January 2018 PRESIDENT OF IRELAND FUTURE RESEARCH LEADERS AWARDEE JOINS CÚRAM
Professor John Laffey, Investigator at CÚRAM and Professor of Anaesthesia at the School of Medicine in NUI Galway was one of five recipients of the Science Foundation Ireland ‘President of Ireland Future Research Leaders Awards’, honoured by President Michael D. Higgins at a special ceremony in Áras an Uachtaráin.
Professor Laffey is also a Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine at Galway University Hospital. His basic and translational research is focused on critical illnesses, particularly sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome. His major research focus is the investigation of the therapeutic potential of cell therapies for these devastating illnesses. He also has a longstanding interest in the effects and mechanisms of hypercapnic acidosis (hypoventilation that increases the concentration of carbon dioxide in the blood and decreases the blood’s pH) in acute respiratory distress syndrome and sepsis.
Commenting on his award, worth €1.54 million, Professor John Laffey, said: “This Future Research Leaders Award will enable me to relocate my research group to CÚRAM, joining a dynamic group of researchers with leading edge expertise in regenerative medicine, immunology and tissue engineering. This world class environment will facilitate the discovery of the potential for stem cells to enhance the response of the immune system to severe sepsis.”
Prior to his recent move to Ireland, Professor John Laffey was Anesthesiologist-in-Chief at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, co-director of the Critical Illness and Injury Research Centre at the Keenan Centre for Biomedical Research of St. Michael’s Hospital, and Professor of Anesthesia, Critical Care Medicine and Physiology at the University of Toronto.
Congratulating Professor Laffey on his award, Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM at NUI Galway, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have someone of John’s calibre join the team at CÚRAM. His experience and expertise will help drive the research agenda at the centre and fits exactly with the strategic aims of CÚRAM, to improve quality of life for patients living with chronic illness.”
Congratulating the awardees, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “The President of Ireland Future Research Leaders Award is designed to attract to Ireland outstanding new and emerging research talent. In supporting these talented and innovative individuals, we are delighted to recognise early career researchers who have already displayed exceptional leadership potential at the frontiers of knowledge. The development of leadership skills in these researchers early in their careers is vital to ensure research and innovation in Ireland continues to progress. Our investment highlights the importance that Science Foundation Ireland places on supporting all stages of academic careers, and on the attraction and retention of star researchers.”
CÚRAM, the SFI Centre for Research in Medical Devices, located at NUI Galway is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and industry partners, and aims to radically improve the quality of life for patients with chronic illness by developing the next generation of smart, implantable medical devices.
For more information contact Claire Riordan, Science Engagement Associate, CÚRAM,
NUI Galway at firstname.lastname@example.org or 091 494414.
For Press contact Gwen O’Sullivan, Press and Information Executive, NUI Galway at email@example.com or 091 495695.
Photo: Professor John Laffey, Investigator at CÚRAM and Professor of Anaesthesia at
Notes to Editors
About The President of Ireland Future Research Leaders Programme
The President of Ireland Future Research Leaders Programme recruits and retains outstanding new and emerging early career research leaders in both scientific and engineering domains, with a focus on research excellence with impact to Ireland. The award also aims to attract early career researchers from Ireland that are working abroad, to carry out their research in Ireland. Awardees are selected on the basis of exceptional accomplishments in science and engineering in all areas covered by Science Foundation Ireland’s legal remit and on the basis of creative research plans that are built on work that has attracted international attention. Dr Tomás Ryan was awarded under the President of Ireland Young Researcher Award (PIYRA) Programme which preceded the President of Ireland Future Research Leaders Programme. These five awards represent an investment of €7 million and will also cumulatively support the additional employment of six postdoctoral researchers, seven PhD students and two research assistants. Visit the Science Foundation Ireland website for more information.
CÚRAM, the SFI Centre for Research in Medical Devices based at NUI Galway is funded by SFI and industry partners and aims to radically improve the quality of life for patients with chronic Illness by developing the next generation of smart, implantable medical devices. Read more at www.curamdevices.ie or follow us on twitter @curamdevices.