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Irish experts join new European Academies project on meat alternatives

European academies have initiated a biosciences project looking at different meat/protein alternatives including new (e.g. cultivated meat) and more traditional techniques (e.g., some fermentation processes, plant proteins).

The project is led by the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) environment programme and will report in Spring 2025.

The working group includes two RIA-nominated experts: Bert Rima, MRIA (Working Group Co-Chair, and Chair, RIA Life and Medical Sciences Committee) and Dr Aifric O’Sullivan (UCD).

Bert Rima, MRIA, is Emeritus Professor of Molecular Biology, Queen’s University of Belfast. His main research interest is to apply molecular biological and genetic techniques to virology and infectious diseases in general. He has been involved in many visiting groups, advisory panels and UK government advisory committees including the advisory committee on genetic manipulation, the science review panel on future of GMOs of the Office of Science and Technology (2002-2003) and the Veterinary Products Committee of the UK Veterinary Medicines Directorate (2002-2009).

Dr O’Sullivan is an Assistant Professor at UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, Principal Investigator at UCD Institute of Food and Health and Vice Principal (International) at UCD College of Health and Agricultural Sciences. Her research aims to understand interactions between genes, environment, diet and metabolism that define nutrition phenotypes across the lifespan, with a view to informing personalised, sustainable, healthy nutrition strategies.

The European Academies Science Advisory Council brings together the National Academies of Science of the EU Member States, Norway, Switzerland and United Kingdom to provide independent science-based advice on important challenges for Europe.