Biotechnology/Pharma R&D

Biotechnology/Pharma R&D

Biotechnology/Pharma R&D

DCU has invested heavily in its life science research, specialist facilities and equipment making DCU an attractive place for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to enter into mitigated-risk collaborative research. DCU’s expertise can be leveraged to meet the technical needs of life science companies from early stage technology development, through proof of concept validation, clinical evaluation to market launch. Our Biotechnology/Pharma R&D expertise is domiciled in the Faculty of Science and Health, School of Biotechnology and Centres and Research Institutes. A high level overview of the research and expertise in Biotechnology/Pharma R&D is listed below. Further information is available from Emma O’Neill.

DCU School of Biotechnology
The School of Biotechnology houses a multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers, teaching both biological sciences and bioprocess engineering at undergraduate level, and researching in a wide variety of disciplines. 

  • Cell biology and Immunology
  • Genetics & Genomics
  • Bioanalysis, biochemistry and proteomics
  • Bioprocessing
  • Microbiology, Energy & Environmental Sciences
  • Membrane Science & technology



The National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology (NICB) is a multidisciplinary centre of research in fundamental and applied Cellular Biotechnology, Molecular Cell Biology, Ocular diseases and Biological Chemistry. It includes a multidisciplinary team of Cell and Molecular Biologists, Biotechnologists, Chemists and Computer Scientists.

  • Cancer Therapeutics and Pharmacology
  • Multiple Myeloma Research
  • Monoclonal Antibodies to Study Cancer
  • Brain Cancer Research
  • Serum Biomarkers for Cancer
  • Stem Cell Therapy and Tissue Engineering
  • Cell & Molecular Biology Underlying Cellular
  • Systems for Biopharmaceutical Production
  • DNA viruses & Regulation of Protein Synthesis


The International Centre for Neurotherapeutics is a multi-disciplinary centre undertaking research into the fundamental mechanisms of neurotransmitter release focussed on developing novel treatments for neuronal disorders. It allows the development and production of new drugs for human disorders of the nervous system.  Efforts are focused on neurotherapeutics for persistent conditions lacking effective, long-acting and non-addictive medicines. 

  • Molecular Neuroscience
  • Modelling & Chemical Synthesis
  • Protein Engineering
  • Electrophysiology
  • Gene therapy
  • Cell Biology
  • Recombinant generation
  • Production/Purification
  • Characterisation/Validation

3U Partnership Logo
3U Biomedical
 Research is a major initiative between DCU, Maynooth and RCSI focussed on translational research to enable advanced treatments of diseases. 3U Biomedical Research will be a leader in translational research, harnessing the combined expertise of scientists, engineers, clinicians and industry to develop new treatments and diagnostic techniques for major diseases.
Research Areas

  • 3U Diabetes
  • 3U Human Disease Proteomics
  • 3U Stem Cell Research and Tissue Engineering
  • 3U Translational Cancer
  • 3U NeuroScience (Coen)

Nano Research Facility
The Nano Research Facility at DCU aims to enhance and support research within both academia and industry by providing open access to high end, state-of-the art scientific equipment. It is staffed by an experienced team of Research Technical officers, thus enabling DCU researchers, visiting research teams and industry to collaborate in state-of-the-art labs, augmenting the process of bringing research from concept through to final prototyping and ultimately, commercialisation.
Capability: The NRF houses a large range of high end research equipment that will allow it to create core capabilities across areas such as:  

  • Nanosynthesis                                                    
  • Nanometrology                                                                        
  • Micro and Nano fabrication                                       
  • NanoBioPhotonics                                                                    
  • Analytical Characterisation

Details on how to access equipment and facilities are available here

DCU Partner Centres
DCU is a partner in a number of research centres of excellence, both national and international which are in line with DCU’s key research and innovation areas

The SSPC mission is "to position Ireland as a global hub for process innovation and advanced manufacturing in the pharmaceutical industry".
DCU participates in the research stand - New Frontiers in Pharmaceutical Synthesis.

nibrt Logo
NIBRT is a global centre of excellence for training and research in bioprocessing. NIBRT is based on an innovative collaboration between University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University and the Institute of Technology, Sligo. Principal Investigators from DCU’s NICB are closely aligned with NIBRT