establishment of National Bioanalytical Research Facility (NRF), and structured PhD 'BioAnalysis and Therapeutics' (BioAT) programme with NUI Maynooth and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Dr. Michael O'Connell (2011)
Launch of PRTLI Cycle 5-funded BioAnalysis and Therapeutics Structured PhD Programme (BioAT) with RCSI, NUI Maynooth (members with DCU of the 3U Partnership) and IT Tallaght to recruit 29 graduates.
Chancellor’s Medal (Postgraduate) awarded to Paul Conroy.
Publication of 'Protein Chromatography', edited by Dr. Dermot Walls & Dr. Sinéad T Loughran and featuring chapters by several School staff members.
Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine awarded for the discovery of innate immunity and dendritic cells.
Dr. Ciarán Fagan (2012 - 2014)
'MicroRNAs as Tools in Biopharmaceutical Production' book is edited by Dr. Niall Barron, and featuring chapters by School and NICB staff members
Launch of 3U Partnership, a major collaboration between NUI Maynooth, Dublin City University (DCU) and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), on 26 June.
Amgen expands its Dún Laoghaire facility.
Irish Research Council established as successor to IRCSET & IRCHSS
Nobel prize in Chemistry awarded for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent.
Faculty Outstanding Graduate Researcher Award presented to Sean Fitzgerald
Publication of 'Membrane Filtration' by Dr. Greg Foley.
Paper co-authored by Dr. Bríd Quilty is featured on front cover of ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 1: (4) 393-402.
Alexion establishes its global supply chain and operations headquarters in Blanchardstown, Dublin 15
Prof Richard O’Kennedy is elected to Membership of the Royal Irish Academy
Prof. Martin Clynes received a Nature Lifetime Achievement Award in Postgraduate Supervision.
The Faculty Outstanding Graduate Researcher Awards presented to Valerie Fitzgerald and Sarah Gilgunn.
Dr. Sandra O'Neill
First presentation of the Dr. Michael O'Connell Memorial Award to the top graduating student in the BSc Genetics & Cell Biology.
Dr. Bríd Quilty co-authors two chapters in book: 'Water is Life, Progress to secure safe water provision in rural Uganda'.
DCU commissions a new logo for the university
The School celebrates its 300th PhD graduation from the School.
Chancellor's Medal presented to PhD graduate Sarah Gilgunn.
Completion of the DCU Incorporation programme on 30 Sept: Church of Ireland College of Education, Mater Dei Institute of Education and St Patrick's College, Drumcondra fully integrated on the Drumcondra and All Hallows DCU campuses.
BMS constructs biologics manufacturing plant in Cruiserath, Dublin 15. Shire announces major biotechnology investment in Dunboyne, Co. Meath.
Expansion of INTRA to 30 credits for Year 3 Biotechnology and Genetics and Cell Biology.
Introduction of choice between Biopharma and Life Science streams for Year 4 students.
Cumulative number of graduates from BSc in Biotechnology exceeds 1,000.
Publication of 'Protein Chromatography' (2nd ed), edited by Dr. Dermot Walls and Dr. Sinéad T Loughran, featuring chapters by several School staff members.
Almac Group establishes its European campus in Dundalk, Co. Louth.
Mr. Graham Dodrill (2017 - Present)
The Faculty Outstanding Graduate Researcher Award is presented to Emma Harper.
The School's 10th School Research Day is held.
On 19 April, the Applied Bioprocessing Laboratory is presented with the '2017 DCU Invent Award for Industrial Engagement'.
The President's Award for Engagement (Student Category: Special Merit) is awarded to the Biological Research Society for its outreach work on the Ballymun Aisling project.
The School's MSc in Bioprocess Engineering wins best taught course award at Grad Ireland dinner on 26 November.
Prof. Anne Parle-McDermott (2018 - 2020)
MSD Biotech to construct new plant in Swords, Co. Dublin.
WuXi Biologics announces new single-use technology facility in Dundalk, Co. Louth.
The School's total number of published papers exceeds 900.
Publication of 'Degradation of fat using bioaugmentation: Optimization of a bioaugmentation product' by Dr. Markella Tzirita, Dr. Seraphim Papanikolaou, and Dr. Brid Quilty.
