The objective of RAMan spectroscopy for tracking Exosome based delivery of Nutraceuticals (RAMEN), is to design nanometer sized intestine targeted iron supplement delivery vehicles, based on milk derived exosomes to efficiently address anaemia prevalent among 614 million women and 200 million children worldwide. Specifically, enterocytes, which are cells responsible for iron absorption (receptor mediated endocytosis) and conversion to usable forms in the body, will be targeted, and the exosomes will be functionalised with cell penetrating peptides to circumvent endocytosis, facilitating direct delivery of the iron supplement to the cytosol. The direct delivery we hypothesise will help improve iron supplementation at low doses with minimum side effects and in cases with reduced expression of uptake receptors. This uptake by enterocytes will be tracked using Raman spectroscopy, a label-free live cell technique, observing the molecular signatures of exosomes and the changes in the signature of iron supplements, after delivery and conversion to usable forms in cells and animal free in vitro intestine model. This project will be implemented by Dr Sounderya Nagarajan (ER), who has expertise in functional nanoparticles for in vitro targeted bioimaging, under the supervision of Prof. Hugh J. Byrne (FOCAS Research Institute), who is an expert in Raman spectroscopy for cytological studies and drug delivery analyses in collaboration with Prof. David Brayden (University College Dublin) who is an expert in industry standard in vitro intestinal models. The fellowship will expand the skills of the ER in designing cell specific nanomedical/supplement delivery and label free monitoring techniques and her understanding of IP protection and project management, towards establishing herself as an independent principal investigator.
Partners: Technological University Dublin, DUBLIN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY DIT
Spectro-Metrics focuses on the development and validation of advanced chemometric procedures for investigating drug intake and metabolism in cells using confocal Raman micro Spectroscopy (RS). The project will develop and optimize data mining procedures such as Multivariate Curve Resolution-Alternate Least Squares (MCR-ALS), Supported Vector Machines (SVM) and Science Based Calibration (SBC) for the extraction of biologically relevant information from RS of cells. The applicability of the procedures will be thoroughly validated in vitro including studies on the effect of drug concentration, incubation time and drug distribution within cells. Research activities will include the use of simulated and real spectroscopic data obtained from in vitro studies for investigating the effect of inoculation with the commercial drugs, doxorubicin (DOX) and actinomycin (ACT) in lung cancer cells, as a function of time and dose, as model systems. Upon completion, the project will produce validated methodologies and procedures for resolving Raman spectra which will lead to the elucidation of the modes of drug action and validation of Raman as a preclinical screening technique for drug design and discovery. The knowledge, grant writing skills and publication record acquired during the fellowship will place the Experienced Researcher (ER) in an invaluable position for achieving research independence, becoming a leading expert of chemometric treatment of RS data and eventually becoming a professor in one of the leading European universities in the field of clinical spectroscopy.
Partners: Technological University Dublin, DUBLIN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY DIT
The Experienced Researcher (ER), Dr Amuthachelvi Daniel, who is at the centre of this application, will, through this MSCA Fellowship, enhance her research and innovation potential through advanced training and international and inter-sectoral mobility. RAMAN-Dx will develop methods for detecting pre-malignant oral lesions using Raman spectroscopy of minimally invasive exfoliated cell and saliva samples. The ER’s skills in instrument and software development and patient testing will complement the expertise of the host laboratory, Radiation and Environmental Science Centre (RESC) at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), led by Prof. Fiona Lyng. The ER will receive both research and professional development and leadership training and will undertake a secondment at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd which will facilitate her career goal to become a world leading researcher in the field of biophotonics.
Partners: Technological University Dublin, KHU, UNIGE, LUNDS UNIVERSITET
Gender for Excellence in Research (GenderEX) is a three-year project designed to build networks, exchange knowledge and engage best practices to stimulate the integration of the Sex and Gender Dimension in Research Content (SGDRC) in the widening country of Turkey assisted by internationally-leading counterparts in Ireland, Italy, and Sweden. Gender dimension has all too often been overlooked in many scientific areas, sex/gender analysis is an indispensable means to innovate and drive excellence in research and tackle societal challenges. Research that ignores gender interactions is often incomplete and/or biased research, which leads to the formulation of inadequate policies, programs, theories, and outcomes. Gender studies, as a field, is not yet well established in Turkey and a sex and gender dimension is not often integrated into research content. As such for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) interested in gender studies and gender methodologies, there are few opportunities in Turkey to develop their research skills and capacity. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report (2018), Turkey ranks 130 out of 149 and is in urgent need of advancing gender equality. Researchers’ can play a vital role in identifying the structures and producing solutions that will enhance Turkey's advancement toward gender equality. The project seeks to build upon and further develop Kadir Has University (KHAS) with its Gender and Women’s Studies Research Center (GWSRC-KHAS) as a site of research excellence in the field of gender research. The overall aim of GenderEX is to further the adoption of SGDRC across multiple scientific disciplines in Turkey and beyond by enhancing the capacity of GWSRC-KHAS for training and engaging more researchers into this field.
Partners: Technological University Dublin, Complutense University of Madrid, UNIGE, URCA, UNIVERSITY SARAJEVO SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
EDIRE aims to create a networking collaboration between the University Sarajevo School of Science and Technology (SSST) and four renowned research institutions in France, Italy, Ireland and Spain, with the final aim of increasing SSST research profile, boosting its research capacity especially in the field of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion EDI. Research on EDI is almost totally unaddressed in BA, therefore EDIRE will contribute in introducing a new lines of research SSST in such strategic topics for the quality of research. These transversal research areas will be embedded in an intensive set of training and networking actions addressing more in general SSST research and management capacity. The project will rely, for the achievement of such objectives, on a variegated set of methods, such as: 1) interdisciplinarity and knowledge sharing, 2) capacity building, 3) participatory approach, 4) inclusivity and sustainability and 5) far-reaching methods for communication and engagement. The Twinning exercise will build on an appropriate set of key actions from joint training and research paths, to bilateral meetings, to short visits to dedicated conferences and summer schools, leading to new research opportunities and joint research projects in the field. The organization of networking and outreaching activities, such as conferences, dissemination events and liaison activities with similar projects, will contribute to the visibility of SSST and of the other EU partners in the field. An appropriate set of key actions will strengthen the research management and administrative skills of SSST staff and will lead to the establishment of a new Research Management Unit at SSST. Transferability and uptake of outcomes and outputs and sustainability after the project end-date will be favoured by final recommendations and guidelines to policymakers and other institutions in Widening countries.
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