DIT research aims to improve oral cancer diagnosis

31st January 2013: Professor Fiona Lyng, DIT Radiation and Environmental Science Centre, has been awarded close on €200,000 by Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Investigator Programme, to investigate novel ways of diagnosing high risk oral lesions that will progress to cancer.

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The project is entitled ‘Identification of clinically important, high risk oral lesions using Raman spectroscopy’ and Dr. Lyng’s collaborator on the project is Professor Stephen Flint, Dublin Dental School and Hospital, Trinity College Dublin.

Professor Lyng’s application was summarised by the evaluation panel as follows: ”an outstanding application from an outstanding applicant. The therapeutic and economic potential for this proposal is high”.

SFI’s Investigator Programme is designed to support the development of world class research and human capital in the areas of science, engineering and mathematics that demonstrably support and underpin enterprise competitiveness and societal development in Ireland.

Speaking on the SFI Investigator announcement, Minister for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock said, “Over the past decade, Ireland has invested heavily in R&D and the rewards are clearly visible. What is particularly heartening about today’s announcement is that much of this excellent research, which was selected competitively following international peer review, is being done in collaboration with companies who are seeking to find new products and services, including IBM Ireland, Intel Ireland, HP, EMC and Bord Gáis. “I want to strongly commend SFI on leading on the delivery of the Government’s Research Prioritisation objectives. I have no doubt that today’s Investigators Awards announcement of the over 80 oriented basic research projects will deliver real economic and societal impacts for Ireland”.

Commenting on the announcement, Minister Bruton said: “By supporting these world-class researchers in their ground-breaking work we will ensure that we continue to maintain, attract and develop dynamic companies and create the quality jobs we need.”

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of SFI, said, “These 85 funded research projects were selected from 419 applications following rigorous competitive peer review and ranking by eminent international scientists. This 20% success rate is comparable to international funding success rates for example that of the National Institutes of Health, USA at 18%.”

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