Partner University News

Trinity College Dublin team creates new cell language

Very exciting work happening over in Trinity College Dublin this week! Scientists working in Trinity’s School of Biochemistry and Immunology have made groundbreaking moves in a study which combines several different disciplines, including “linguistics, enzymology and mathematical modeling”.

In this recently published study, the group have revealed a new language written by them to gain more information about cells. The computer-based language will allow deciphering of the way in which proteins are modified by sugar molecules. It aids in understanding how cells can develop multiple glycoforms of the same protein, and has the potential to help in gaining more information about cancer cells, neurons, and immune cells, among others. This means that they could use it to get more data on how these cells change their surface glycosylation when there is a disease present.

Andrew McDonald, a team member who invented the language, said that their system “is capable of predicting the millions of possible glycoforms in the cell and also the control points that generate much of the complexity present in normal and cancerous cells”.

Funding for the study was provided by EU Marie Curie and Science Foundation Ireland to Professor Gavin Davey, an Associate Professor in Neuroscience at Trinity, and his team. Along with the published study, the group also launched an interactive web application called O-Glycologue which is a simulator of the enzymes of O-linked glycosylation. The app is available to the public through the Trinity College Dublin website.

Undergraduate Awards:

This is the type of research that is wonderful to see our partners engaging in and we’re proud to potentially link our undergraduate applicants with institutions where groundbreaking research is taking place. If you have any undergraduate research that’s you’re particularly proud of or are currently doing an interesting project, don’t forget to submit it to us here.

UA Highly Commended Entrant Awarded Uversity Scholarship

UA is delighted to announce that our 2015 Highly Commended Entrant, Laura Cummins, has been awarded a scholarship at Uversity. Laura has been award the Creative Impact Scholarship to enrol at Uversity’s 2016/17 Master of Arts in Creative Process.

As a partner of The Undergraduate Awards, Uversity was present at the UA Global Summit in November 2015 and met with the 2015 attendees at the UFair event where Partners of The Undergraduate Awards have the opportunity to be present at the event and meet the world’s top students face to face.

Laura was a perfect candidate for Uversity’s MA programme having achieved the UA award for her entry in the hugely competitive Music, Film, Theatre & Art History category.

A graduate of the University of Leeds in French and History of Art, Laura is the first UK participant in Uversity’s MA programme.

Laura will be joining a diverse group of international students at Uversity who will customise their academic and creative journeys to achieve personal and professional goals. During the course of the year, Uversity students choose courses offered by Uversity’s twenty-four partners, attend a core module, Creative Process and Immersive Practice, with their classmates and then complete a final project.   Uniquely, Uversity students are supported by a mentor who is an arts practitioner.  This ensures that Uversity students access additional opportunities to unlock their creative potential and career prospects.

Uversity is still accepting applications for the 2016/17 year. To find out more check out their latest video, visit their website at or attend the free Virtual Grad Fair on April 20th 2016 from 14:00 to 17:00 (GMT).   At the event you can chat with Uversity staff, Uversity students and graduates and mentors.

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Irish Research Council’s New Horizons Scheme Award Funding to Trinity Researchers

The Irish Research Council’s New Horizons scheme supports top-class researchers in Ireland’s higher education system to develop novel and excellent ideas and to build towards seeking further investment in those ideas from the EU’s Research and Innovation framework, Horizon2020. The scheme represents one of a number of measures implemented by the Council that contribute towards enabling Ireland to be successful within the European research sphere, and ultimately to reach our national target of winning €1.25billion of Horizon 2020 funding.

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Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.

“This scheme will nurture outstanding talent and help to promote the development of a research community that is internationally competitive into the future,” stated Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, Chair of the Irish Research Council. “The potential for the awardees to go on and win further funding for Ireland through Horizon2020 is strong. The scale of European research funding is such that a single award from the European Research Council in the future for one of the successful awardees could outweigh the aggregate cost of all awards being announced today under New Horizons 2015. Given our ambitious target for Horizon2020, these modest investments in future research leaders make a lot of sense on many different levels.”

Speaking about the scheme, Minister English said that the funding will ‘provide opportunities for the Irish research community to maintain momentum in what is an incredibly competitive European research funding environment. This scheme taps into the incredible breadth and diversity of expertise in our institutions, and the funding will enable a set of exceptional researchers to carry forward their research and also help to establish a strong track record in interdisciplinary research.’

The winning research spans across various disciplines including Agriculture, Bio-based industry, Climate, Innovation, Security, Space and Transport. Three Trinity College Dublin researchers recently received awards under the Irish Research Council’s New Horizons scheme. Overall Trinity received 18% of more than €2m in competitive funding for 17 different research projects which were announced by Damien English, TD, Minister for Skills, Research & Innovation:

Associate Professor of Economics, Eleanor Denny’s research will explore developments in behavioural economics and information systems in her interdisciplinary project on efficient energy. Her data analytical research will ascertain whether providing customers with information on how much electrical appliances cost to run will encourage them to buy more energy efficient products.

Ussher Assistant Professor in Irish Writing, Tom Walker’s research, ‘Yeats and the Writing of Art’ examines the work of W.B. Yeats through the prism of nineteenth and twentieth-century art writing – encompassing the many textual forms through which art spectatorship and writing were combined during the period, ranging from aesthetic philosophy to art history to exhibition reviews to ekphrastic poems.

Assistant Professor in International Peace Studies and Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies, Carlo Aldrovandi’s research, ‘Transforming the Conflict over the Holy Land: An Engagement with Israeli Religious Zionism and its Sacred Values’ looks at the interface of international relations, religion, human rights and peace studies.

More information on Horizon 20/20 can be found here.

Trinity College Dublin is a partner of The Undergraduate Awards, the world’s largest, pan-discipline academic awards programme. UA has 25 different categories that are now open for submissions. You can submit your undergraduate research to UA by uploading your paper to the UA Form.  Please read the submission criteria before submitting.

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