Wednesday, 28 September 2022

A very special screening of ‘The People There to Catch Us’ took place at the Stella Cinema, Rathmines for World Cancer Research Day on September 24th. ‘The People There to Catch Us’ tells the story of Tom Hope and Rachel O’Mahony, two cancer survivors who work alongside researchers at Precision Oncology Ireland (POI), to help improve the lives of others living with the disease. The documentary was produced by Ronan Cassidy of Carbonated Comet and directed by Luke Brabazon under CÚRAM’s ‘Science on Screen’ public engagement programme. This was the second public screening of the film, having premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh in June. The documentary shines a light on the lived experience of cancer survivors, their contribution to the research and the ongoing work of research centres like CÚRAM and Precision Oncology Ireland that will shape how cancer will be treated in the future. The screening was followed by a lively panel discussion and Q&A with film participants Dr Róisín Dwyer (POI Investigator, University of Galway), Prof. William Gallagher (POI Deputy Director, UCD Conway Institute and Co-Lead, AICRI), and Prof. Walter Kolch (POI Director, UCD) alongside Director Luke Brabazon, Dr Ruth Freeman, Director, Science for Society at SFI and Grainne Humphreys, Festival Director at Dublin International Film Festival. Speaking about the screening, Claire Riordan, Public Engagement Manager with CÚRAM said ‘Screenings like this allow us to have important conversations about research outside of the lab with the people that will be affected by it. We want to provide opportunities for people to learn both about the research and the lived experience of the conditions that are highlighted in the film, like we have today with Toma and Rachel again giving of their time so generously in the panel discussion’. This is the seventh Science on Screen Documentary produced since 2016. This is a joint initiative between CÚRAM and Ardán, the non-profit organisation across Ireland to support creatives within the audio-visual industry. ‘The People There to Catch Us’ was produced in collaboration with POI and the Patient Voice in Cancer Research (PVCR) and funded by CÚRAM, the All-Island Cancer Research Institute (AICRI), the UCD-Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) and the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI). The Science on Screen partnership explores methods of scientific ‘storytelling’ producing short films that incorporate current research at CÚRAM and its partners. These documentaries are available for community and educational screenings nationwide. Find out more at https://curamdevicesengage.ie/resources/science-on-screen/

Friday, 23 September 2022

CÚRAM launches White Paper exploring how MedTech researchers and research centres can work to help bridge the research-policy gap  CÚRAM SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices, based at the University of Galway, has launched their ‘Science Advocacy in MedTech’ White Paper at a public event entitled Pathways to Policy. Key recommendations of the White Paper include the need for more training support for researchers in effectively communicating and engaging with policy audiences, raising awareness of the policymaking process in Ireland and internationally, and providing networking and knowledge exchange opportunities for researchers and policy audiences.  The White Paper was developed through a collaboration between CÚRAM and the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at University of Galway. Emanating from six years of research at CÚRAM, the White Paper takes lessons learned in other countries and other research fields with more experience connecting their research to policy and practice, e.g. environmental science and social sciences.  Lead author, Dr Brendan Dolan explains: “One of our underlying drivers when developing this White Paper was to look to see how other fields, ones with perhaps more obvious links to policy development, work to connect their work with policy audiences, including political representatives, civil servants and community organisations. To this end, the project's interdisciplinary nature has proven incredibly beneficial. “We see Science Advocacy as active support of science, technology, engineering and maths, with researchers directly informing policy audiences about their research and engaging with the policymaking process. To this end, we focus more on individual researchers' role in advocating for their research.” The launch event brought together leading researchers and policymakers for keynote talks and a panel discussion on creating more effective research-policy interactions and collaborations.  The event was hosted by Professor Abhay Pandit, CÚRAM Scientific Director. High-profile speakers and panel participants for the event included University of Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh; Denis Naughten TD, Oireachtas Friends of Science & Technology; Kate Morris, Campus Engage; University of Galway Vice President Research and Innovation Professor Jim Livesey; Leonora Harty of the newly established Evidence for Policy Unit at the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science; and Dr Karen Doyle, CÚRAM Funded Investigator. Speaking at the event, University of Galway President, Professor Ciaran Ó hÓgartaigh said: “It is increasingly important that public policy be evidence-based and that our researchers are empowered to have a positive policy impact on society. True to our values of openness and excellence, our researchers will continue to break down barriers and connect with non-academic audiences so we can help create a better informed and engaged society.” Speaking at the event, Professor Abhay Pandit said: “National centres such as CÚRAM can begin to embed and develop a culture of science advocacy through providing training, networking and knowledge brokerage opportunities with policy audiences, incentives for science advocacy efforts, even simply through highlighting the work already carried out by their researchers in this realm. The research-policy ecosystem needs more pathways to policy for researchers, but efforts are being made to bridge this gap.” The full White Paper and a two-page infographic summary are now available here. Ends

Friday, 16 September 2022

A one million euro Cisco – CÚRAM funded partnership will implement and evaluate an innovative digital health infrastructure to improve patient care Researchers at the Health Innovation Via Engineering (HIVE) Laboratory, University of Galway will use state of the art medical device technology including remote sensors and artificial intelligence software as part of a suite of interventions to deliver next generation chronic disease management in the community. Modern medicine has meant that people are living longer and correspondingly there has been an increase in chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and therefore new approaches are needed to deliver this care efficiently and effectively, as was evidenced during Covid public health restrictions.  The Home Health project combines video consultations with remote physiological monitoring, including blood pressure, weight, blood sugar, to deliver more useful virtual care.  It aims, through supporting and adding to existing healthcare provision, to improve the management of patient care for the 165 residents on Clare Island and make the island a beacon for the delivery of digital health solutions.  Its multi-stakeholder engagement will ensure a sustainable and scalable solution is created though the Health Service Executive living lab framework. Dr Noreen Curtis, GP in Clare Island, said: “I am very excited with the Home Health project and anticipate that improving virtual care will augment the current services and improve overall care for the patients here." Project Principal Investigator and CÚRAM-Funded Investigator Professor Derek O’Keeffe said: “Digital health is the future of medicine and data empowers the patient and allows them and their clinicians to make better medical decisions.” The Home Health project will also investigate the development of a dynamic medical appointments architecture, whereby patients are scheduled to be reviewed based on clinical need rather than the traditional static calendar appointments. In addition the project will evaluate novel health promotion interventions, drone delivery of medications and robotic triage simulation. To overcome the digital divide, a central part of the project is the development of a new, private 5G network on the island to enable monitoring of data. Brian Jordan, Head of Innovation and Industry Solutions, Cisco Ireland said: “There is a transformative opportunity to map virtual care digital technology to the entire patient care continuum. Bridging the capabilities of AI, connectivity, the world of IOT enabled medical devices and cybersecurity will enable this. Cisco are delighted to work with the University of Galway, HSE, and the wider healthcare ecosystem to bring the ‘Shift Left, Stay Left’ HSE vision into reality.” Commenting on the significance of the project, CÚRAM Director Professor Abhay Pandit, said: “This project is one of the largest industry collaborations our centre has supported to date. It is an excellent example of the impact that collaborations between CÚRAM and industry can have on local communities and society at wide.” As well as CÚRAM and Cisco, the project has multiple stakeholders including the island community, HSE and the Western Development Commission. Public Patient Involvement (PPI) is a central theme of the HOME HEALTH project, having the island community involved in all aspects of the project planning, development and implementation. Ends

Tuesday, 6 September 2022

Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of the SFI Research Centre, CÚRAM, has been awarded the prestigious George Winter Award 2022 from the European Society for Biomaterials (ESB). The award was bestowed during the ESB 2022 conference in Bordeaux, France this week. The George Winter award was established to recognise, encourage and stimulate outstanding research contributions to the field of biomaterials. Professor Pandit receives this top honour in recognition of his significant contribution to the knowledge in the field of biomaterials through basic, experimental and clinical research. Professor Abhay Pandit is an Established Professor in Biomaterials at the University of Galway, Ireland. He obtained a PhD from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where his postgraduate work focused on the modification of a fibrin scaffold to deliver a therapeutic biomolecule and resulted in a clinical trial at the Burn Centre. On receiving the award, Professor Pandit said “I am honoured to accept this prestigious award with sincere gratitude to the European Society for Biomaterials. I accept this award with thanks to the peers, colleagues, collaborators who have enriched my research career, especially the researchers who worked in my group. I am also grateful to the funders who have trusted in funding our science.” Professor Abhay Pandit has over twenty-five years of experience in the field of biomaterials. After a seven-year stint in industry he has worked in academia for the last twelve years. His research has been funded by Science Foundation Ireland, the EU Framework programme, Enterprise Ireland, Health Research Board, the AO Foundation and industry sources, and in excess of €170 million. He is the author of 4 patents and has licensed three technologies to medical device companies. He has published more than 328  manuscripts in high-impact publications. Prof. Pandit was elected to the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows to recognise his outstanding contributions in creating a national centre to develop innovative device-based solutions to treat global chronic diseases. He is the first Irish academic to earn this distinction. He was inducted as an International Fellow in Biomaterials Science and Engineering by the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering (IUSBSE), and  Fellow of the Tissue Engineering Regenerative Medicine International Society. Prof Pandit is the first Irish academic to receive this honours. He was also inducted as Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering. He is currently Chair of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine and the International Society and has served as a Council Member of the European Society for Biomaterials for eight years.

