ucd conway institute

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Describing the mission and facility of Ireland's largest biosciences research institute located on the Belfield campus of University College Dublin.


  • UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular & Biomedical Research


    UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research is amultidisciplinary centre for research funded by an initiative of theIrish Higher Education Authority; the Programme for Research inThird Level Institutions (PRTLI). Located on the 300-acre Belfieldcampus of University College Dublin (UCD), the largest university inIreland, UCD Conway Institute brings together over 550 research stafffrom all over the University and its associated teaching hospitals.

    Currently, UCD Conway Institute investigators are from the Schools of Chemical & BioprocessEngineering, Agriculture, Food Science & Veterinary Medicine, Biology & Environmental Science,Biomolecular & Biomedical Science, Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Medicine & Medical Scienceas well as the UCD teaching hospitals including the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, St Vincent's University Hospital and Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin.

    The strategic objective of the Institute to create a Centre of Excellence in the biosciences willbe achieved through the creation of structures that underpin scientific excellence, collaborativeresearch, discipline integration, protection of intellectual property and fast-tracking ofdiscoveries to bioindustry.

    The research focus of UCD Conway Institute is the identification of molecular mechanismsunderlying human and animal diseases in the areas of inflammation and infection; microvasculardiseases; neuroscience; diabetes; developmental biology; chemical biology and bioprocessing.The close collaboration of scientists and clinicians underpins the translational nature of thisresearch from the bench to bedside. The longer term objectives of the Institute are set on theintegration of the biological sciences with those sciences not traditionally associated withbiology with a view to realising the synergistic benefits of such associations. These includecomputer science, applied mathematics, engineering and economics - the latter linking UCDGeary Institute with UCD Conway Institute.

  • UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular & Biomedical Research


    At UCD Conway Institute, we are committed not only to the creation of new knowledge and advances in biomolecular and biomedicalresearch, but also to the education and training of future generationsof scientists. In line with international best practise, our postgraduateeducation programme has been developed in response to the changesin knowledge and skills demanded of graduates in a rapidly expandingworld market.

    UCD Conway Institute aims to provide students with the core skills that are essential for successin laboratory-based graduate research programmes and transferable to further graduateresearch and training or to employment. Spanning key aspects of project design, laboratoryorganisation and management, data analysis, communication, intellectual property, science insociety and career development, the programme aims to equip students with the informationand tools necessary to realise their career potential in a knowledge economy.

    The programme provides a supportive research environment in which professional andtransferable skills are delivered through a flexible framework in order to meet the needs ofindividual research students and has been structured in a manner so as to facilitate theintroduction of modularisation and the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

    UCD introduced a structured PhD programme for all incoming students to the 2006/2007academic year. This credit-based framework will ultimately enable all postgraduates toaccumulate credit for both taught modules and for research that is undertaken as part of theirdegree. UCD Conway Institute will deliver accredited modules in this context.

    Additionally, the weekly Conway lecture and seminar series (CLASS) provides the opportunityfor graduate students to learn first hand about the work of leading national and internationalscientists and is ultimately a forum for the presentation of their own postgraduate research.

  • UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular & Biomedical Research


    Working closely with NovaUCD and Enterprise Ireland BiotechnologyDirectorate, UCD Conway Institute ensures that researchers haveaccess to support services for continuing professional education in thearea of intellectual property management, practical business advice,and incubation facilities to assist in the establishment anddevelopment of campus companies. This proactive policy for thetranslation of research has seen many of the principal investigatorswithin UCD Conway Institute establishing links with the biotechnologyand pharmaceutical sectors through collaborative programmes,contract research and campus companies.

    Wyeth Research Ireland, a subsidiary of Wyeth Corporation, one of the largest research-basedpharmaceutical and healthcare product companies in the world, has established a bio-therapeutic drug discovery research facility here with the support of IDA Ireland. The 13 million facility will ultimately employ twelve top class research scientists focusing onproduct discovery, pre-clinical research and drug discovery technology development.

    UCD is spearheading a 72 million project to build a National Institute for BioprocessingResearch and Training (NIBRT), with its partners Dublin City University, Sligo Institute ofTechnology and Trinity College Dublin. Bioprocessing refers to techniques used in the industrialproduction of biological material such as genetically engineered microbial strains orcommercially useful chemicals formed by a biological process such as microbial fermentation.UCD Conway Institute has an integral role in the project and, in advance of the completion of the new facility, research work is currently being carried out within the Institute by NIBRT scientists.

  • UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular & Biomedical Research


    Through raising awareness and promoting a greater understanding of science, UCD Conway Institute strives to play a part in securing thefuture of scientific research in Ireland and to encourage public andpolitical engagement with science. We aim to continually improve anddevelop our outreach endeavours in order to inform as diverse anaudience as possible, from students and science enthusiasts to policymakers and the taxpayer, about research and innovation at UCDConway Institute.

    The Science4Schools programme targets primary and secondary school pupils through a seriesof innovative events such as ScienceWorks; a series of half-day workshops where pupils tour thefacilities, hear about the many varied career paths of staff within the Institute and take part ininteractive chemistry and biology laboratory experiments; Science Alive, a series of lectures thatdevelop aspects of the biology and chemistry curricula and demonstrate their application withinthe context of cutting-edge research; and a structured transition year work experienceprogramme designed to give 4th year pupils an insight into the exciting possibilities of careerswithin science.

    UCD Conway Institute has successfully integrated elements of postgraduate training intooutreach activities, perhaps most notably through AccesScience; a competition for postgraduatestudents to explain their research to an audience of the general public without using the jargonof science. The event has been expanded to involve primary and secondary school pupils. The associated poster competition sparks the imagination of the younger audiences to visuallyrepresent science. Winning posters are displayed in DART trains and stations as part of Science Track; a joint initiative between UCD Conway Institute and Iarnroid Eireann.


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