© tpsdave
© tpsdave

UCD takes lead on ophthalmic research

The University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland, is to lead a new international industry-academia consortium aimed at accelerating the development of therapeutic interventions for cancer and eye disease.

The consortium, comprising microbiologists, cancer biologists, chemists, material scientists, mechanical engineers, ocular pharmacologists, geneticists and toxicologists from nine academic and nine non-academic partner organisations in seven countries, will learn new skills, share knowledge and work on joint projects in institutions across Europe.

The Drug Discovery and Delivery Network for Oncology and Eye Therapeutics (3D-NEONET) consortium has been awarded €945,000 over four years under the Horizon 2020 programme, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) and Innovation Staff Exchange (MSCA-RISE).

Led by Dr Breandán Kennedy, associate professor in the UCD School of biomolecular and biomedical science and a fellow of the UCD Conway Institute, said: “Through 3D-NEONET, we will address key challenges facing research and innovation in Europe today. University graduates can struggle to transit smoothly into industry employment; research SMEs may have limited capacity to capitalise on new technology or find suitably experienced staff; and there is often unnecessary duplication of resources across Europe due to individual institutions working in isolation.

“This programme is a fantastic opportunity to enhance career development, facilitate knowledge sharing and enable new skills acquisition. Ultimately, this will form a sustainable network of academics and SMEs who can collectively overcome obstacles in the development of therapeutics for oncology and ophthalmology.”

Dr Javier Terriente, CSO of ZeClinics, a Spanish consortium partner, added: “This initiative will allow sharing knowledge and bridging experts from areas and sectors that otherwise would never meet. We are eager to share our experience in drug discovery with top students in the ocular and oncology fields.”