Monday, 29 August 2022

CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices at NUI Galway, is now enrolling for its Teachers in Residence Programme for the seventh year, with applications being accepted up to Friday, 23 September 2022. The programme, which will be taking place online, is available for five primary and five secondary school teachers and will run from October 2022 over ten evenings until March 2023. The online sessions will be held twice a month, from 7pm to 8pm. Teachers will receive 10 ECTS through NUI Galway's Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development, fully funded by CÚRAM. Programme lead Dr Sarah Gundy explains, “For the first time ever this year, we’ll be hosting a mini-conference for alumni of the programme as well as new entrants. `we will be welcoming primary and secondary teachers from across Ireland to hear more about the programme and experts in the field of science education as well as input from CÚRAM’s MedTech industry partners.” During the residency, teachers will speak directly with world-leading researchers to learn about medical device research at CÚRAM to improve the quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses. Teachers from all disciplines are invited to support and encourage multidisciplinary approaches to teaching science. Participants will learn about and receive resources for the classroom, including science engagement activities, science capital teaching approaches, and lesson plan kits developed by teachers for teachers, that are linked with the primary and junior cycle science curricula. Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director at CÚRAM, said: "We are delighted with the innovation and creativity shown by the primary and secondary teachers who have participated in this programme. If we can continue to support and inspire our teachers by providing access to current, cutting-edge Irish research and work with them to incorporate it into classroom activities, our hope is that they, in turn, can inspire their students for years to come. We also want to provide practical support through resources that can be used in classrooms and online.” Teachers will work directly with CÚRAM researchers to develop high-quality content for the classroom that is relevant, engaging, and practical to use. The material generated during the residency will be shared with all participants and their schools. Lesson plan kits developed from previous years' teachers, including Irish language versions, can be downloaded at https://curamdevicesengage.ie/teachers-in-residence/. CÚRAM is a partner in the Department of Education and Skills' Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT) STE(A)M in Junior Cycle initiative. This initiative is to provide Professional Learning Experiences for Junior Cycle teachers that allow for interdisciplinary responses to societal challenges in subject-specific and cross-curricular contexts. To apply for a place in the Teachers in Residence Programme or to find out more, please contact sarah.gundy@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Wednesday, 24 August 2022

Researchers are exploring a potential new therapeutic approach for triple negative breast cancer treatment. Amir Abdo Alsharabasy, a CÚRAM doctoral candidate working in the laboratory of Professor Abhay Pandit, is working on the design of nitric oxide scavengers to form a new treatment approach for this aggressive form of breast cancer. Triple-negative breast cancer is invasive breast cancer that does not respond to hormonal therapy medicines or the current medicines that target the HER2 protein. Triple-negative breast cancer is usually more aggressive, harder to treat, and more likely to recur than cancers that are hormone receptor-positive or HER2-positive. “Nitric oxide is one of the prominent free radicals produced by the tumor tissue”, explains Amir, “It, at certain concentrations, plays a significant role in breast cancer progression by inducing the cancer cells to spread to other parts of the body Our goal is to develop injectable hydrogel formulations, which can reduce the levels of, or ‘scavenge’ the nitric oxide, while enhancing the generation of carbon monoxide, so that we can potentially design a new treatment approach for triple negative breast cancer.” Nitric oxide interacts with different components of the large network of proteins and other molecules that surround, support, and give structure to tumor cells and tissues in the body. Hyaluronic acid is one of the main components of this network and is the material of choice for fabricating these hydrogels. “HA plays multiple roles in tumour tissues” says Amir. “However, its interactions with nitric oxide have not been thoroughly investigated. The study, recently published in Biomacromolecules, attempts to understand the mechanism of these interactions and the different effects on nitric oxide levels and migration of breast cancer cells.” The study is supervised by Prof Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, and was published with collaborators Dr Sharon Glynn from the Lambe Institute for Translational Research and Dr Pau Farras from the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences in the Ryan Institute at the National University of Ireland Galway, The work investigated the ability of HA to scavenge nitric oxide. The team found that the conversion of nitric oxide to certain nitrogen centred free radicals causes the HA to break down, which further inhibits the nitric oxide induced migration of cancer cells in the tumor environment. Collectively, these results help toward understanding the involvement of HA in nitric oxide induced cell migration and suggests the potential use of modified HA, as a key material in different biomedical applications. Commenting on the study, Professor Abhay Pandit, said: “While the recent progress in research about the roles of nitric oxide with tumour progression resulted ultimately in a number of ongoing clinical trials for evaluating the effects of NO-synthase inhibitors, we are focusing on NO itself trying to avoid the side effects/reactions of these inhibitors.” Amir Abdo Alsharabasy received a BSc in Chemistry & Biochemistry, Mansoura University, Egypt, MSc in Biochemistry, Helwan University, Egypt and MSc in Biological and Bioprocess Engineering, Sheffield University, U.K. He spent some time working as a research assistant in Radiation Chemistry Department at NCRRT, Egypt. He was recently awarded two awards for his research. The first was a presentation award from the Second International Conference “Therapeutic Applications of Nitric Oxide in Cancer and Inflammatory-related Diseases for his talk on the interactions between nitric oxide and hemin and their implications in the nitration of proteins in breast cancer cells. The second was an EMBO Scientific Exchange Grant to support a visit of the laboratory of Dr. Lasse Jensen in Linköping Univ., Sweden. -Ends- Read more about the study at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.biomac.2c00545

Wednesday, 24 August 2022

CÚRAM has celebrated the achievement of the 21 participants of the inaugural undergraduate research opportunities programme (UROP) with a research symposium event. UROP, funded through the Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme, was designed to support underrepresented undergraduate student development by providing 20 fully paid summer internships in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) laboratories across NUI Galway for six weeks between May and August 2022.  On completion of the programme, participants were invited to present the outputs of their research activity at a research symposium and awarded certificates of achievement by NUI Galway President Ciarán ÓhOgartaigh. Noel Fahy, one of the interns who took part in UROP, spoke of his experience, “My time in the UROP programme has been amazing. It has provided me with the existential experience one can only gain by working daily in a research laboratory. The programme has helped me realise a career in research is not hard to reach, an unattainable career that is only for the elite or the perfect.” Professor Eilis Dowd, who took part in the programme as a project supervisor, reflected on her experience, “The UROP Programme allowed us to host a brilliant biomedical science student, Saoirse Ryan, to work alongside my research team on a project funded by the Michael J Fox Foundation. During the placement, Saoirse generated fascinating data showing that repair of the Parkinsonian brain by adult stem cells can be enhanced using biomaterials. But perhaps more importantly, Saoirse got to experience first-hand the reality of working in a research laboratory and collaborating with, and learning from, other researchers. Throughout her placement, Saoirse was exceptional in every way – a delight to host – and I hope we will see her back in the laboratory sometime soon.”    The research symposium included a special guest talk from Katie Gardiner, Narrative Designer at Romero Games and NUI Galway graduate, who spoke to the students about the vast opportunities for STEM careers in Ireland and the importance of encouragement and mentorship along they way. The event was attended by project supervisors, interns, their families and peers. The UROP project is a collaboration between CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices, the Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (WiSTEM) student society, the College of Science and Engineering and the University of Sanctuary Initiative at NUI Galway. It was funded by the SFI Discover Programme, an investment which aims to improve public understanding of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM). The Programme is designed to grow and encourage participation in STEM education and public engagement, inspiring our young people to explore STEM roles in the future. Over 50 senior academics across NUI Galway offered projects for consideration to the programme, receiving over 500 applications from UG students for the 20 places. Interns will develop practical research skills and training in public engagement and communications as part of this project.  Prof Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM and Project Director, explains: "We developed this initiative to highlight STEM research as an exciting, long-term career option for secondary level and undergraduate students and encourage underrepresented STEM students to achieve their full potential. We hope these internships will address the low levels of participation of underrepresented groups in research careers and third-level education." Prof Helen Maher, Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at NUI Galway, says:  "I am delighted to see this initiative be established at NUI Galway. It exemplifies our commitment at NUI Galway to the public good, partnership and education as a critical catalyst for equality, diversity and inclusion." Commenting on the announcement, Prof Philip Nolan, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland, said: "STEM is such an exciting area to study and work in, and we want to make it more accessible to a wide range of people. We look forward to working with these fantastic, creative education and engagement programmes."

Wednesday, 10 August 2022

The number of preterm births and neonatal deaths is growing worldwide due to the increasing prevalence of environmental toxins that can affect unborn babies. Clinical trials are the current approach for ensuring a substance is safe for humans; however, just 1% of all clinical trials consider pregnant women. As a result, there is limited scientific data available on how many medications and environmental chemicals can affect unborn babies and pregnant women. The lifesaver project aims to develop miniaturised lab-based organ-on-a-chip models of the placenta for drug testing, along with a virtual clone guided by machine learning that can predict the safety and risk of substances towards unborn babies. Contributing to the LIFESAVER project, a European-wide research consortium, the team at CURAM will focus on designing and manufacturing an organ-on-a-chip platform that mimics key components of placental tissue for emulation of typical prenatal conditions. Leading the project for CÚRAM are Dr Andrew Daly and Professor Abhay Pandit. Daly is a Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering and CÚRAM Funded Investigator. His research focuses on developing bioprinted models of development and disease.   As Daly explains: “Our research will include developing biomaterial microenvironments that mimic the placental tissue, along with using bioprinting to recreate the cellular microarchitecture of the placenta. This platform will be used to evaluate the toxicity of common medications and environmental substances. It will provide crucial input data for the virtual clone that will be used for predicting toxicity.” Predictive lab-based models of the placenta will accelerate the effective screening of pharmaceuticals and chemicals which could affect unborn babies. This will help ensure healthier and safer lives for future generations.  Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, said: “CÚRAM is proud to be a consortium partner in the LIFESAVER project, which addresses the current unmet societal and healthcare needs in creating a valid and scientific knowledge base, which is needed for the development and implementation of regulatory approaches relevant to maternal and fetal health.” LIFESAVER concept is based on an original idea of hybridization of several innovative technologies, integrating digital in silico/in vitro (biodigital twin) systems, enabling effective screening of chemicals and pharmaceuticals which might affect pregnant women's health, reducing animal, preclinical and clinical testing, which is not presently possible with any other existing approaches to the same level of confidence.  -ends-   About Dr Andrew Daly Dr Andrew Daly was awarded a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Trinity College Dublin in 2018, where he developed bioprinted implants for cartilage and bone regeneration under the supervision of Prof. Daniel Kelly. He was awarded the Engineer’s Ireland Biomedical Engineering Research Medal for this work. Before this, he graduated with a First Class Honors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Trinity College Dublin in 2013. In 2018, he moved to the University of Pennsylvania as a Postdoctoral Fellow under the supervision of Prof. Jason Burdick. In 2020, he was awarded an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship to develop bioprinted disease models for drug screening applications.  To date, his work has been published in the top journals in the field, including Nature Communications, Nature Reviews Materials, Cell, Biomaterials, Advanced Science, Acta Biomaterialia, Advanced Healthcare Materials, and Biofabrication.    About Lifesaver In the LIFESAVER vision, every pregnant woman must have a proper living environment with minimal risks to the fetus, safeguarded with scientifically justified regulations in the use and control of potentially risky chemical and medicinal products, leading to healthier quality lives for the babies, overarching for generations. The objective is to create a new, digitally cloned in vitro system for emulating the prenatal conditions in the vicinity of the uterine/placental interface, capable of future high biofidelity prediction of safety and risk of substances towards unborn babies. The outcomes are in designing, manufacturing and deploying a platform with key components of in vitro placental tissue for sufficient emulation of typical prenatal conditions. This aims to provide a solid scientific rationale for new chemical and pharmaceutical use regulations relevant to the Green Deal vision. https://lifesaverproject.eu/project/ @LifeSaver_H2020  

