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TCD among research group awarded €3m for anti-inflammatory project

The project will investigate the use of plants from the Amazon rainforest on immune processes.

Image: [F]oxymoron via Creative Commons

AN INTERNATIONAL research project involving scientists at Trinity College Dublin has been awarded €3 million in EU funding to explore ways of tackling inflammatory diseases.

Scientists from research institutions and universities in Italy, Switzerland, Scotland, Dublin, and Brazil will work together on a new programme to explore ‘novel mechanisms of resolution in inflammation’.

TCD biochemistry professor Luke O’Neill will be studying plant-derived compounds sourced in the Amazon rainforest on innate immune processes. These immunity mechanisms are important for diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Type 2 diabetes.

O’Neill says the tropical plants have been identified by Brazilian scientists who are knowledgeable about herbal remedies used by native peoples in the Amazon. He said the plants “are showing promise for [tackling] inflammatory diseases”.

The funding has been awarded under the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and the overall project aims to cover related research from the discovery of natural compounds through to clinical trials.

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