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APC Microbiome Institute

APC is a gastrointestinal health research institute exploring the role of gastrointestinal bacteria (microbiome) play in health and disease. The microbiome is a target for treatment and prevention of disease, and a source of functional food ingredients, new drugs and disease biomarkers.
One of the world’s leading institutes in gut microbiome research, APC is receiving €70 million in SFI and industry funding across 2013-2019. It hosts a diverse group of clinicians and scientists working in teams and sharing ideas and resources.

Research Areas

  • Discovery of molecules for therapeutics and functional foods
  • Designing functional ingredients/foods across the lifespan
  • Links between diet, microbes and mental health
  • Signalling, host immune-inflammatory responses
  • Phage as regulators of the microbiome in health and disease

Research programmes

APC’s 160 researchers include global research leaders in food/pharma areas, such as gastroenterology, microbiology, immunology, neuroscience, nutrition, neonatology, gerontology, cardiovascular and metabolic health.

Academic partners

  • University College Cork
  • Teagasc
  • Cork Institute of Technology

Industry and commercialisation

The APC team has extensive experience collaborating with the food, agriculture, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostic sectors and welcomes new industry partnerships. 
APC’s industry partners can access technology platforms, extensive databases and bio banks, and the expertise of its investigators.
Now in its second decade, the APC has developed a number of technology platforms that can be of significant benefit to industry clients in furthering their own R&D agendas.

Current industry partners include:

  • Alimentary Health

  • Cremo SA

  • Danone

  • Friesland Campina

  • GE Healthcare

  • General Mills

  • Janssen Pharmaceuticals

  • Kerry Foods

  • Mead Johnson Nutrition

  • Nutricia Advanced Medical

  • Nutrition

  • Second Genome

  • Sigmoid Pharma

  • Suntory Wellness

  • Trino Therapeutics

Technology Platforms

  • Next-gen DNA sequencing platform
  • Pre-clinical and germ-free platforms
  • BioIT platform
  • Human studies platform
  • Microbiota transplantation platform
  • GMP platform
  • Mass spectrometry platform


Education and Public Engagement 

The APC’s main ambition is to create economic and societal impact, and collaborations with innovative industry partners is a key to this success. They designs industry workshops to cater for the ongoing research and training requirements of the food, pharma and diagnostic sectors and with a view to attracting new industry partners. APC in collaboration with SFI, is involved in many local and national events, including Science Week, Smart Futures and the following unique programmes:

  • The Microbe Magic @ School programme for primary schools
  • Budding Biologists Programme for secondary schools
  • Science for All in which postgraduates present their research to the general public
  • Bringing Science to Society, a programme to engage the wider scientific community and stimulate public engagement

Key Contacts

Prof Fergus Shanahan - APC Microbiome Institute Director

Fergus Shanahan is Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at University College Cork (UCC). He was previously Associate Professor of Medicine with tenure at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He has published more than 500 peer-reviewed scientific articles and several books. He has particular research interests in mucosal immunology, inflammatory bowel disease and most things that influence the human experience. SFI named him as “SFI Researcher of the Year” in 2013.

Prof Gerald Fitzgerald - Deputy Director
Dr Sally Cudmore - General Manager
Dr Brendan Curran - IP and Industry Relations Manager
Dr Catherine Buckley - Communications and Outreach Manager

APC Microbiome Institute
University College Cork
+ 353 21 490 1320

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