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

NUI Galway and Queen’s University Belfast collaborate under Shared Island fund to tackle issue of hospital acquired infections Researchers at NUI Galway and Queen’s University Belfast are investigating how attaching sugar molecules to plastics could give medical devices a new layer of protection from infection. The SUGARCOAT project is among 62 research collaborations supported by the Government’s Shared Island fund.  Early-career researchers Dr Joseph Byrne, NUI Galway, and Dr Matthew Wylie, Queen’s University Belfast, are working together to tackle the issue of hospital acquired infections associated with devices by taking preventative science to a new level.  The team is attempting to harness the science behind the interaction of sugar molecules with bacterial proteins to make fluorescent materials which glow at first, darkening when they become compromised by bacteria. The technology would be attached to plastics which coat medical devices - such as urinary catheters or endotracheal tubes - allowing clinicians to spot potential infection at an early opportunity and react faster.  Dr Byrne, Honorary Research Lecturer in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, NUI Galway, explained the concept: “Prevention of bacterial infections is key to fighting the challenge of antimicrobial resistance and if this isn't possible, then early detection through innovative sensing materials could act as an alarm, allowing devices to be removed and replaced before infection becomes a more serious risk to patient health.” Dr Wylie, Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Materials Science in Queens University Belfast, said: “Like many humans, sugar is something bacteria can’t resist getting a taste of. Many types of bacteria contain special proteins, which allow them to seek out and attach to sugar molecules, which they can use to grow and cause infection within the human body. Our new sugar-decorated coatings will exploit this interaction as an early warning, which has the potential to lead to the development of a new generation of medical devices, giving doctors and nurses tools to reduce risks of infection, bring down healthcare costs and decrease the need for antibiotic use in hospitals.” The project is being supported with €193,000 from the Government’s Shared Island initiative. The research team is supported by senior colleagues Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices at NUI Galway, and Professor Colin McCoy, Head of School of Pharmacy in Queen’s University Belfast.  Medical device-associated infections account for up to half of healthcare-associated infections and people who are immunocompromised people and those with cystic fibrosis (CF) are particularly at risk, with the island of Ireland having one of the highest number of people with CF per capita. These infections are a major health concern to patients and incur significant expense to healthcare systems, requiring longer stays and increased antibiotic usage. The rise of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria is an urgent problem, decreasing the effectiveness of existing antibiotics. It is estimated that across EU/EEA countries, 33,000 deaths per year in EU/EEA countries are associated with antimicrobial resistance, costing more than €1 billion to health services.  This project hopes to minimise the impact of this challenge by producing innovative coatings, which will prevent or detect bacterial build-up on widely-used medical devices before they lead to infection in a patient.  Dr Byrne, a CÚRAM collaborator, added: “Hospital-acquired bacterial infections are a major issue across the entire island of Ireland, and I’m excited to forge a new and lasting relationship with counterparts in Belfast to deliver meaningful new tools in fighting this challenge. “The research allows me to combine my chemistry research with more patient-facing researchers and healthcare stakeholders to increase our societal impact. Building all-island collaborations through this scheme will help us to unlock Ireland’s potential for innovation and cutting-edge science.” Dr Wylie added: “We are delighted to be able to pursue this innovative research under the Shared Island fund. Not only is it support for two early-career researchers, but it will open up opportunities for collaboration with industry and clinicians in both the North and South of Ireland, particularly as Galway is a global hub for major medical device companies and Queen’s has vast experience of collaborating with medical device companies across the UK and Ireland.” Ends

Tuesday, 19 July 2022

Büşra Günay awarded prize for work investigating potential new therapies for intervertebral disc repair The eCM 2022 conference ‘eCM20: Cartilage and Disc Repair and Regeneration’ took place in June in Davos, Switzerland. CÚRAM PhD candidate Büşra Günay presented her work exploring potential therapies for the treatment of intervertebral disc repair. Günay’s research is part of the European Union iPSpine consortium, which is developing a new therapy for treating chronic lower back pain caused by deteriorating discs between the bones of the spine. Büşra is developing an injectable, nature-based biomaterial that mimics a specific healthy portion of the disc, which is present when we are younger but we lose with age. As Günay describes: “In this conference, we presented glycan patterns within cells of the spinal discs. Glycans (sugars) are found on the surface of cells and are essential in cell communications within the three-dimensional network that provides structural and biochemical support to surrounding cells. We can harness the regenerative potential of these glycans by using an injectable hyaluronic acid-based hydrogel. Since the gel can be injected, the approach is much less invasive than current treatments”. Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, said: “We congratulate Büşra on her recent accomplishment, which is a testament to her dedication to the research our team is carrying out. Her research shows great promise in providing a pathway to an effective new therapy for intervertebral disc repair.” Günay has a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Biotechnology from Middle East Technical University (METU), Turkey. Her research area includes bone tissue engineering, biomaterials and regenerative medicine with orthopaedic applications. In CÚRAM, she is working under the supervision of Prof. Abhay Pandit in collaboration with members of the iPSpine consortium. The eCM conference is organised by eCM Journal (Eur Cell Mater), which provides an interdisciplinary forum for publication in the musculoskeletal field (Orthopaedics, Trauma, Maxillofacial (including dental) and Spine) of preclinical research, including the field of tissue engineering & regenerative medicine. eCM journal is published by AO Research Institute Davos, a Not-for-Profit foundation in Switzerland. All revenues are used to run and develop the journal for our readers. -ends- About eCM eCM was one of the first open-access scientific journals in the world and initiated the transparent review process (now known as open peer review), including a transparent route to becoming a member of the eCM International Review Panel. eCM is published by AO Research Institute Davos, a Not-for-Profit foundation in Switzerland. The first ten years of eCM eCM publishes preclinical research that has clinical relevance in the musculoskeletal field (Orthopaedics, Trauma, Maxillofacial (including dental) and Spine). eCM's definition of the musculoskeletal field includes bone, teeth, cartilage, intervertebral discs, skeletal muscle (not smooth or cardiac muscle), tendons and ligaments (it does not include the spinal cord or neural tissues).   About iPSpine Chronic lower back pain (LBP) is the leading cause of disability and morbidity worldwide. More than 700 million people globally of all ages are affected each year. LBP is a major cause of reduced activity and work absence and imposes an economic burden of nearly ~€240 billion every year in the EU. iPSpine aims to investigate and develop a new therapy for LBP using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The project will develop an advanced therapy using iPS-technology and smart biomaterials that will be translated from laboratory models into a clinically relevant animal model. By the end of the project, the therapy should be ready for advancement to the first human clinical trial. Find out more- https://ipspine.eu/

Friday, 8 July 2022

Meg Walker speaks to Dr Karen Doyle, President of Neuroscience Ireland and principal investigator at CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Medical Devices at NUI Galway, about her work in stroke research and the power of storytelling in helping to bring science to the public. How did you first get into the field of neuroscience? After Leaving Cert, I went to University College Dublin to study science. I had an interest in understanding the human body, so naturally fell into subjects like physiology and pharmacology. During the degree, we studied the brain, which is the organ we know the least about – there’s still so much to learn about it. I was fascinated, and from then on, I wanted to study the brain, look into the diseases of the brain, and figure out mechanisms to protect the brain.I studied pharmacology and how drugs can interact with the brain – at the moment, we don’t have any neuroprotective drug therapy. I just had this drive for discovery, some sort of mechanism to actually help in brain disorders, of which there are many – neurodegenerative diseases, psychiatric illnesses, neurological acute illnesses… If we could find something that could help, that could reduce the disability associated with those diseases, and the number of people’s lives we could touch, that would be huge. It triggered this desire to know more and see what potential there was for neuroprotective methods. Tell me about your research and its implications. My current research is in the area of stroke. When somebody has a stroke, it tends to be a very rapid onset of neurological problems and symptoms. Over 15 million people across the world have a stroke each year. In Ireland, it’s at least 8,000 to 10,000 people every year. The vast majority of those strokes are actually caused by a blockage in a blood vessel. What I’m doing at the moment is studying the material that blocks the arteries supplying blood to the brain – blood clots that have been removed from the brains of people who’ve had a stroke. I’ve been trying to use what I find about the clot to improve or optimise the design of medical devices to try and remove the clot as quickly as possible – because every single minute the blockage is within the brain, we’re losing about 2 million brain cells. So the quicker we can remove these clots, the better. And not all clots are the same, so we need to figure out how best to remove all different types of clots. I’m collaborating with industry to see if we can distinguish the characteristics of the clot before a thrombectomy procedure (where a clot is removed) is carried out – if [the surgical team] can tell what kind of clot [a patient has], they can choose the right device and the right treatment approach in advance. We’re also doing some discovery work within the clots, looking to see if we can see biomarkers that might lead us to develop new drugs or new therapeutic approaches to prevent strokes in the first place. You were featured in a documentary, A Tiny Spark, about stroke research. How did that come about? CÚRAM developed a collaboration with Galway Film Centre called Science on Screen. It’s a partnership to promote science, technology, engineering and maths in film as a mechanism for outreach to bring science to the public. I was invited to do a pitch to a room full of directors and producers, describing my research, and I was lucky enough to be chosen by the team at Swan Song Films – director Niamh Heery and producer Caroline Kealy, who developed this wonderful film. They found stroke survivors who were willing to tell their stories and incorporated beautiful animations by Eric Dolan. Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways of getting a message across. I think we need to be imaginative about how we actually portray information about science to the public, and film is a magical way of doing it. Outreach is a really important issue for Science Foundation Ireland, and certainly in CÚRAM, linking art and science has been strongly championed. As President of Neuroscience Ireland, what are your plans or goals for the next two years, and are there specific areas you’re focusing on? The aim of the society is to advance research and education in neuroscience in Ireland. Two years is a relatively short period, but it’s a critical point in terms of the research funding landscape. One of the things I’m focusing on is to advocate for research funding within Ireland and also Europe, because Neuroscience Ireland is a member of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies, and we all collaborate together to enhance neuroscience at a European level. It’s really important that we advocate to ensure that funding is available for neuroscientists so that we have a chance to work on the diseases that are such a burden to people who suffer with them. Another thing that’s very close to my heart is to nurture the next generation of neuroscientists, continuing to promote neuroscience education within Ireland. The third thing is to reach out to the Irish people, and to the children who are going to be the neuroscientists of the future. It’s also about collaboration within the society because we’re a group of over 200 scientists and clinicians, all working in diverse areas of neuroscience, and making sure everyone feels like a link in a chain is important. Are there many women in Ireland working in the field of neuroscience? Yes, we’re probably around 50/50 women to men in this particular area. Things are moving in the right direction with regard to women in science in general, but we still tend not to be reaching the top, not as readily as men do. It’s a slow shift. As women, we tend to take on all the nurturing roles and spread ourselves across the whole array of jobs that need to be done, not just the ones that will get you promoted. And I don’t think the breadth of roles that women carry out are necessarily recognised. There’s still work to be done, but in general, I think women are very well represented in neuroscience. We just need to make sure that women make it to the top of their field, every bit as much as men do. When you have diversity in a group, you get a wider range of ideas, people bring different strengths, and it only adds to any given project and the area overall. CÚRAM, SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices developed a collaboration with Galway Film Centre called Screen Science. It’s a partnership to promote science, technology, engineering and maths in film as a mechanism for outreach to bring science to the public. Meg Walker speaks to Karen Doyle, President of Neuroscience Ireland and principal investigator at CÚRAM in the Summer 2022 edition of Innovation Ireland Review. Innovation Ireland Review is produced by IDA Ireland & Ashville Media. Link to full magazine: https://lnkd.in/gm3AjceX

