Congratulations to two Irish Neuroscience researchers, Dr Matthew Campbell, Trinity College Dublin, and Dr Lorna Lopez, National University of Ireland Maynooth, on receiving the SFI Early Career Researcher Award 2020.
Dr Campbell graduated from University College Dublin (UCD) in 2006 with a PhD in Biochemistry followed by post-doctoral research in TCD in Human Molecular Genetics (2006-2012). He established the Neurovascular Genetics unit in the Smurfit Institute of Genetics at TCD in 2013.
Matthew is an international leader in the field of neurovascular barrier biology. He has published and continues to publish in the world’s leading biomedical journals including Nature Medicine (2012, 2014), Science Translational Medicine (2014) and Nature Neuroscience (2017). He has made seminal contributions to our understanding of the role of the endothelial tight junction complexes in both health and diseased states and his lab has active projects exploring the role of the inner retinal vasculature in a range of ophthalmological conditions.
Matthew has received numerous awards for his research including the SFI President of Ireland Young Researcher Award (2013), the ARVO/Genentech Award (2014) in recognition of his research in Age related Macular Degeneration (AMD), the Irish Research Council (IRC) laureate award (2018) and more recently the European Research Council (ERC) consolidator award (2020). He has raised over €5.7million in research funding and his work has led to the development of multiple intellectual property portfolios, some of which have been licensed to TCD based campus companies and multinational companies.
Dr Lopez is a Lecturer and Assistant Professor in Maynooth University. Lorna graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a BA (Genetics) Natural Sciences in 2002, and The University of Edinburgh with a PhD (Psychiatric Genetics) in 2008. She leads human health research on discovering the genomic basis of neurodevelopmental disorders and her research expertise ranges from genomic to molecular and proteomic approaches in family and population-based studies, and always with a focus on understanding the genetic basis of mental illness and other brain- and medical-related traits. She is also a recent recipient of a prestigious ERC Starting Investigator Award.She uses genome sequencing to identify genetic differences in families related to autism, and other neurodevelopmental disorders.