Award-winning Maynooth University PhD Student in Life Sciences

Professor Gary Moran, President IFS, presenting Nicola with her award.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - 13:45

Ms Nicola Moloney BSc, a 3rd year PhD student in the Department of Biology, Maynooth University was awarded the prestigious Best Oral Presentation Prize at the Irish Fungal Society Meeting which was held in Malahide, Co. Dublin from 20-22 March 2016.
The international meeting was attended by over 140 Scientists and Clinicians from throughout Europe and North America, and was held in conjunction with the British Society for Medical Mycology and the Austrian Medical Mycology Society. The winning presentation was on the topic “Dissecting and Exploiting Adaptations to Iron Starvation in Aspergillus fumigatus.” and comprised some data recently published in the peer-reviewed, international Journal of Proteomics, where Nicola was joint first author, along with new information on the proteomic response of Aspergillus to restricted iron availability. The monetary prize was won in the face of tough competition from other excellent students from Irish Universities, and was presented to Nicola by Professor Gary Moran, Irish Fungal Society President.
Nicola is a first class honours graduate of the BSc (Biomedical Science) programme at Maynooth University (2012). She commenced her PhD studies in 2013 under the supervision of Professor Sean Doyle in the Department of Biology, and joins a long list of research award winners from Professor Doyle’s research team. Nicola’s work is funded by a competitive Science Foundation Ireland Investigator award to Professor Doyle. Importantly, Nicola’s molecular microbiology project is facilitated by access to the superb instrumentation infrastructure, including HPLC and protein mass spectrometry equipment, at Maynooth University. This equipment was secured by competitive funding from the Higher Education Authority and Science Foundation Ireland.
Aspergillus fumigatus can cause severe disease in immunocompromised, COPD and cystic fibrosis patients. Research in Professor Doyle’s laboratory is directed towards both anti-fungal drug target identification and improved diagnosis of the infection, and is carried out in collaboration with other researchers in the Department of Biology and DCU, as well as overseas. Professor Doyle commented “Nicola’s success is very well deserved. She is an excellent student, great thinker and experimental Scientist, and Maynooth University is very lucky to attract PhD students of her calibre. It is imperative that the University maintains and develops its capacity to undertake competitive life science research so that other excellent students can avail of similar opportunities and develop successful careers in academia or industry”.

Immunology & Microbiology