Monday, 4 July 2022

‘The People There to Catch Us’ tells the story of Tom Hope and Rachel O’Mahony, two cancer survivors who work alongside researchers at Precision Oncology Ireland (POI), to help improve the lives of others living with the disease. The documentary, produced by Ronan Cassidy of Carbonated Comet and Directed by Luke Brabazon, will have its world premiere at the Galway International Film Fleadh on July 7th 2022. This is the latest Science on Screen Documentary, a joint initiative between CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices at NUI Galway, and Ardán, the non-profit organisation across Ireland to support creatives within the audio-visual industry. ‘The People There to Catch Us’ was produced in collaboration with POI and the Patient Voice in Cancer Research (PVCR) and funded by CÚRAM, the All-Island Cancer Research Institute (AICRI), the UCD-Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) and the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI). The film features Dr Róisín Dwyer (POI Investigator, NUIG), Prof. William Gallagher (POI Deputy Director, UCD Conway Institute and Co-Lead, AICRI) and Prof. Walter Kolch (POI Director, UCD) all of whom are focused on personalised cancer research at Precision Oncology Ireland. ‘Precision Oncology Ireland researchers are working on developing a variety of targeted approaches to diagnose and more accurately treat cancer patients based on the exact type of disease they have and their own personal biology. In the past, cancer patients were only offered generalised approaches, such as chemotherapy, to tackle their disease, often leading to significant side effects. Our team is working hard to find unique characteristics of certain cancers that can be used to improve patient outcomes while lessening the challenge of side effects’ explains Prof. William Gallagher, POI Deputy Director and AICRI Co-Lead, whose own personal experience with cancer in his family continues to shape and motivate his approach to cancer research. ‘We all have had some experience of cancer, whether directly or through family members or friends, and one in two of us will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime’, says Dr Róisín Dwyer, CÚRAM Investigator and POI researcher who has worked with Rachel O’Mahony in the years following her cancer diagnosis. ‘Patient contribution to the research process can have a huge impact, and will help to guide the development of targeted therapies with less debilitating side effects so that patients can live full enjoyable lives.’   Tom Hope explains his role as a patient advocate, saying ‘I am now involved as a patient on a number of committees with oncologists, radiologists, urologists and scientists. Sharing my personal experiences, I have found that most medics don’t understand the anxiety that diagnosis and treatment can cause a patient and their family. In addition to occasionally discussing research with scientists and giving them the benefit of my lived experience of cancer, I have had the great pleasure of acting as a peer-to-peer volunteer and sharing my personal experience with men diagnosed with prostate cancer. In this way, I hope that I am giving them comfort that their experience is not unique, with supports being there to get through their treatment and live a normal life. A few comforting words telling you that you can get through this, can make all the difference,’ he says. Alan Duggan, manager of Ardán, said “We are incredibly proud to have worked with CÚRAM again and with POI through the Science on Screen initiative to produce this powerful documentary. We have all been affected by cancer in our lives in some way. ‘The People There To Catch Us’ highlights the human element involved in helping improve the lives of those living with the disease, while also focusing on the incredible work and research being done behind the scenes to combat the disease in more targeted ways." The documentary shines a light on the lived experience of cancer survivors, their contribution to the research and the ongoing work of research centres like CÚRAM and Precision Oncology Ireland that will shape how cancer will be treated in the future. ‘The People There to Catch Us’ will screen at the Town Hall Galway at 10 am on Thursday July 7th 2022. Tickets are available at https://www.galwayfilmfleadh.com/project/irish-talent-new-shorts-3-documentary/ This is the seventh documentary produced through the CÚRAM-Ardán Science on Screen initiative, which aims to facilitate, promote and increase the inclusion of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) content in Irish film and TV production. The partnership began in 2016 with CÚRAM funding documentary filmmaking and providing access to leading scientists and laboratories within CÚRAM to explore methods of scientific ‘storytelling’ and to produce short films that incorporate current research at CÚRAM and its partners. These documentaries are available for community and educational screenings nationwide. Find out more at https://curamdevicesengage.ie/resources/science-on-screen/ ENDS Press queries to Claire.riordan@nuigalway.ie   Notes for Editors CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices, established in 2015, is a world-leading Irish Medical Device R&D Centre based out of NUI Galway. CÚRAM’s partner institutes include University College Dublin, University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, University of Limerick, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, Dublin City University, Technological University of the Shannon, Technological University Dublin and the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training. The Centre is focused on the development of biomedical implants, therapeutic and diagnostic devices that address the needs of patients living with chronic illness. Our researchers focus on engineering approaches for repair and remodelling, improved drug delivery solutions and superior medical implant designs to treat chronic diseases. CÚRAM was created because of the need for clinicians, industry and researchers to collaborate in developing medical devices that will create jobs and a global hub for MedTech. Follow us @ CURAMdevices or visit www.curamdevices.ie  Precision Oncology Ireland (POI) (www.precisiononcology.ie; Twitter @PrecisionOncIre) is a consortium of 5 Irish Universities, 6 Irish Charities, and 7 companies aiming to develop new diagnostics and therapeutics for the personalised treatment of cancer. The consortium is part-funded by Science Foundation Ireland under their Strategic Partnership Programme, and is co-ordinated by Systems Biology Ireland (SBI; https://www.ucd.ie/sbi/; Twitter @sysboire). The shared vision is to combine cutting-edge genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and imaging technologies integrated through computational analysis and modelling to generate molecular profiles that allow us to better understand cancer pathogenesis, progression and response to therapies. The results will be better diagnostics, personalised cancer therapies, and acceleration of cancer drug discovery and development.   The Patient Voice in Cancer Research (www.ucd.ie/patientvoicecancer; Twitter @PVCR_Ireland) is an initiative to actively engage cancer patients, cancer researchers and other interested parties (patient advocates, families, carers, healthcare professionals, policy-makers and those with an interest in cancer research), in discussions and decision-making processes, which positively impact on cancer research and outcomes for patients. The initiative is led by Professor Amanda McCann, University College Dublin. Since 2016, more than 1200 people impacted by cancer have been involved in events and activities that inform and shape research in Ireland. The vision of the All-Island Cancer Research Institute (AICRI) (Twitter @AICRIproject) is to create an overarching virtual framework for cancer research across the island of Ireland from discovery to implementation, for the benefit of cancer patients and broader society. Through their collective work, they are focused on gaining a better understanding of cancer, developing more personalised treatment options and easing suffering and saving lives. Ten academic institutions (UCD, TCD, RCSI, DCU, TUD. QUB, UU, NUIG, UL and UCC), along with multiple other stakeholders including patient advocates, are collaborating on this project which received substantial funding under the HEA North-South Research Programme in March 2022. This funding is the foundation stone for AICRI and it will establishes an all-island PhD and Post-doctoral training programme in precision cancer medicine, as well as large-scale research programmes in digital health and liquid biopsies. Prof. William Gallagher is one of the primary drivers behind the AICRI initiative. The UCD-Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF; Twitter @UCD_ISSF) is supported under the SFI-HRB-Wellcome Research Partnership, with matched funding from UCD. It aims to help UCD’s researchers overcome systemic barriers to career and network development, ultimately unlocking future research potential within the University and beyond. The fund has supported high-quality research in the biomedical and clinical sciences. It has also directly support research or collaborations within the medical humanities field. This award aimed to enable UCD to strategically advance research in key areas, such as personalised & translational medicine, and to leverage further external funding from agencies such as the EU and the Wellcome, amongst others. A key remit behind the UCD-Wellcome ISSF scheme is also public and patient involvement in research. See https://www.ucd.ie/research/portal/ucdinstitutionalstrategicsupportfund/. The National Breast Cancer Research Institute (https://breastcancerresearch.ie/; Twitter @BCResearchIre) is a national charity that funds a comprehensive research programme at the National University of Ireland Galway. The research team, in collaboration with universities and hospitals across the globe, focuses on the development and improvement of diagnostic techniques and treatment strategies, to drive real and measurable improvement in clinical outcomes for breast cancer patients. NBCRI is a charity partner in Precision Oncology Ireland (POI).

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Endocannabinoids - the body’s own cannabinoids, which mimic some of the effects of cannabis-derived or synthetic cannabinoids - to be discussed as a key theme of the 32nd International Cannabinoid Research Society Symposium at NUI Galway. Endocannabinoids are part of the so-called endocannabinoid system, an important physiological signalling system in the body that plays a key role in health and disease. Over 280 world experts in cannabis and cannabinoid research will converge on NUI Galway from 25-29 June (plus an additional 150 online) to discuss the latest research in this area. The conference is being organised and hosted by the President of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, David Finn, Professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics and Co-Director of the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway. Cannabinoids are the biologically active constituents of the cannabis plant, or the synthetic molecules that mimic these. Professor Finn explains “In recent years there has been substantial interest in cannabinoids for their potential to treat a variety of disorders, including chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, anxiety and other conditions. The body’s endocannabinoid system regulates multiple processes including pain, mood, appetite, hormones, the immune system and our metabolism.” “Our Research teams here at NUI Galway, within the disciplines of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Physiology, Galway Neuroscience Centre, the Centre for Pain Research and CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices, are working to advance our understanding of the body’s endocannabinoid system in conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, autism and Parkinson’s disease.” Dr. Michelle Roche, Senior Lecturer in Physiology and Co-Director of the Centre for Pain Research said “Our goal is to develop novel cannabinoid-based therapeutics for these and other disorders. Our research is funded by a variety of sources including Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Research Council and the European Union. Professor Margaret McCarthy, Director for the Program in Neuroscience and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine will speak about how endocannabinoids sculpt sex differences in social behaviour.  That is, how body’s own cannabis-like molecules influence the different ways in which males and females behave socially. Professor McCarthy said “Cannabis is a complex compound. It sits at the interface of recreation, medicine, substance abuse, business and criminal justice. The ability to gather in person to discuss all these issues will greatly enhance the exchange of information and foster identification of the most urgent areas for future exploration.” Further information on the conference can be found at: https://new.icrs.co/ICRS2022/ICRS2022/

