To become a university of international standing by supporting researchers across all disciplines to conduct impactful research is Dr Canny’s goal
Waterford Institute of Technology is proud to announce the appointment of Dr Geraldine Canny to the position of Head of Research at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT).
Welcoming Dr Canny to the new role in WIT, Dr Mark White VP Research, Innovation & Graduate Studies highlighted the strategic importance of having a Head of Research at WIT, not only in managing the growth of research activity, capacity, and capability within the Institute, but also as a critical element in the transition to a Technological University.
“We now have a strategic internal and external research and innovation focus at WIT, and we aim to continue growing and developing both. Dr Canny is a superb addition to the research support team. Her impressive background and credentials speak for themselves. We look forward to working together and are excited by the many opportunities her appointment will bring.”
MSCA National Delegate
Dr Canny joins WIT from the Irish University Association, where she held the position of Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) National Delegate and National Contact Point. During her tenure as Head of the Irish MSCA office funding awarded to Irish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), companies and non-academic organisations exceeded 95 million euros.
Speaking of her vision for WIT and the research department Dr Canny hopes: “to become a university of international standing and globally linked, through innovative, interdisciplinary collaboration. This will be achieved by supporting researchers across all disciplines to conduct excellent, impactful research and increasing funding from external sources.”
The team at the Research Support Unit has a central role to play. Dr Canny believes that providing researchers with proper support is crucial: “an inclusive and supportive culture is key to a thriving research environment and I am glad to see that WIT strives towards this by organising events and providing training for researchers at all career stages.”
Leading research performer
WIT is recognised as the leading research performer in the Institute of Technology sector, and the most successful Institute of Technology outside Dublin in the area of knowledge transfer and industry collaboration. In 2019/2020 WIT generated €10.2 million in research funding from a variety of National and European funding agencies, state bodies, industrial partners and philanthropic benefactors.
Dr Geraldine Canny was born in Dublin and grew up in County Galway. Dr Canny holds a BSc in Biotechnology from National University of Ireland Galway and a PhD in Immunology from University College Dublin. Her doctoral work focussed on the role of pro- and anti-inflammatory molecules in the intestine. She then carried out a CCFA-funded postdoctoral fellowship at Brigham Women's Hospital, Boston where her work addressed the molecular regulation of epithelial antimicrobial proteins and their function in mucosal immunity. She held the position of Instructor at Harvard Medical School from 2005-2007. Her awards include the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America Young investigator of the year award.
Subsequently, as Senior Lecturer at Lausanne University Hospital and the University of Lausanne, she established and ran a translational research programme on endometrial biology and endometriosis. During this time, Geraldine established the ethics framework for her division and was a member of the University of Lausanne Faculty of Biology and Medicine Research Commission and of the Selection committee for the International Ph.D. Programme. From 2009 to 2012 Dr Canny also held the position of Adjunct lecturer at University College Dublin.
Dr Canny was then employed at a foundation and at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) where she managed several national and international fellowship programmes as well as European funding programmes. Between 2018 and 2021 Dr Canny held the position of Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) National Delegate and National Contact Point. She led a project under the Net4Mobility+ CSA and as National delegate, contributed to the policy underpinning MSCA in Horizon Europe. She also served as a Steering committee member for several MSCA COFUND programmes and for the Irish Health Research Forum.
Dr Canny's current interests include mucosal immunity, immune-endocrine system crosstalk, hormone signalling and anti-inflammatory lipids.