Professor Damien Thompson has been officially appointed as Director of SSPC, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals at University of Limerick.
The Limerick native, who has been interim director at SSPC since April 2022, is Professor of Molecular Modelling at UL, leading the predictive materials modelling group at SSPC and the Bernal Institute in UL’s Faculty of Science and Engineering.
Professor Thompson’s research focus is in the area of modelling and design of nano-structured materials for health and sustainability.
Speaking about his appointment Professor Thompson said: “SSPC has been an enormous success to date and the opportunity to lead one of our world-class research centres is one I am very happy to take up. Thank you to previous co-directors Professor Michael Zaworotko and Professor Gavin Walker for paving the way and steering SSPC’s international recognition. I am in the very privileged position of being able to work with a broad range of stakeholders to drive forward a highly successful academic and industry partnership.”
As Director of SSPC Professor Thompson will push SSPC’s research programme forward, working in partnership with the Principal Investigators across the partner third level institutions, international collaborators and industry partners. He will work to ensure that SSPC is positioned as a scientific leader Centre in pharmaceuticals, engaged in industry-guided research that goes beyond the state-of-the art.
“At SSPC we work at the forefront of pharma and biopharma research, leveraging the collective expertise in the centre to drive innovation and bring our new science into industry, supporting smart manufacturing of sustainable drug products. For pharma and biopharma, this means more agile, leaner, more eco-friendly manufacturing of more effective, safer, more affordable medicines,” Professor Thompson added.
Professor Norelee Kennedy, Vice President Research at UL, congratulated Professor Thompson on his appointment.
“I am delighted that Professor Thompson has been appointed to the role of Director of SSPC. He is a natural leader who has built a profile as an excellent academic over his career. SSPC is an important part of UL and our partner institutions’ strategic ambitions, and I am excited to work with him and SSPC to lead UL’s research for the next ten years.
“I look forward to working with him as we seek to expand its impactful research in tackling societal grand challenges in health and sustainability.”
Professor Thompson has had multiple novel ideas and breakthroughs in research highlighted globally.
He played a key part in the development of new molecular materials for health and sustainability applications, most recently in brain-inspired organic computing. His modelling group publishes regularly in world-leading journals including Nature, Nature Materials and Nature Chemistry.
SSPC works right across the spectrum from crystallisation of small molecule drugs to bioprocessing of therapeutic antibodies and cells, with modelling and data underpinning and accelerating the research at every step.