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Dr Susan Kelleher, CÚRAM Funded Investigator and Assistant Professor of Soft Materials based in the School of Chemistry in UCD, will deliver a lecture at this week’s Medicinal Chemistry Ireland Conference to be held at NUI Galway. ‘A new way of looking at antibiotics’ will highlight her research team’s work on the role bacterial classification and motility play in the antibacterial effect of surface structures. Resistance to antimicrobial agents has become a major source of morbidity and mortality worldwide. It remains a global challenge, with the World Health Organisation launching a global action plan on antimicrobial resistance in 2015.  One major issue is that resistance occurs on a molecular level, and bacteria can quickly evolve to overcome the effects of antimicrobial agents while maintaining their aggressiveness. Dr Kelleher explains: “In the past decade, work by surface scientists has discovered that nano and micron-scale surfaces can produce antibacterial and antibiofouling effects on materials such as metal, glass, and polymers. With the antibacterial effect, the phenomenon is believed to be due to the physical interaction between the cell membrane and sub-micron topographies, such as pillars and needles. These findings have led to the idea that materials and surfaces which kill bacteria, without the use of chemical agents where resistance is a significant issue, could be a vital tool in the arsenal against bacterial proliferation.” Dr Kelleher’s group has studied the topographies on the wings of cicada insects and showed that the size and shape of the pillars on the surface play a role in the level of antibacterial activity observed. Dr Kelleher explains: “We’re working to produce nanostructured silicon with a range of nanoscale-sized pillars which demonstrate antibacterial activity against bacteria compared to planer substrates.Our work has led to insights into the role bacterial classification and motility play on the antibacterial effect of surface structures.” Dr Susan Kelleher’s research is focused on the engineering of nanostructured surfaces, the chemistry of polymeric biomaterials, and the interaction of materials at the biointerface. In 2017, Dr Kelleher established the Nanostructured Biomaterials Group in UCD. The group's work focuses on producing high-resolution nanostructures in the range of 20-250 nm, using a combination of soft lithography and nanolithography. The methods employed include controlling the self-assembly of block copolymers to form surface nanopatterns and utilising naturally occurring nanostructures such as those found on the wings of cicadas, dragonflies, and butterflies. Further fabrication processes enable the translation of these nanostructures to polymeric biomaterials, controlling the chemical and physical properties of the surfaces to ensure appropriate material properties for relevant biomedical applications. Current projects investigate the use of these materials in in vivo and in vitro drug delivery applications, as antibacterial/antibiofouling surfaces, and as surfaces that can act as medical device coatings. To support her research, Dr Kelleher has secured over €1.16 million in research funding over the last five years. The Kelleher research group is now based in the School of Chemical Sciences at Dublin City University (www.dcu.ie/chemistry) working in the area of structured polymers for biomedical applications. Their research is highly multidisciplinary, ranging from engineering nano- and microstructured surfaces to the chemistry of polymeric materials and investigating their biointeractions. About the 3rd Annual Medicinal Chemistry Ireland Conference The 3rd Medicinal Chemistry Ireland Conference will take place at NUI Galway on Friday 17th June 2022. Other speakers include; Professor Youla Tsantrizos (McGill University, Montreal) Professor Gerd Wagner (Queen’s University Belfast) Professor Mariangela Biava (“La Sapienza” Universita di Roma) Professor Anne Sopie Voisin-Chiret (CERNM, Universite de Caen) Professor Ulf Nilsson (Lund University) Dr Luca Ronconi (NUI-Galway) Dr Diego Montagner (Maynooth University) Dr Susan Kelleher (Dublin City University) Download Scientific Program here.

Friday, 10 June 2022

CÚRAM is delighted to announce the awarding of a Fulbright Scholarship to one of our Funded Investigators. Dr Sharon Glynn is Associate Professor in Pathology at the Lambe Institute for Translational Research at National University of Ireland Galway and a Funded Investigator in CÚRAM SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices. Her Fulbright Scholar Award with be hosted at Houston Methodist Hospital Weill Cornell and will explore the use of multiplex spatial digital pathology to understand tumour microenvironment in patients with breast cancer responds to cancer therapy, and to identify factors that contribute to successful treatment response. Her Award will also include a visit to the Harper Cancer Center at Notre Dame University to build new collaborations.  Speaking on receipt of the award, Dr Glynn says: “For me it’s a fantastic opportunity to see state of the art spatial tumour imaging technology in action and how it can help us to understand the biology of treatment response in cancer patients. This knowledge I will bring back to Galway which I believe will allow us to transform translational cancer research and impact patient treatment and wellbeing.” Prof. Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM congratulated Dr Glynn saying: “This Fulbright Award is an exciting opportunity for Dr Glynn and speaks to the calibre of our research staff and students. We have had a number of our FIs and students receive and I am delighted to see this trend continue.  I welcome the opportunity for Dr. Glynn to continue to grow a strong network of collaborators internationally to enhance and grow her professional reputation and profile.” NUI Galway is celebrating the success of seven academics, researchers and graduates named among the 40 Fulbright Irish Awardees for 2022-2023. Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, NUI Galway President, said: “I would like to commend the seven awardees on their achievement. NUI Galway has a proud history of excellence in education and research, and the internationally-recognised Fulbright Awards are associated with excellence and prestige. We are proud to have them represent our university. Fulbright made a big difference to my academic, research career and, as a Fulbright alumnus, I wish our awardees the very best of success in the United States.” The Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Joe Hackett and the Deputy Chief of Mission, Alexandra McKnight, announced the Fulbright awardees on behalf of US Ambassador to Ireland Clare Cronin.  The Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Joe Hackett and the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, Alexandra McKnight, on behalf of U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Clare Cronin, are pleased to announce 40 Fulbright Irish Awardees for 2022-2023. Recipients were presented with Awards at a ceremony in Iveagh House last night.  The Fulbright Program has served to strengthen international relations for seventy-five years. The Fulbright Commission in Ireland’s vision of inspiring minds to create a global culture of understanding is more important than ever in today’s increasingly polarised world. This year’s Irish awardees will undertake research, teaching and study in the USA spanning many disciplines. They will address pressing societal issues, engage with U.S. society, and share their knowledge when they return home.   The next round of applications for Fulbright Irish Awards will open on 31st August 2022, interested candidates should visit www.fulbright.ie for more information.  Joe Hackett, Secretary General of the Department of the Foreign Affairs said...  “I extend my warmest congratulations to the Irish Fulbright Awardees for 2022–2023. Fulbright scholarships provide a transformational experience for individuals and play a crucial role in sustaining the close relationship that Ireland and the United States share. Every year, Fulbright recipients have the exciting opportunity to study, work, and experience life in the U.S., and to represent the best of Ireland. I wish this year’s Awardees every success for their time in the U.S.”  Alexandra McKnight, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Dublin said…  “Fulbright offers an unparalleled opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, while fostering understanding between nations. This Program is a vehicle for advancing knowledge across communities and improving lives around the world. Congratulations to this year’s Awardees who will serve as ambassadors for Ireland and bring what they learn in the U.S. back with them.”  Kevin Douglass Greene of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI) said….  “The Fulbright-Frederick and Anna Douglass Awards were established to mark the 175th anniversary of abolitionist Frederick Douglass’ historic visit to Ireland. We at FDFI worked with the Commission in Ireland and the U.S. Embassy in Dublin to create these Awards that honour not only the legacy of Frederick Douglass, but also of his wife Anna. With the goal of increasing participation of diverse communities in Ireland-U.S. exchanges, these awards offer new opportunities to Irish and U.S. students in areas of civil rights, social justice and policy development. I congratulate the inaugural Irish Award recipient Raphael Onwunali, and look forward to seeing the fruits of this scholarship.”  Professor Diane Negra, Chair of the Fulbright Commission Ireland Board said…  “The Commission Board congratulates the 40 awardees travelling to the U.S. in the coming year and wishes them an enjoyable and successful Fulbright experience. They are joining a very vibrant network and will benefit from the professional recognition of being a Fulbright awardee. The excellence and expertise of Fulbright recipients continues to develop after 65 years of Irish-U.S. exchange, as they continue Senator Fulbright’s vision of creating a global culture of understanding that can erode mistrust that has historically set nations against one another.”  Dr Dara FitzGerald, Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission in Ireland said:  “The Fulbright Program continues to be an enduring, rich and affirmative part of the relationship between both countries. In addition to the brilliance of Fulbright awardees, the programme is wonderfully supported by our stakeholders and sponsors. We thank our partners, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. We are grateful to have the enduring support of our Irish award sponsors: the Health Research Board, Enterprise Ireland, the Environmental Protection Agency, Geological Survey Ireland, National University of Ireland, Teagasc, the Creative Ireland Programme, the National Lottery and such notable U.S. Institutions as the Exploratorium, the Smithsonian, the Harry Ransom Center and Boston College.   We also have tremendous support from Irish institutions such as ATU Letterkenny, University College Cork, University College Dublin, Dublin City University, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, National University of Ireland Galway, Maynooth University, University of Limerick, Technological University Dublin, Science Foundation Ireland, Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies, Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Hugh Lane Gallery. The impact of their support is momentous, especially in terms of diversity and range of disciplines that enrich the Ireland-U.S. relationship. ”  ENDS

Thursday, 9 June 2022

Developing new methods of delivering medications to the body without the need for injections is central to the research of Professor David Brayden. Brayden is Professor of Advanced Drug Delivery at the School of Veterinary Medicine, UCD, Fellow of the UCD Conway Institute and Co-Director of CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based at NUI Galway. Recognition of his expertise in formulations used in the oral delivery of peptides has led to an appointment on an expert scientific advisory board that will work to optimise the development of a unique orally-delivered device to deliver biologics across the stomach that would otherwise be injected. The advisory board has been formed recently by Biograil ApS, a Copenhagen based biotech company. Biograil achieved proof of concept of the proprietary BIONDD™ Technology in a pre-clinical model. The company is looking to further refine and diversify the platform technology for various biological molecules and will use the SAB to support this process. The Biograil SAB members are: David Brayden, Professor at University College Dublin, Ireland Ester Caffarel-Salvador, Science and Business Development Consultant and Lecturer at MIT, MA, United States Claus-Michael Lehr, Professor at Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS) and Saarland University Saarbrücken, Germany Philip Just Larsen, SVP Global Head of Research, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Germany Biograil CEO Karsten Lindhardt said: “Biograil is proud to announce support from such a highly experienced group of scientific leaders forming our SAB. We have also already experienced that the variety and complementary expertise the group can provide can be of great future value for the company. We will use input from this amazing group of scientists to help us find the best possible technical and portfolio solutions for progressing our BIONDD™ platform technology.” Professor Brayden commented: “I am delighted to be appointed to the SAB of Biograil. The company’s unique BIONDD™ device has the potential to deliver important molecules across the stomach wall that otherwise just be injected. Success in this area has the potential to improve the lives of patients through the convenience of oral medications administered in a small device. I look forward to working with the management team and the other members of the SAB to help progress the technology.”   Biograil will continue to develop the SAB according to current needs and plans to involve the SAB members in model development and research activities where appropriate. Biograil will also look for opportunities for non-dilutive funding of research activities with their research partners.   About Biograil Aps Biograil is a Danish start-up using injection moulding for manufacturing a device in a standard size capsule that can deliver active substances into the gastrointestinal wall. The Biograil device uses a proprietary mechanism to efficiently facilitate the delivery of active substances, i.e., biologics, into the gastrointestinal wall. The team behind Biograil combines seasoned entrepreneurs with long experience in creating successful biotech companies and R&D executives behind the world’s first injection moulded oral tablet approved by the FDA. Originally published on 2022-03-01 by Biograil (https://www.biograil.com)   About David Brayden Professor David Brayden is a Full Professor of Advanced Drug Delivery at University College Dublin (UCD) School of Veterinary Medicine and a Senior Fellow of the UCD Conway Institute. His research encompasses questions about how drugs transport across epithelial surfaces of the body ranging from regions of the intestine to the buccal surface.  From this, formulations and drug-device combinations can be synthesised, characterised, and tested in in vitro and in vivo bioassays. .  His research focuses on clinical applications in diabetes and osteoarthritis. Current projects include: -Improving peptide delivery across intestinal epithelia using in vitro and in vivo bioassays -Nanoparticle formulations of peptides for oral delivery using silica and cell-penetrating peptides -Nanoparticles formulations for intra-articular injection for osteoarthritis -Buccal and sublingual delivery of peptides using layer-by-layer patches   Professor Brayden was the Director of the Irish Drug Delivery Research Network from 2007 to 2013, which then became part of the SFI CURAM Centre for Medical Devices. He completed a role as Deputy Coordinator of an EU 7th Framework grant on oral nanomedicines (www.TRANS-INT.eu), 2012-2017. In 2012, he was the first Irish academic to be inducted into the College of Fellows of the Controlled Release Society. In 2017, he became the first Irish academic to be elected as a Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. Professor Brayden is the author or co-author of more than 200 research publications and patents. He serves on the Editorial Advisory Boards of Drug Discovery Today, Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews and the Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. In 2021, he was appointed first Chief Editor of Frontiers in Drug Delivery. He is a member of Ireland’s National Research Ethics Committee for clinical trials (2021). Professor Brayden was appointed to Full Professor at UCD in 2014.  Related Links https://people.ucd.ie/david.brayden  

