bio science laboratory of the year

Two Irish Lab Awards Nominations For Macular Pigment Research Group

Shortlisted for ‘Bio Science Laboratory of the Year’ and ‘Research Laboratory of the Year’, the awards recognise the excellence achieved by the MPRG

Members of the MPRG team will attend the Irish Laboratory Awards event on 25 May in Dublin, following their double shortlisting for this year’s awards.

The Irish Laboratory Awards recognises excellence, best practice, and innovation in Ireland’s lab industry. In turn, recognising the efforts and achievements of Ireland’s renowned scientists for their work both nationally and internationally. The Macular Pigment Research Group (MPRG), within the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland (NRCI), has been shortlisted in two categories for this year’s awards amongst the co-competitors from the Royal College of Surgeons, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, and from multinational pharmaceutical companies such as Alexion.

According to Professor John Nolan, Principal Investigator of MPRG, “Our research team conducts ‘blue sky’ nutrition-related scientific study that is, in real-time, informing and positively changing health policy, with clear benefits for human health, human function, and wellness”. Professor Nolan also added, “I am delighted for the MPRG team that we have been acknowledged in this way. The success of this group, acknowledged now by this nomination, is the net result of over a decade of work by many individuals who have contributed in a major way to our research. Only by achieving such multidisciplinary collaboration can one achieve a capacity to conduct research at the highest possible level. I am delighted that we have been able to achieve this.”

Research background

The MPRG is a multidisciplinary research group that studies the impact of optimised nutritional intervention on human function (e.g. cognitive function and visual function).

The MPRG studies a range of nutrition-related themes including the role of nutrition and lifestyle for human wellbeing and provides a bespoke infrastructure that is highly specialised and capable of delivering research projects to the highest possible standard. To date, the MPRG has secured €5.7 million worth of research funds in this respect.

Delivering high quality research outputs, the MPRG has successfully supervised 17 postgraduate students to MD, MSc, and PhD qualifications and has published 90 peer-reviewed scientific papers in high-impact journals.

10-year anniversary

These nominations also mark a significant milestone for MPRG as it celebrates its 10thanniversary.

Since the establishment of the MPRG in 2006, the group has achieved many milestones over the years (e.g. the €1.5m CREST project funded by the European Research Council). Last year brought many notable successes, including the award of an Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund grant, the establishment of Nutrition Research Centre Ireland (NRCI), the appointment of Professor Nolan as Howard Chair in Nutrition, and the establishment of the Howard Foundation Postdoctoral Research Programme.