Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Dr Stephen Keely receives SFI Principal Investigator funding award

16 June 2011

Dr Stephen Keely, Associate Director of the RCSI Molecular Medicine Lab at Beaumont Hospital, was among the leading Irish-based scientists who were recently awarded funding through Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) ‘Principal Investigator’ (PI) Programme.

Dr Keely received the funding for a research project entitled “Molecular Mechanisms of Epithelial Transport” which will investigate ways to treat problems associated with transport of fluids and ions in the intestines that occur in conditions such as cystic fibrosis, infectious diseases, and inflammatory bowel diseases.The industry partners involved in the project are Intercept Pharma Ltd, Sigmoid Pharma Ltd and FibroGen Inc.

Stephen Keely PI Award
Pictured (l-r) are Dr Stephen Keely, RCSI; Mr Seán Sherlock T.D., Minister for Research and Innovation; and Mr. John Travers, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland.


Mr Seán Sherlock T.D., Minister for Research and Innovation attended a showcase of work by the latest researchers to be funded through the PI Programme on Thursday, June 16th 2011. Detailing the plans, Minister Sherlock said: “Spanning SFI’s research portfolio, from Life Sciences to ICT to Energy, the PI Programme has been instrumental in helping Ireland to become a formidable, emergent scientific force on the international stage in recent years. Traditionally, researchers supported by the PI programme over the past decade have proven to be the essential individual building blocks of the strong scientific edifice that has emerged in Ireland.”

Minister Sherlock concluded: “SFIs PI programme serves as a beacon of excellence to prospective overseas researchers, investors and others wishing to do business with, or in, Ireland. These project awards also help to increase our understanding of critical areas of science, whilst also assisting the Irish economy and society in the process – by generating breakthroughs to hopefully deliver new products, services and sustainable jobs into the future.”

Highlighting the importance of showing the PI programme, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, Mr John Travers, said: “Occasions such as this allow us to see, hear and learn a great deal more about the specific nature of research projects - how the research came about, where it is at today, and the likely economic and societal impact that it will achieve.”