Webinar Career

State of the Nation: Science in Ireland

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

Recorded 10 December 2008


In recent years Ireland has made significant progress in building its scientific research capacity. Now the Irish government has set down a bold vision that "Ireland by 2013 will be internationally renowned for the excellence of its research, be at the forefront in generating and using new knowledge for economic and social progress, within an innovation-driven culture." Will Ireland succeed in transitioning to a high-tech economy in the face of stiff competition from other countries? What makes this overhaul of the science program in Ireland so unique? What exactly is being done? And is it succeeding?

This webinar will look at what policy decisions have been taken to deliver on this vision, consider the progress made to date, the funding and research opportunities in industry and academia in Ireland, and the potential growth sectors. We will also consider the challenges and opportunities facing the Irish scientific community.

To learn more about SFI, go to the Science Foundation Ireland website.

Speaker bios

Prof. Frank Gannon

Director General
Science Foundation Ireland

Prof. Gannon obtained his B.Sc. degree from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Following completion of his Ph.D. at the University of Leicester, UK, he underwent postdoctoral training at the University of Madison Wisconsin, USA and the University of Strasbourg, France, after which he moved back to Galway. Prior to 1994, Prof Gannon was Director of the National Diagnostic Centre and Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology at University College Galway, Ireland, with particular responsibility for the development of a biotechnology program. In 1994, he joined the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) as Executive Director, leading EMBO for 13 years and still maintaining an active research career as Senior Scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, based in Heidelberg, Germany, before moving to Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). Prof. Gannon has authored over 200 research articles published in international journals. He contributes a monthly editorial to EMBO reports, of which he is founding Senior Editor, and also writes extensively on diverse topics related to science policy. Prof. Gannon was the founder of Bimini Ltd. (1990) and Elara Pharmaceuticals (2006). He was elected as a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in May 2008, and was awarded a Doctor of Medical Science (Honoris Causa) by Queen's University Belfast in June 2008. Prof. Gannon took the position of SFI Director General in July 2007. 

Prof. Ciaran Regan

Vice-Principal for Research & Innovation
University College Dublin
Dublin, Ireland

Prof. Regan received both his B.Sc. and Ph.D. from University College Dublin. He was an EMBO postdoctoral fellow at the University of Nijmegen and MRC Scientific Officer at the Institute of Neurology in London. Returning to University College Dublin in 1980, Prof. Regan studied for his D.Sc. degree, and stayed on to become Professor of Neuropharmacology. He has published over 100 papers in international peer-reviewed journals in his main area of research that relates to understanding mechanisms of structural change that contribute to the formation of long-term memory and their exploitation as novel drug targets. He is overall coordinator of the Applied Neurotherapeutic Research Group, a collaborative research initiative funded jointly by Science Foundation Ireland and Wyeth Discovery of New Jersey, USA. His work has been recognized by several awards including the Conway Medal of Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland and the Royal Irish Academy Medal for achievement in Pharmacology and Toxicology. He is a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, as well as an editorial board member for Journal of Neuroscience Research. 

Dr. Davinder Gill

VP, Biologic Technologies
Cambridge, MA

Sean Sanders, Ph.D.

Washington, DC

Dr. Sanders did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, supported by the Wellcome Trust. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University, Dr. Sanders joined TranXenoGen, a startup biotechnology company in Massachusetts working on avian transgenics. Pursuing his parallel passion for writing and editing, Dr. Sanders joined BioTechniques as an editor, before joining Science/AAAS in 2006. Currently Dr. Sanders is the Senior Editor for Custom Publishing for the journal Science and Program Director for Outreach.

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