Joe interviewed in The Irish Times

Claire O’Connell interviewed Joe for a write-up in the Irish Times about his recent trip to Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings in Germany, meeting chemistry Nobel winners, and my current research programme in  into sensors for bacterial infections. Read the full article here.

Joe and Adele selected to attend Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting

Joe and our colleague Adele Gabba, both from NUI Galway’s School of Chemistry, have been selected to attend the prestigious meeting of Nobel Laureates and emerging scientists from around the world in 2021. The pair will represent Ireland at the 70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting on the island of Lindau in Germany.

From the NUI Galway press release: Dr Byrne and Dr Gabba will join a selected group of 660 outstanding early-career scientists from 101 countries, who will meet with 68 Nobel Prize winners in the fields of chemistry, medicine and physiology, and physics. Selection to attend this week-long meeting offers a once-in-a-career opportunity to share their research and ideas with Nobel laureates and a wide network of future scientific leaders.

Dr Joseph Byrne is an Honorary Research Lecturer in the School of Chemistry, who is in the first year of a Science Foundation Ireland Starting Investigator Research Grant project, developing luminescent glycoconjugate materials for detection of bacterial infections.

Dr Adele Gabba recently graduated with a PhD in Chemistry and currently works as a research assistant in the group of Professor Paul Murphy, School of Chemistry at NUI Galway. She will begin a prestigious Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship in MIT in the coming months.

Dr Gabba and Dr Byrne were among six scientists nominated by the Irish Research Council (IRC), before going through a rigorous international selection process, through which only half of nominees were ultimately invited to attend. They will receive a grant from the Irish Research Council to enable them to attend the meeting, which takes place from 27 June-2 July 2021. The meeting was scheduled for this summer, but due to the outbreak of COVID-19, it has been postponed until 2021, while an interactive online programme of events will take place this year to fulfil the Lindau Foundation’s mission ‘Educate. Inspire. Connect.’

Joe said:

“This meeting is unique in putting the most ground-breaking scientists of recent decades and early-career researchers around the same tables for a week. With little-to-no distraction from the outside world, it is ideal for transferring ideas and sharing challenges between generations and countries as well as different disciplines. I am looking forward to building new relationships with other chemists, but also biochemists, physicists, medical scientists, who I could collaborate with to tackle challenging scientific questions of international relevance in the future.”

Adele said:

Dr Gabba said: “Being selected to attend a Nobel Laureate Meeting is a small life dream come true! I have been certainly looking forward with immense excitement for June, so I have to confess the news of the postponement for COVID-19 came along with a bit of disappointment. Despite my childlike eagerness, I think the organising committee took the right decision. I am sure all attendees will see that waiting and, most of all, the reason behind it, as an opportunity to reflect deeply on the importance of bringing together researchers with a different background in an interdisciplinary meeting. Problems that impact our society are mostly extremely complex, we will succeed in solving them only if we put our brains and best efforts together.”

Well done, Ian – and now the shutdown!

Congratulations to Ian Murphy on submitting the thesis for his undergraduate research project in the group. He was a great addition to the team and achieved far and beyond what was required. We’ll miss having him in the lab. Best of luck in your exams!

The team: Ian, Joe and Karolina

That said, we’ll miss having a lab at all. The end of the 4th year projects co-incided with the shutdown of non-COVID-19 related research as we all transition to working from home for the forseeable future, in order to flatten the curve of the pandemic in Ireland. Here’s a photo of the team, snapped after one of our last group meetings before the shutdown

Research groups around the world will be reducing their research activity a lot over the coming months, just like everyone else, but hopefully it will be worth it and will keep many people safe.