University College Cork (UCC)

12 uccUniversity College Cork (UCC) has over 18,000 undergraduate students of which over 3,000 are postgraduate students, with over 2,000 from 93 countries. It is ranked in the top 2% of Universities worldwide and in 2010-11 had a total research income of €82M. Partner in the MaCuMBA project is the BIOMERIT Research Centre (BRC) (Director Prof. Fergal O’Gara), located in the Microbiology Department and Biosciences Institute at UCC. The BIOMERIT Research Centre (BRC) was established in 1991 as a centre of excellence. The centre aims to promote, co-ordinate and develop key biotechnology research and to target strategic research funding to sustain and develop research programs in biotechnology. Over the years, BRC has established close collaborations with the Environmental Institute (ERI), UCC (Director Prof. Alan Dobson), bringing together multidisciplinary teams of researchers, crossing four faculties and more than 12 departments and research groups, within state-of-the-art research facilities.


Contact person: Fergal O'Gara (



Role of UCC in MaCuMBA:

UCC will be the leader of work package 5 (Cell to Cell communication) and this task will be carried out by Prof. Fergal O’Gara. University College Cork (BRC and ERI) will contribute to several workpackes, but its work will primarily focus on understanding and dissecting cell to cell communication in the marine environment (WP5). This will also be linked to help improve the culturing efficiency of marine microorganisms.


Profile of staff engaged in the project:

Fergal OGara

Professor Fergal O’Gara is emeritus professor of microbiology and director of the BRC, since its foundation in 1991. He received his PhD in 1974 and DSc in 1991. He was elected to membership of the Royal Irish Academy in 2003 and has served as its Vice-President. He is former chair of EU training and mobility (TMR) panel and was joint vice-chair of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on GMOs (2000-2006). He is a member of the International Board of Ambassadors of the International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME) and was a member of Irish Bioethics Council from 2003-2006. He runs a multidisciplinary research team in the BRC.
Alan Dobson Professor Alan Dobson is director of the Environmental Research Institute at UCC. He received his PhD in 1985 and a DSc in 2006. Sixteen PhD and 32 MSc students have to date graduated under his supervision. He currently heads up a research group of 12 scientists including 6 postdoctoral scientists and 6 postgraduate students.

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