Thursday, 9 June 2022

CÚRAM is delighted to announce the awarding of a Fulbright Scholarship to one of our PhD students. Aoibhín Sheedy is a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering and CÚRAM. Her PhD is funded by the SFI LiFTETIME CDT Programme and investigates advanced immunotherapy and delivery strategies to treat ovarian cancer. As a Fulbright-Enterprise Ireland Awardee at the University of Minnesota (UoM), she will investigate the currently developed therapeutics at the Miller Lab (UoM) through the device developed at the Dolan Lab (NUIG). She is one of 13 Fulbright Students awarded the scholarship this year. On receipt of her award Ms Sheedy said: “Through this Fulbright scholarship, I will get a chance to travel to the University of Minnesota and learn for one of the best groups in the world developing immunotherapies to treat ovarian cancer, including Prof Miller, Prof Felices and Dr Geller. It will also allow me to connect with other women in STEM at UoM. I hope to be able to build ties with the WiSTEM community there to enrich our worlds both in the USA and at home in Ireland.”  Prof. Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, congratulated Ms Sheedy: “This Fulbright Award is an enormous learning opportunity for Ms Sheedy. It will enable her to begin to grow a strong network of collaborators internationally and will have a significant impact on her professional advancement.” NUI Galway is celebrating the success of seven academics, researchers and graduates named among the 40 Fulbright Irish Awardees for 2022-2023. The Fulbright Programme in Ireland was established in 1957 and annually awards grants for Irish citizens to study, research, or teach in the U.S. and for American citizens to do the same in Ireland. Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, NUI Galway President, said: “I would like to commend the seven awardees on their achievement. NUI Galway has a proud history of excellence in education and research, and the internationally-recognised Fulbright Awards are associated with excellence and prestige. We are proud to have them represent our university. Fulbright made a big difference to my academic, research career and, as a Fulbright alumnus, I wish our awardees the very best of success in the United States.” The Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Joe Hackett and the Deputy Chief of Mission, Alexandra McKnight, announced the Fulbright awardees on behalf of U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Clare Cronin.  The Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Joe Hackett and the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, Alexandra McKnight, on behalf of U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Clare Cronin, are pleased to announce 40 Fulbright Irish Awardees for 2022-2023. Recipients were presented with Awards at a ceremony in Iveagh House last night.  The Fulbright Program has served to strengthen international relations for seventy-five years. The Fulbright Commission in Ireland’s vision of inspiring minds to create a global culture of understanding is more important than ever in today’s increasingly polarised world. This year’s Irish awardees will undertake research, teaching and study in the USA spanning many disciplines. They will address pressing societal issues, engage with U.S. society, and share their knowledge when they return home.   The next round of applications for Fulbright Irish Awards will open on 31st August 2022, interested candidates should visit www.fulbright.ie for more information.  Joe Hackett, Secretary General of the Department of the Foreign Affairs said...  “I extend my warmest congratulations to the Irish Fulbright Awardees for 2022–2023. Fulbright scholarships provide a transformational experience for individuals and play a crucial role in sustaining the close relationship that Ireland and the United States share. Every year, Fulbright recipients have the exciting opportunity to study, work, and experience life in the U.S., and to represent the best of Ireland. I wish this year’s Awardees every success for their time in the U.S.”  Alexandra McKnight, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Dublin said…  “Fulbright offers an unparalleled opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, while fostering understanding between nations. This Program is a vehicle for advancing knowledge across communities and improving lives around the world. Congratulations to this year’s Awardees who will serve as ambassadors for Ireland and bring what they learn in the U.S. back with them.”  Kevin Douglass Greene of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI) said….  “The Fulbright-Frederick and Anna Douglass Awards were established to mark the 175th anniversary of abolitionist Frederick Douglass’ historic visit to Ireland. We at FDFI worked with the Commission in Ireland and the U.S. Embassy in Dublin to create these Awards that honour not only the legacy of Frederick Douglass, but also of his wife Anna. With the goal of increasing participation of diverse communities in Ireland-U.S. exchanges, these awards offer new opportunities to Irish and U.S. students in areas of civil rights, social justice and policy development. I congratulate the inaugural Irish Award recipient Raphael Onwunali, and look forward to seeing the fruits of this scholarship.”  Professor Diane Negra, Chair of the Fulbright Commission Ireland Board said…  “The Commission Board congratulates the 40 awardees travelling to the U.S. in the coming year and wishes them an enjoyable and successful Fulbright experience. They are joining a very vibrant network and will benefit from the professional recognition of being a Fulbright awardee. The excellence and expertise of Fulbright recipients continues to develop after 65 years of Irish-U.S. exchange, as they continue Senator Fulbright’s vision of creating a global culture of understanding that can erode mistrust that has historically set nations against one another.”  Dr Dara FitzGerald, Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission in Ireland said:  “The Fulbright Program continues to be an enduring, rich and affirmative part of the relationship between both countries. In addition to the brilliance of Fulbright awardees, the programme is wonderfully supported by our stakeholders and sponsors. We thank our partners, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. We are grateful to have the enduring support of our Irish award sponsors: the Health Research Board, Enterprise Ireland, the Environmental Protection Agency, Geological Survey Ireland, National University of Ireland, Teagasc, the Creative Ireland Programme, the National Lottery and such notable U.S. Institutions as the Exploratorium, the Smithsonian, the Harry Ransom Center and Boston College.   We also have tremendous support from Irish institutions such as ATU Letterkenny, University College Cork, University College Dublin, Dublin City University, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, National University of Ireland Galway, Maynooth University, University of Limerick, Technological University Dublin, Science Foundation Ireland, Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies, Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Hugh Lane Gallery. The impact of their support is momentous, especially in terms of diversity and range of disciplines that enrich the Ireland-U.S. relationship. ”  ENDS

Friday, 3 June 2022

CÚRAM has received funding to develop and deliver an undergraduate research opportunities programme that will support underrepresented undergraduate (UG) student development by providing 20 fully paid summer internships in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) laboratories across NUI Galway for six weeks between May and August 2022.  This project is a collaboration between CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices, the Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (WiSTEM) student society, the College of Science and Engineering and the University of Sanctuary Initiative at NUI Galway. The project has been funded by the SFI Discover Programme, announced by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD and Minister for Education Norma Foley TD today. The investment aims to improve public understanding of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM). The funding, which totals €3.7 million, will encourage diversity and inclusion in STEM while targeting a wide range of ages, including young children, teens and adults. Announcing the funding, Minister Harris TD said: "I am delighted to announce today the 47 projects receiving funding through the SFI Discover Programme. "These projects will have an invaluable impact, starting conversations about the role of STEM in society and inspiring our young people to explore careers in these areas. "Through initiatives such as the SFI Discover Programme, we must support the public to have access to, and understand, the issues that impact our collective future and the role science and technology can play in providing solutions. I wish all the recipients every success in the rollout of their projects." Speaking of the projects co-funded by the Department of Education, Minister Foley said:"We are pleased to collaborate with the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science by supporting five projects that will receive funding through the SFI Discover Programme. "These projects are designed to grow and encourage participation in STEM education and public engagement, inspiring our young people to explore STEM roles in the future. I want to congratulate all of the individuals and teams involved in their work to date on these projects." Over 50 senior academics across NUI Galway offered projects for consideration to the programme, which received over 500 applications from UG students for the 20 places available. Interns will develop practical research skills and training in public engagement and communications as part of this project.  Prof Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM and Project Director, explains: "We want to highlight STEM research as an exciting, long-term career option for secondary level and undergraduate students and encourage underrepresented STEM students to achieve their full potential. We hope these internships will address the low levels of participation of underrepresented groups in research careers and third-level education." Helen Maher Vice President for Equity, Diversity and inclusion at NUI Galway says:  "I am delighted to see this initiative be established at NUI Galway. It exemplifies our commitment at NUI Galway to the public good, to partnership and to education as a critical catalyst for equality, diversity and inclusion." Commenting on the announcement, Prof Philip Nolan, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland, said: "The SFI Discover Programme is a key part of our education and public engagement strategy and aims to grow opportunities for dialogue between the research community and the public. "Our research improves people's lives, and we can only do that if we work in partnership with the public at all stages of the research process. The programme also aims to improve diversity and inclusion in science, broadening participation geographically and amongst less represented voices in research.  "STEM is such an exciting area to study and work in, and we want to make it more accessible to a wide range of people. We are looking forward to working with these fantastic, creative education and engagement programmes." ENDS  

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Patients with wounds and their carers are invited to attend a special public meeting in Galway next week. The Alliance for Research and Innovation in Wounds (ARIW) seeks to understand what issues are most important to people with wounds to know how best to answer the issues through research. Prof. Georgina Gethin, a Funded Investigator at CÚRAM, Professor of Nursing in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, NUI Galway and Director of the ARIW, is a lead organiser of the event. Prof Gethin works across disciplines to develop new interventions to manage chronic wounds to help impact the lives of those affected by chronic wounds. The ARIW’s mission is toaddress the challenges for everyone affected by wounds through collaboration, pioneering research and innovation. It works to improve people's lives impacted by wounds and champion evidence-based, innovative care. The event, which is to be held at the Maldron Hotel, Galway, on June 1st at 6.30 pm, marks an opportunity for patients and carers to share their opinions and shape research. The event is part of the ARIW’s commitment to Public Patient Involvement (PPI), which works with researchers, the public, and patients to ensure that the voice of the patient shapes and influences our health and social care research, enhancing the quality, relevance and impact of the research. The Alliance for Research and Innovation in Wounds was borne out of the need to bring together the expertise in research, education and clinical practice that exists in NUI Galway, Saolta and among private healthcare partners into one unit that will strive to develop further and expand wound care in Ireland and Internationally. Interested parties are asked to register their interest at ariw@nuigalway.ie or by calling 086.856.0053.  For further information on the ARIW, see www.nuigalway.ie/ariw

