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MSSI Researcher Wins SFI Research Image Of The Year

SFI 2014 SFI 2014

MSSI Researcher Wins SFI Research Image Of The Year

Dr Anthony Maher, former postgraduate researcher with MSSI and member of Kerry’s Senior Football All Ireland winning team, won the Science Foundation Ireland’s 2014 Research Image of the Year competition for a depiction of his research at the Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC), which is based in the MSSI.

The SFI Research Image competition celebrates images captured by SFI-funded researchers during the course of their research. Dr Maher, now an employee with Pfizer, was a researcher in the SSPC from 2008 to 2012 and carried out his PhD work in the area of polymorphism in pharmaceutical compounds.

Most of the medicines people consume are made up of compacted powders - the individual particles are in fact tiny crystals of the active compound, which can have a number of different crystal forms, known as polymorphs. Dr Maher’s winning image is an optical micrograph that shows a form II piracetam crystal (rough, dissolving) undergoing a polymorphic transformation to a more stable Form III crystal (smooth, defined faces) in methanol at 25°C.

The results of the SFI Research Image competition were announced at the SFI Science Summit that took place on 3 and 4 November 2014 in Athlone, which was attended by 300 researchers. “Dr Maher’s image, ‘Starship Enterprise’, captures the wonder and curiosity that science is all about,” said Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English. “It is an instantly accessible picture that grabs the attention of the viewer, regardless of whether they are a world class researcher or a child in a classroom. His image is such an effective way of showing the cutting edge research that takes place every day at SSPC and the other SFI research centres across the country.”

Dr Maher’s Image Will Now Appear On The Front Of The 2014 SFI Annual Report.

Pictured: Dr. Anthony Maher's Starship Enterprise