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Getting to know Dilip Rai

Senior Research Officer Dilip Rai has worked at Teagasc since 2009, and currently leads a research team in the field of novel food ingredients. Here, he shares with us how he ended up at Teagasc, and where he can be found outside of work.

What’s one of your earliest memories with science?

I grew up in Bhutan, South Asia, and I can recall always being fascinated with the wonders of science since my primary school days. We were taught from a book titled Science is Fun, and for me, it was!

Where did that passion for science take you?

I actually moved to Ireland to complete my undergraduate degree in Applied Sciences at what is now the Technological University Dublin. I then briefly returned home to Bhutan.

What convinced you to return to Ireland?

The friendly people with a great sense of humour, and the beautiful greenery. But it didn’t stop me moving temporarily elsewhere. I did my PhD in Medical Biochemistry at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

How did you end up at Teagasc

Following my PhD, I continued to work at the Karolinska Institute as a post-doctoral researcher, focusing on biologically active proteins. I then took the opportunity to head back to Ireland and work in the Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology at University College Dublin (UCD). I’ve held an adjunct Assistant Professorship position there since 2009 – the same year I moved to Teagasc, where I’ve stayed ever since.

My research interest is on the study of natural products present in food, to understand their role in controlling biological processes. The hope is that this research can support the delivery of a sustainable food chain, with positive impacts on human and animal health.

Outside of work, where do your interests lie?

I’m a football coach, training children under 10 at my local Kilcock Celtic Football Club two evenings a week. I also like writing poems, proses and very factual short stories.