Monday, 27 June 2016

Four Young Irish Researchers to Meet their Science Heroes in Lindau this Week

Four young Irish researchers, sponsored by the Irish Research Council, are travelling to Lindau in Germany this week to meet some of the best-known scientists in the world.

The researchers – all under the age of 35 and in the early stages of their careers – were nominated by the Irish Research Council to attend the prestigious Nobel Laureate meeting which takes place in Lindau each year. Following nomination, the researchers went through a highly competitive multi-stage international application process, managed by the Lindau Nobel Meeting Foundation.

The annual Lindau meeting brings together young scientists from all over the world with Nobel Prize-winners in the fields of physiology, medicine, physics, and chemistry.

2016 marks the 66th Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting, with this year’s event dedicated to the field of physics.

Nobel Laureates attending the 2016 event include: Takaaki Kajita, Arthur McDonald, Aaron Ciechanover and Johann Deisenhofer. Thirty Laureates are attending in total, alongside 400 international delegates.

The researchers representing Ireland are:

· Maria O’Brien, who graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a gold medal in the Physics and Chemistry of Advanced Materials. She currently holds an Irish Research Council Enterprise Partnership Scheme Postgraduate Scholarship and, in collaboration with Intel, is working to develop nanomaterials for use in electronic devices.

· Kangpeng Wang, who was awarded his PhD by the Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is currently based in Trinity College Dublin’s Department of Physics and is working in the field of nano-optics, 2D nanomaterials and ultrafast phenomena.

· Mark Kennedy, a PhD student in the field of astrophysics, who spends his time between University College Cork and the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. His main work focuses on unusual binary star systems.

· Antonio Benedetto, a Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Physics in University College Dublin. His main work focuses on the structural properties of systems of biological interest including DNA and proteins.

Commenting today (26.06.16) on the researchers’ departure for Lindau, Dr. Eucharia Meehan, Director of the Irish Research Council, said; “Those chosen to attend the Nobel Laureate meeting in Lindau are outstanding young scientists. We are delighted that four highly-talented researchers from Ireland are amongst their number.

“The Lindau meeting is designed as a forum for exchange, networking and inspiration. It gives researchers who are at the early stages of their careers invaluable access to some of the best and brightest minds in science.

“The Irish Research Council is also delighted to announce a three-year renewal of our partnership with the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, which will continue facilitating Irish-based researchers to exchange knowledge and ideas with scientists from diverse generations, cultures and disciplines.”

The 66th Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting runs from 26th June to 1st July 2016.

The President of Ireland, His Excellency, Michael D. Higgins, is patron of the Irish Research Council-funded Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting Fellow Award.

Further information is available at: and