Front cover image of article by Dr. Caroline Murphy and Dr. Aoife Crawley (R O’Kennedy lab) on July issue of Diagnostics (DOI: 10.3390/diagnostics8020039).
Publication of 'Immunoassays: Development, Applications & Future Trends' by Prof. Richard O'Kennedy and Dr. Caroline Murphy in May.
Directed evolution of enzymes and phage display of peptides and antibodies recognized by Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
First student intake to taught MSc in Diagnostics and Precision Medicine (in succession to MSc in Biomedical Diagnostics).
The official opening of the 'Microbial Bioprocessing Facility' on 29 May
Dr. Jenny Lawler wins 'Young Leader of the Year' at the at the Irish Lab Awards on 7 March.
On 20 March, Invent Commercialization Awards went to Greg Foley and Brian Freeland (Innovation Partnership), and to Paul Leonard (Start-Up).
The Faculty Outstanding Graduate Researcher Award is presented to Alan Costello.
The cumulative number of graduates from BSc in Genetics and Cell Biology exceeds 300.
A chapter by Dr. Phil Cummins and Dr. Keith Rochfort is published in Springer Protocols: Blood-Brain Barrier.
Dr. Keith Rochfort is awarded the O'Donnell Medal for best presentation at the Irish Endocrine Society's 43rd Annual Meeting
An award of €424,000 was made to Assistant Professor Konstantinos Gkrintzalis for his ground-breaking research project utilizing the fact-finding capabilities of the little known water flea to gather information on the levels of pollutants in freshwater areas is the largest Award made under SFI “Starting Investigator Research Grant” (SIRG).
The aim is to develop an advanced detection system to indicate the presence of toxins in the water before they reach irreversible levels.
This pioneering research was featured on RTE Six-One News on 6thApril 2019.
Prof. Christine Loscher wins the Faculty of Science and Health 'Richard O'Kennedy Award'
Mr. David Cunningham wins the Faculty of Science and Health 'Best Person in a Supporting Role'
Dr. Keith Rochfort wins the Faculty of Science and Health 'Emerging Investigator Award'
Prof. Daire Keogh (2020 - Present)
DCU celebrates its 40th birthday.
DCU closes on 12 March as part of public health measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
Classes continue remotely.
School postgraduate volunteers work in the COVID-19 PCR testing at Enfer labs in Naas, Co. Kildare.
President's Innovation Award, Academic and Research Category: Dr. Caroline Murphy and Prof. Richard O’Kennedy ‘Biosafety for Environmental contaminants using Novel Sensors’ which aims to develop on-site, portable antibody-based sensors for the detection of harmful algal toxins in drinking water.
President's Impact Award: Prof. John Crown, Thomas Baldwin Chair for Translation Medicine, National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology and the School of Biotechnology.
Wiley Publishing recognizes the paper “The application of CRISPR‐Cas for single species identification from environmental DNA” by M WIlliams et al. (A Parle-McDermott lab) as a Top Downloaded Paper in 2018-2019 and one of the most-read articles in the Molecular Ecology Resources journal (vol 19: pp. 1106-1114. DOI 10.1111/1755-0998.13045). The paper had been featured on the journal cover when published in Sept 2019.
The number of non-self citations of School publications exceeds 29,000.
Dr. Bríd Quilty is co-author of two chapters in Nutraceutical Fatty Acids from Oleaginous Microalgae: A Human Health Perspective.
Dr. Keith Rochfort's collaborative study on concussion in the Ladies Gaelic Football Association is featured in the Spring 2020 issue of Peil Magazine in a piece entitled: 'Concussion in LGFA - We Need Info'.
The Faculty Outstanding Graduate Researcher Award is presented to Molly Ann Williams and Berta Capella Roca
School researchers are awarded national funding towards research into COVID-19
Prof. Paul Cahill, Prof. Christine Loscher, and Dr. Dermot Walls receive SFI Rapid Response Funding to investigate the use of tailored extracellular vesicles as therapeutic strategy against COVID-19 infection.
Dr. Paul Leonard receives funding to validate and test the diagnostic assays used to detect viral infection in the populations.
Dr. Keith Rochfort receives SFI Rapid Response Funding to work with UCD on profiling the influence of COVID-19 infection on the central nervous system.
Dr. Brian Freeland wins the Faculty of Science and Health 'Emerging Investigator Award'