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One of World’s Top 20 Chemists Joins MSSI

Prof Zaworotko
Pictured Here: Professor Zaworotko

Professor Zaworotko has been awarded €5 million under the SFI Research Professor Programme

The University of Limerick (UL) has appointed Professor Michael Zaworotko as Bernal Chair of Crystal Engineering. Professor Zaworotko is currently based at the University of South Florida and is among the top 20 research chemists in the world. Professor Zaworotko has secured the first award under the re-launched Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Professor programme.  A key objective of the programme is to attract iconic research leaders to Ireland. The SFI Research Professorship award to Michael Zaworotko includes funding of €5 million to support a body of research relevant to the pharmaceutical industry and also the clean technology industry, both of which are critical sectors of the Irish economy.

Dr Mary Shire, Vice President Research, University of Limerick (UL) welcomed the appointment: “Professor Zaworotko is a leader in his field and we are delighted that he has decided to join UL’s research community. This appointment will have a positive impact for Ireland’s research profile internationally and will be a crucial support for the development of world-leading innovation in both the pharmaceutical and clean technology sectors.”

Professor Zaworokto is in demand as a consultant to several major pharmaceutical companies many of whom have supported his research. He is a Member of UTEK Corporation’s Scientific Advisory Council, Member of Thar Pharmaceuticals Scientific Advisory Board and a Member of Alkermes Scientific Advisory Board. He holds six patents and a further 10 are pending.

Professor Zaworotko said; “It is an understatement to say that I am excited about returning to my Celtic roots. MSSI is internationally recognised for its basic and applied pharmaceutical research and is therefore a perfect fit for my program in the emerging field of crystal engineering. The generous Research Professor Award from SFI will enable my team and four collaborators to further push scientific boundaries and immediately address translational research opportunities.”

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of SFI welcomed the appointment saying: "SFI aims to strengthen research capabilities in the areas of greatest strategic value to Ireland's long-term competitiveness and development.  Professor Michael Zaworotko’s credentials, spanning both industry and academia, bring an exceptional calibre and esteem to the thriving research community at UL and will help to better position Ireland as a global hub for the pharmaceutical industry. This appointment represents a significant investment building on investment in the SFI Synthesis & Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC) which clearly acted as an international magnet for research excellence and relevance and itself is further strengthen by this appointment; a virtuous autocatalytic process. Professor Zaworotko appointment will further enhance Ireland’s reputation as a destination of choice for world-class researchers, industrial partnerships, collaborations and as a location for attracting international funding eg from EU Horizon 2020. SFI is delighted to partner with UL and its philanthropic donors on the Bernal Project and to support Professor Zaworotko’s research programme which was highly recommended by distinguished international reviewers for the scientific excellence and potential economic impact.”

Previously Prof Zaworotko was Dean of Arts and Science at the University of Winnipeg, Professor of Chemistry and Department Chair at St Mary’s and has held research positions at the University of Victoria, University of Alabama and Imperial College, London.

Professor Zaworotko is a prolific publisher of high quality peer reviewed research papers. His h-index is 68. He has published over 300 original research articles and these have been cited over 21,000 times. He is among the top 20 most cited chemists in the ISI database, was Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011 and is a reviewer for Science, Nature, JACS and Angewandte Chemie.

The University of Limerick excels in translational research – focused on delivering real impact for Irish industry. Through The Bernal Project – our multidisciplinary teams of scientists and engineers deliver solutions, which are changing the face of advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing, modern materials, biomedical engineering and energy sectors.