AMR and hairy brassica among research projects receiving €11m
Of the €11.2m allocated by the EPA to scientists, the largest award of €650,000 went to a research project into antimicrobial resistance (AMR) led by Dr Dearbháile Morris of NUI Galway.
The growing resistance of bugs to drugs in livestock and in humans is seen as one of the world's greatest emerging health challenges. The discharge of resistant organisms such as bacteria and agents such as antibiotics into the environment is believed to be contributing to the problem.
“This four-year research project will generate national-level data on the key sources, hot spots and drivers of antimicrobial resistance in the environment from various sectors, and brings together a team of world-renowned experts in the areas of human health, animal health, agriculture, the environment, geographical information systems, risk assessment, high throughput sequencing technologies and metagenomics,” said Dr Morris.
Impacts of agriculture on water
Other projects receiving significant EPA funding include just under €500,000 for work led by Mary Ryan of Teagasc to explore how research and knowledge exchange can mitigate the impacts of agriculture on water.
Meanwhile, €450,000 is allocated for research led by Frank Wellmer of Trinity College into breeding brassica plants that grow more hair on their stems, which has been shown in other species to increase resistance to pests and reduce spraying requirements.