DCU has won an award an US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards in the category for Irish HEI research centre or institute with collaborative links with the US corporate sector in Ireland. Developed by the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland and the Royal Irish Academy, the awards are made for 'exemplary ideas, originating in Ireland, which have made a social and economic impact through research innovation in meeting market needs'.
Molecular neurobiologist Professor Dolly leads a team of over 12 scientists at the International Centre for Neurotherapeutics which he founded at DCU. His area of expertise is in the area of nerve communication, using the BOTOX drug, commercialised by Allergan, the global pharmaceutical company, to develop new and effective treatments for debilitating movement disorders such as Dystonias, Cerebral Palsy and bladder complaints, particularly in Multiple Sclerosis patients plus many other conditions.
Professor Mitchell F Brin, Senior Vice President of Development at Allergan (California) describes Professor Dolly as ‘an outstanding individual who has overachieved in defining the science of botulinum toxin.’ Professor Alan Harvey , Vice President for Research and Innovation at DCU highlighted the international significance of this research, saying ‘We believe that Professor Dolly’s pioneering work with Allergan has enabled DCU to play a significant part in enhancing Ireland’s attraction to Foreign Direct Investment.”
Professor Dolly and his team have contributed significant scientific insights into the basic science of toxins and neurotherapeutics, as well as pioneering the development of therapeutics for neuropathic and inflammatory pain which have been patented and are now the basis of applied translational research currently underway at DCU. The most promising candidates are being prepared in a form suitable for human use in a unique state-of-the-art GMP facility. With a substantial grant from Enterprise Ireland, these drugs will be progressed to a state of readiness for clinical trials.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Eamonn Sinnott, president of the American Chamber said that the impact of US FDI in Ireland "is being seen across the full spectrum of industry with countless innovations being seen in areas such as ICT where Irish designed computer chips and software programmes are powering systems worldwide”. Photographed above at the award ceremony on Friday15 of May is (Lto R) is Prof John Costello; Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Health, Eamonn Sinnott; President of the American Chamber of Commerce; Emma O'Neill; Business Development, Invent DCU, Prof Mary Daly; President of the RIA, Prof Oliver Dolly; winner of the award, Damien English; TD, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Prof Brian McCraith; President of DCU and Dr Ana Terres; Director of Research and Innovation, DCU.