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

CÚRAM researchers will participate in a Clean Coasts beach clean this Saturday, April 30th, in partnership with Galway Atlantaquaria, National Aquarium of Ireland. Members of the public are invited to meet on Grattan Beach at 11.30. Aside from helping clean the coast, participants will have the opportunity to speak to our research scientists about their work. CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices, is developing the next-generation of medical devices. The Centre is focused on the development of medical implants, therapeutic and diagnostic devices that address the needs of patients living with chronic illness. Dr Sarah Gundy, who is organising the event, says: “Public engagement of science is central to CÚRAM’s programme, so this beach clean provides a unique opportunity for our researchers to speak with people about their work in an informal environment.” Last year CÚRAM launched a new public exhibition showcasing how marine resources can aid medical device research. The ‘Marine Meets MedTech’ exhibit at Galway Atlantaquaria, the National Aquarium of Ireland, shows how scientists are studying sponge slime to fight cancer and harmful microbes, using algae for controlled release of medicine, and mimicking barnacle glue to create surgical glue. Visitors can browse information panels, tanks and models of marine resources that are used in medical device research. To find out more contact Dr Sarah Gundy at sarah.gundy@nuigalway.ie About CÚRAM Set up in 2015, CÚRAM is now a world-leading Irish Medical Device R&D Centre based out of NUI Galway. While led by the National University of Ireland Galway, CÚRAM’s partner institutes include University College Dublin, University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, University of Limerick, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, Dublin City University, Technological University of the Shannon and National Institute Bioprocessing Research and Training. The Centre is focused on developing medical implants, therapeutic and diagnostic devices that address the needs of patients living with chronic illness. They also partner with local small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) and multinational medical device and pharmaceutical companies to increase employment in Ireland. The Centre has seen numerous scientific breakthroughs as researchers focus on improving the quality of life for patients living with long-term chronic conditions such as diabetes, back pain, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Our researchers focus on engineering approaches for repair and remodelling, improved drug delivery solutions and superior medical implant designs to treat chronic diseases. CÚRAM was created because of the need for clinicians, industry, and researchers to collaborate in developing medical devices that will create jobs and establish a global hub for MedTech.

Friday, 22 April 2022

‘Earth Day’ launch of Irish Green Labs Over 100 laboratories across Ireland are pursuing green laboratory programmes and practices April 22 2022, Galway, Ireland: NUI Galway has played a leading role in forming Irish Green Labs, an all-island network to promote best practices to make research labs greener. CÚRAM is proud to support a voluntary collective of lab professionals, forming an all-island network called Irish Green labs. Their shared ambition is to minimise the negative impact that laboratories on the island are known to be having on the environment.  All sectors of society are dependent on laboratory services. Similar to data centres, laboratories use constant and significant amounts of energy; additionally, they contribute high volumes of waste in the form of single-use plastics and hazardous chemicals. This evidence-based network of individuals, institutions and industries created on the island of Ireland will be an open platform supporting green lab practices locally and globally, acting as a catalyst for the system-level change that is essential for us to meet the challenges of mandatory carbon zero targets. Following the Oireachtas approval of the national carbon budget on 6 April 2022, the breakdown of this budget into sectoral budgets is expected to be presented to the Government by the end of June 2022.  The implementation of these legally binding targets by institutions will be crucial if targets are to be met, as public sector bodies will be required to reduce their absolute energy-related emissions by at least 51% by 2030.  With labs accounting for 30-50% of energy-related emissions in many institutions, they will have a significant role to play in meeting decarbonisation targets in the Republic of Ireland. Notably, the Irish Green Labs initiative aligns with the UNFCCC’s ‘race-to-zero’ report, published by the 2021 UNFCCC champions Nigel Topping (UK) and Gonzalez Munoz (Chile). The champions recommended that “95% of labs across major pharma and med-tech companies are My Green Lab certified at the green level by 2030” (https://racetozero.unfccc.int/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/2020-Breakthroughs-Upgrading-our-sytems-together.pdf). Current IGL member organisations include Atlantic Technological University, Foras na Mara (Marine Institute), HSE Public Analyst Laboratory (Dublin and Cork), NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University of Ulster, Queen’s University Belfast.  The initiative has also been endorsed by the Academy of Clinical Science and Laboratory Medicine, Dementia Research Network Ireland, Educational Procurement Services, the HSE Estates Climate Action & Sustainability Office, Irish Doctors for the Environment, and Neuroscience Ireland. For more information, contact info@irishgreenlabs.org. Twitter: @irishgreenlabs. Phone: Una FitzGerald, 087 2022013

Thursday, 3 February 2022

Professor Abhay Pandit has been elected Chair of the Tissue Engineering Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS)- EU Chapter. TERMIS has a global mission to advance tissue engineering and regenerative medicine worldwide to generate knowledge to improve patient outcomes globally. Speaking about his appointment, Prof Pandit said: “This appointment gives a voice to the work we are doing in CÚRAM on a global scale. It will draw the focus of key stakeholders to our Centre and allow CÚRAM to play a vital role in the formation of critical policy decisions within the EU and further afield.” The mission of TERMIS is to promote education and research within the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine across the globe and is the premier global scientific society in the area with an EU membership currently at 1000.  Since its inception, Prof Pandit has been a member of the society and has served on the  Council (2010-2014). In 2010 he put Ireland on the TERMIS map by hosting the first-ever meeting in Galway. The meeting, which hosted 700+ people, was one of the largest scientific conferences held in Galway. “It is an honour to be elected Chair by the peers in the field. TERMIS is the largest organisation for which I have held a position of this kind. This recognition is a testament to the work that we are doing in CÚRAM.” Prof Pandit has been working in the field of biomaterials since 1989. In addition to holding the Chair, he is a Fellow of the Society and holds the title FTERM—the only academic in Ireland bestowed that honour. The appointment places CÚRAM amongst the top centres globally and is a notable achievement given that Ireland is one of the smallest member states in the society. -Ends- For Press, contact Lindsay Deely, Press and Communication Lead, CÚRAM, the National University of Ireland Galway at Lindsay.deely@nuigalway.ie or +353 86 0556212.   About CÚRAM  CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices, is developing the next generation of medical devices and training a highly-skilled workforce. Set up in 2015, CÚRAM is now a world-leading Irish Medical Device R&D Centre based out of NUI Galway. While led by the National University of Ireland Galway, CÚRAM’s partner institutes include University College Dublin, University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, University of Limerick, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, Dublin City University, Technological University of the Shannon and National Institute Bioprocessing Research and Training. The Centre focuses on developing biomedical implants, therapeutic and diagnostic devices that address the needs of patients living with chronic illness. They also partner with local small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) and multinational medical device and pharmaceutical companies to increase employment in Ireland. The Centre has seen numerous scientific breakthroughs, as researchers focus on improving the quality of life for patients living with long-term chronic conditions such as diabetes, back pain, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Our researchers focus on engineering approaches for repair and remodelling, improved drug delivery solutions and superior medical implant designs to treat chronic diseases. CÚRAM was created because of the need for clinicians, industry, and researchers to collaborate in developing medical devices that will create jobs and establish a global hub for MedTech. Follow us @ CURAMdevices or visit www. nuigalway.ie/curam

Tuesday, 1 February 2022

Celebrating the Success of our Alumni Dr Sarah Guerin, a Molecular Modelling Researcher and Crystallographer at SSPC, the SFI Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals at UL, and a CÚRAM Alumna is one of eight Ireland-based researchers to have recently been awarded European Research Council (ERC) funding following the inaugural call for proposals under Horizon Europe, the 9th EU funding programme for Research and Innovation. Accepting the award, Dr. Guerin said: said: “ I am delighted to be awarded this grant and am excited to establish a world-leading research group in Ireland. The acceleration of eco-friendly piezoelectric technologies will be of huge importance to the Irish economy while greatly reducing the environmental impact of electromechanical sensing technologies worldwide. I look forward to attracting diverse talent to the west coast and pushing the boundaries of materials science research.”   Dr. Guerin completed her PhD with CÚRAM in 2018 under the supervision of Dr. Tofail Syed and Prof Damien Thompson, which sparked her interest in organic materials that demonstrate piezoelectricity. “I developed a methodology of studying small molecular crystals using computer models. Using quantum mechanics (the dark arts of physics!), I could predict how crystals would behave before I made them in the lab. During my PhD, my focus was on piezoelectric crystals- crystals that generate electricity when you squeeze them, which had applications in medical devices. Most piezoelectric materials used in ex vivo medical devices are lead based, and are therefore unsuitable for in vivo medical implants, such as self-powered pacemakers. Over the past 7 years I have built up an expertise in both modelling and experimental work- honing skills in physics, chemistry, and computer modelling. “ Dr Guerin’s research has led to many breakthroughs: her development of a quantitative predictability model to screen organic piezoelectric materials initially led to the discovery of three highly piezoelectric amino acid crystals (β-glycine, DL-alanine and hydroxy-L-proline) with potential for use in medical implants and drug delivery devices. This is the first time that quantitative theoretical data has been produced on the piezoelectric response in amino acids and peptides, with individual piezoelectric constants being verified experimentally. The work was published in Nanoscale, Nature Materials, Physical Review Letters, and formed the basis of a Thesis in 3 talk with the title ‘Nature’s Shocking Secret’, which was the Thesis in 3 National Winner in 2016.  “This set me up perfectly for the role I have now in SSPC, applying predictive models to pharmaceutical crystals.” Currently Sarah uses her computer models to predict the properties of drug molecules, in order to improve the material properties of pharmaceutical products, from synthesis to tablet processing. She is an established member of SSPC’s Modelling Theme, working with experimentalists and industry to make more efficient drug products. Her methodologies were recently featured in CrystEngComm. However her interest in organic piezoelectricity remained strong, and last summer she worked with Prof. Vikram Pakrashi in University College Dublin to validate the first flexible amino acid sensor for pipe damage detection. The work gained international attention and was an Influential Paper for 2021 in Cell Reports Physical Science. Speaking on her time in CÚRAM, Sarah says “CÚRAM supported me throughout my PhD, giving me a foundation on which to grow and thrive as a scientist. Absolutely everyone, from center collaborators, industry partners, support staff, and management, believed in my research, celebrated my success as a young researcher, and helped with any problem.” In addition to the ERC award, Dr. Guerin has previously been awarded the 2021 Postdoctoral Researcher of the Year award from UL’s Bernal Institute and the 2018 Young Scientist of the Year award from the British Association of Crystal Growth. As to where her research will go from here, Dr. Guerin has high ambitions- to make the billions of piezoelectric sensors across the world organic and eco-friendly. “This ERC award allows me to take my research to the next level, building a team to hunt down and engineer super-piezoelectric organic materials, and develop them as functional devices. On completion of the project in 2027, we should no longer have to rely on elements such as Lead and Niobium for high-performance sensing.”

