Limerick-based research centre announces key appointment

Leader reporter


Leader reporter


Limerick-based research centre announces key appointment

Dr Sarah Hayes has been appointed as Chief Operations Officers at SSPC

DOCTOR Sarah Hayes, has been appointed as Chief Operations Officer of SSPC, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals at the University of Limerick

Dr Hayes, who has previously held positions at Mary Immaculate College, the University of Bremen and University of Limerick, has more than 13 years’ experience working at the interface of academia and industry.

Most recently, she has worked as Associate Director for Academic Partnerships and Public Engagement at SSPC.

A well-established investigator in her own right, Dr Hayes has significant experience in managing multinational and multi-sectoral R &D projects, having been awarded over €7.3m for various  research projects.

Commenting on her appointment Dr Hayes said: “I am delighted to be joining the exciting leadership team of SSPC, working with Professors Gavin Walker and Mike Zaworotko to lead this world-class research centre. SSPC has long been unique globally, and central to the Irish pharmaceutical industry. I am confident that, with the excellent foundations laid by Professor Kieran Hodnett and my predecessors Jon O’Halloran and Dr Denise Croker, and with our outstanding team, SSPC will continue to play a leading role for the pharma industry in Ireland, and globally.”

Maeve Devlin, Chair of SSPC’s Governance Committee, added: “We are delighted to welcome Sarah on board and we look forward to working together in continuing SSPC’s important mission of supporting the growth of the biopharma sector in Ireland and building Ireland’s reputation internationally as a base for talent and know-how in pharma and a preferred location for future investment.”

Dr Hayes replaces Dr Margaret Lawlor as COO, who has stepped in as interim executive director, leading SSPC
through unprecedented times during the global pandemic. She brings a wealth of knowledge and research funding experience to SSPC, and will support the Centre in growing from strength to strength and reach its full potential in the years ahead.

Dr Hayes’ role will be based at the research centre’s headquarters at the Bernal Institute at UL and she will work alongside Co-Directors Prof Mike Zaworotko and Prof Gavin Walker in continuing to support the development of innovative technologies addressing key challenges facing the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry.

SSPC is home to more than 200 researchers across nine Irish education institutes. Founded in 2007, its researchers work in partnership with the international pharma and biopharma sector to solve key industrial challenges enabling novel and efficient methods of manufacturing safer, cheaper and more effective medicines for the future.