“Feminist Institutionalist Approach to Gender Equality in STEMM” (FIAGES) addresses the research question: “is narrative congruence essential for progressing Gender Equality (GE)?” using the qualitative hypothesis that progress in GE is dependent on strong congruent narratives supporting of GE in academic and workplace organisations, in particular STEMM disciplines and high tech companies. Studying and working in organisations having a satisfactory level of gender equality can foster gender-sensitive innovation in STEMM fields in academia and in high tech companies, creating a virtuous circle that reinforces a culture of GE. It is hypothesised that when narratives are a) non-congruent; b) non-supportive; or c) congruent and non supportive, GE does not progress, while d) congruent and supportive narratives will favour progress in GE. Trinity College Dublin is well placed to support the planned research since it promotes an integrated approach to equality, mainstreams all gender-related policies and activities across the University; deepens partnerships to promote GE with key professional, service and business organisations in the wider community. The ER, with a strong competence in non-academic sectors, wishes to apply for tenured academic position in Gender Studies: the Trinity Centre for Gender Leadership, the Centre hosting the ER, provides excellent training opportunities and specific skills needed in gender studies, and the supervisor has an established international research profile strongly aligned to this application. Research outputs include two journal articles, a book, presenting the research at international conferences, and international seminars and webinars. A bilingual dissemination and communication plan will increase awareness of the research aims and results. Numerous outreach activities, including the use of social media, will allow the transfer of knowledge in academy and companies, and also to the general public.
Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are an increasing threat to global health and there is an urgent need to understand the processes involved in their spread. The majority of EIDs originate from wildlife, for example the recent outbreaks of ebola, zika virus and lassa fever. One of the primary drivers of EIDs is human intervention via host or parasite translocations. A unique opportunity to study the processes involved in EIDs, currently exists in Ireland due to the introduction of the bank vole (Myodes glareolus), via Germany in the 1920’s. The continuing range expansion of the bank vole within Ireland presents a natural large-scale perturbation experiment, with empirical data and known expansion routes already available. This knowledge, which is based in part on data I am currently collecting, combined with bank voles being an established model species for studying disease dynamics, creates an ideal and rare system to study the factors that influence the invasion process and the emergence of infectious diseases. The primary objective of the proposal is to conduct a spatiotemporal study analysing the infection dynamics of native and invasive species in relation to immune phenotype. A temporal study will allow the process of adaptation, as the invasive species becomes established, to be observed for the first time. I will be mentored by and collaborate with world leaders in disease ecology in Ireland and other European countries to accomplish my goals. The Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship would enable me to build on my disease ecology research experience and to develop a unique bio-invasion model system in Europe. It will enable me to develop expertise in the emerging field of ecoimmunology, establishing my position as a key scientist in this innovative field of research.
Ireland’s leading university, Trinity College Dublin (TCD), in partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), is seeking funding to plan, promote and host Discover Research Night as part of European Researchers’ Night in 2014 and 2015. On Discover Research Night 26 September 2014 and 25 September 2015, TCD and RCSI will offer the general public a wide range of interactive and hands-on activities, providing direct contact with researchers and allowing for discovery, questions and participation. The objectives of the project are to challenge perceptions held by the general public about researchers, to promote research as an exciting career option, to demonstrate creativity and innovation in research across all disciplines and to show that researchers are dynamic contributors to society. Interaction with researchers during EU Researchers’ Night will challenge stereotypes which have created barriers between the general public and researchers. Specific career-focused events will identify and promote arrays of opportunities for research careers. Diverse activities which will help to show the public how research benefits the community. Events will showcase exciting innovative research from several academic strands at TCD and RCSI, will invite the public to interact with the vibrant research communities from both participating institutes, aiming to delight and stimulate the imagination of all participants from school children and their families, to visitors to Dublin and the local community. Activities hosted on the night will be grouped under four broad themes – Body Parts including ‘Discover the Brain!’, ‘Mending Broken Hearts, ‘Attack of the Heart’; Language, Thought & Knowledge Transfer including ‘Identities in Transformation’, ‘Living Thought/Thinking Life’, ‘Tower of Babel’, Creativity in Research featuring ‘Biodiversity in our Lives’ and Meet the Researchers including ‘Thesis-in-3’, ‘Innovation Café’, ‘Women in Science’ and ‘Career Clinic’.
TERRAFORM will mark a step-change in the investigation of biosphere impacts on the Earth system. It will integrate concepts and rich data sources from contemporary global trait ecology with novel simulated paleo-Earth weathering/decomposition experiments and high-resolution analyses of fossil plant paleotrait data to quantify the terrestrial biosphere’s impact on the carbon, nutrient and hydrological cycles in deep-time. The focus on extensive fossil plant archives spanning three episodes of major environmental and biotic change [Pennsylvanian-Permian glacial interglacial cycles; the Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction; Cretaceous OAEs] will yield insights on plant responses to and effect on other components of the Earth system. TERRAFORM will develop new paleo-trait proxies for fossil plants. TERRAFORM will improve the parameterization and performance of weathering and terrestrial ecosystem models. Ultimately, TERRAFORM will contribute to the discovery of how plants TERRAFORMed the Earth, how plant functional traits evolved over the past 300 million years and it will establish a new methodological framework to extract the full untapped potential data resources from fossil plants. TERRAFORM will increase literacy in Earth System Science among a non-traditional audience through an embedded artist-in-residence programme.
Pyrin and HIN domain (PYHIN) proteins play an integral role in the innate immune response to DNA and RNA viruses via direct detection of viral DNA and transcriptional regulation of pro-inflammatory and anti-viral cytokines respectively. Although expressed by various cells of the myeloid lineage, including some classical antigen presenting cells, the role of PYHINs in the context of T cell-mediated adaptive immunity has yet to be investigated. This project aims to elucidate how PYHIN proteins modulate acute and long-term CD8+ memory T cell responses to influenza A virus (IAV), a respiratory RNA virus which causes significant morbidity and mortality annually. Current seasonal IAV vaccines, exhibit variable efficacy and the neutralising antibodies they induce cannot protect against alternative IAV strains, particularly those with pandemic potential. In contrast, IAV-specific CD8+ memory T cells can elicit such cross-protective immunity by targeting conserved viral proteins, thus making the identification of mechanisms which give rise to these cells high priority in the search for a universal IAV vaccine. Herein, we will perform in-depth characterisation of PYHIN expression in human and murine dendritic cells. We will also perform genetic manipulation of PYHIN expression in primary immune cells to interrogate functionality and undertake infection studies in transgenic mice lacking certain PYHIN family members to determine their role in the formation of IAV-specific T cell memory in vivo. Overall, this project is extremely timely, providing crucial mechanistic insight which can inform rational vaccine design aimed at eliciting cross-protective T cell responses to respiratory RNA viruses.