Friday, 28 January 2022

A team of researchers at CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices at NUI Galway, have discovered a radically new approach to the treatment of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.  The study, published in Advanced Science, identified a groundbreaking therapeutic strategy for restoring the lining of the intestine of patients with the condition and other inflammatory bowel diseases. The treatment could also help prevent further inflammation, which is how the disease progresses and worsens over time.  The NUI Galway CÚRAM researchers have designed a hyaluronan (HA) enema, which has shown significant potential in protecting against damage to the intestinal lining by decreasing inflammation and aiding in the maintenance of the health of the intestinal lining.  Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, or IBD, is characterised by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and effects over 3.2 million people in Europe. Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, said: ““The team strongly believes that the developed system can be delivered as an HA enema to act as a barrier-protecting system on the damaged colon barrier, reducing intestinal inflammation in the treatment of colonic inflammatory diseases. “This will result in reduced inflammation and protection of the intestinal lining.” The research represents a significant leap forward from the standard therapeutic interventions for colitis, which have focused mainly on maintaining remission levels, and do not address the root cause of the condition, especially damage to the intestinal lining and intestinal function. Dr Niranjan Kotla, conducted the principal research of the study at CÚRAM in collaboration with Dr Venkatakrishna R Jala, from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, James Graham Brown Cancer Centre, University of Louisville, in the US.   Dr Yury Rochev, co-lead on the publication added: "This research demonstrates the efficacy of a unique therapeutic strategy able to induce a positive effect on damaged colonic tissue. The reduction in inflammation will be of great benefit to patients and highlights the potential use of this treatment." Alongside the research into a specific therapeutic treatment for Crohn’s and colitis, CÚRAM researchers have also identified inflammation-specific targeted carriers for local drug delivery to inflammatory bowel disease. The findings have been published in Biomaterials. The study looked at the highly challenging but potentially effective practice of delivering drugs directly to inflamed intestinal sites to treat inflammatory bowel disease, particularly Crohn's and ulcerative colitis. The research team, led by Professor Abhay Pandit and Dr Yury Rochev in collaboration with Prof Larry Egan, Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at NUI Galway,  developed strong anionic charged inflammation targeted nanocarriers (IT-NCs) loaded with an immunosuppressant model drug.   “Our results suggest that IT-NCs have promising therapeutic potential as delivery carriers' in colitis management,” said Professor Pandit. This research was funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 - the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The first study has been published in Advanced Science and is available here https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/advs.202103189 The second study has been published in Biomaterials and is available here https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0142961222000035?via%3Dihub   Ends Media queries - Please contact Lindsay Deely, Press and Communications Lead, CÚRAM, SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices at National University of Ireland Galway at Lindsay.deely@nuigalway.ie or +353 86 0556212.    About CÚRAM   CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices, is developing the next generation of medical devices and training a highly-skilled workforce. Set up in 2015, CÚRAM is now a world-leading Irish Medical Device R&D Centre based out of NUI Galway. While led by the National University of Ireland Galway, CÚRAM’s partner institutes include University College Dublin, University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, University of Limerick, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, Dublin City University, Technological University of the Shannon and National Institute Bioprocessing Research and Training. The Centre is focused on the development of abiomedical implants, therapeutic and diagnostic devices that address the needs of patients living with chronic illness. They also partner with local small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs), and multinational medical device and pharmaceutical companies to increase employment in Ireland. The Centre has seen numerous scientific breakthroughs, as researchers focus on improving the quality of life for patients living with long-term chronic conditions such as diabetes, back pain, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Our researchers focus on engineering approaches for repair and remodelling, improved drug delivery solutions and superior medical implant designs to treat chronic diseases. CÚRAM was created because of the need for clinicians, industry and researchers to collaborate in developing medical devices which will not only create jobs but also develop a global hub for MedTech. Follow us @CURAMdevices or visit www.nuigalway.ie/curam

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Are you a Junior Cycle teacher interested in new cross-curricular resources for your students? CÚRAM’s @JCTsteAm would be perfect for you! Learn how we can explore marine organisms with unique molecules to heal the body. On Tuesday 8th March from 7pm-8.15pm join facilitators from CÚRAM for ‘The Superpowers of Slime’ an interactive workshop where teachers will learn about the remarkable capabilities of some marine organisms which have evolved to produce unique and diverse compounds, including slime. Ever wonder what scientists are doing in the laboratory all day? Well, some of them are making slime! This workshop will explore how CÚRAM scientists make slime and the different ways they test slime for medical applications. Slime and the chemicals scientists use to make slime are produced by a variety of organisms. In particular, due to living in extreme conditions, marine organisms have evolved unique, diverse compounds with useful chemical and structural properties that scientists are researching to heal the body. Workshop participants will learn how it is vital to conserve the biodiversity of our oceans so we do not lose potential medical cures. Participants will also have the chance to custom-design their own slime for classroom use. Dr. Sarah Gundy, head of the Teacher is Residence Programme at CÚRAM says: “Keeping our oceans healthy helps us discover new ways of developing medical device technology, which, in turn, keeps us healthy. Educating our students to protect the biodiversity of our oceans will help us preserve potential ways to help fight diseases.” Click here to register- https://jct-ie.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEoduiqrj8qEtKbJGJZR7B1D44PD4PwH9-e In the meantime, explore the topic by watching Marine Medicine: What the Ocean Can Do for Your Health!, a short film made by SFI with CÚRAM for Science Week 2021. Watch it here- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7J5nOvUYO4 STE(A)M in Junior Cycle online events emerge from a partnership between JCT and 11 education outreach partners who are experts in their ­eld. Our vision is to provide professional learning for Junior Cycle teachers, across a broad range of subjects, that will support an appreciation of interdisciplinary responses to societal challenges. This CPD will have both subject-speci­c and cross-curricular relevance and supports teachers in connecting classroom learning to real world contexts. “Learners will be enabled to use and analyse information in new and creative ways, to investigate issues, to explore, to think for themselves, to be creative in solving problems and to apply their learning to new challenges and situations.” Framework for Junior Cycle (2015) Find out more- https://jct.ie/perch/resources/steam/steam-in-junior-cycle-2022-poster-pdf.pdf -ends-

Monday, 17 January 2022

Professor Derek O'Keefe to feature on Changemakers: Improving Lives Through Research As published by the IUA. Professor Derek O’Keeffe is a Physicianeer – a dual qualified Physician and Engineer who trained in Ireland as well as in the United States at Harvard University and the Mayo Clinic. Prof O’Keeffe and researchers at the HIVE Lab, in The Lambe Institute identify clinical needs and use state of the art technology to develop innovative patient solutions. DAVE the Robot is one of piece of technology that is helping Professor O’Keeffe and his team,  deliver care to his patients who suffer from diabetes, a chronically debilitating condition that can be life changing for those who develop it. Prof O'Keefe will feature on @RTEOneJanuary 17 at 8.30pm as part of Changemakers, an IUA RTE partnership. Read more About Changemakers The Irish Universities Association has partnered with RTÉ and New Decade TV to bring Ireland’s Change Makers, the most transformative research-led projects and the inspiring people behind them, to Irish television this coming January and February 2022. The series will showcase the remarkable and lasting public impact of leading research projects by eight universities in Ireland in areas such as children’s health, health technology, education, youth justice, gender equality and inclusion, as well as the environment. The 6-part series will be broadcast from Monday January 3rd 2022 at 8.30pm on RTE One television and the RTE Player.  

Thursday, 13 January 2022

Bridging the gap between materials science and medical devices As published in TechCentral.ie, Wed, Jan 12, 2022 Dr Michael Monaghan is Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering at the Dept of Mechanical, Manufacturing & Biomedical Engineering, and Trinity Centre for Biomedical Engineering, Trinity College Dublin. He is also a funded investigator at the Science Foundation Ireland research centres Curam and Amber. His work looks at how stem cells can be used to repair cardiac muscle post-heart attack, generation of novel materials and methods in which to manufacture them, and metabolic imaging. In this interview he talks about setting up his lab in Trinity College and what he considers to be an academic measure of success. Tell us about your academic career to date. I am originally from Leitrim and attended NUI Galway to study Biomedical Engineering. During my final year project, I was introduced to Prof Abhay Pandit, now director of the SFI-funded centre Curam, who became my mentor. We worked with Boston Scientific on a project looking at stents and how they can be covered with the kind of cells that cover the inside of blood vessels to help them perform better after implantation. Following this, I spent some time in a small spin-off company before reconnecting with Abhay to embark on a PhD in the SFI-funded centre Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials. Through this, I received in depth training in biomaterial fabrication, gene delivery, and drug delivery in the field of skin repair and repair of the heart. During this time I connected with Prof Katja Schenke-Layland based at the Fraunhofer Institute in Stuttgart and the University of Tubingen in South Germany. While performing key experiments due to the availability of specialised equipment that was available there, I prepared a European Commission grant proposal for the Marie Curie Fellowship that would fund me to independently do research in her lab for two years. Read the full article here    

Thursday, 2 December 2021

Digital pain management programmes could tackle shortage of pain psychologists As published in the Irish Times, Thu, Dec 2, 2021, 06:01 By Louise Ní Chríodáin Routine pain treatments could soon include virtual reality, and harnessing the body’s ability to generate its own pain relief. Finding the treatments of the future, is one driving force behind NUI Galway’s Centre for Pain Research. Founded in 2007 by professor of pharmacology and therapeutics, David Finn, and professor of clinical psychology, Brian McGuire, it brings together academics and researchers from across the health sciences. Prof Finn’s background is in biotechnology and neuroscience, while Dr Michelle Roche, a member of the centre since its inception and co-director since 2020, has a background in physiology and neuropharmacology. There are also collaborations with clinical colleagues, in particular those at University Hospital Galway’s Pain Clinic, where Prof McGuire works as a psychologist. Sensors for a virtual reality device are attached to the stump, and the patient sees an image of their missing limb, their virtual arm or leg, on the screen Much of their work is driven by the search to understand and alleviate pain. “About 20 per cent of the population suffers from chronic pain,” says Prof Finn. “But if you asked that cohort how they’re doing on their medications, about 70 per cent say that it is inadequate some of the time, and about 40 per cent say it’s inadequate all of the time. So there’s this massive unmet clinical need, first of all for better drugs that are more effective against pain, but also because a lot of existing drugs have very substantial side effects. “Like addiction – we can see the problems of the opioid crisis in the US. Even non-addictive painkillers, such as non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen, are very hard on people when taken over a long period of time, because they cause stomach ulcers and have other effects.” In addition to new therapies, novel ways of delivering drugs are being investigated. Delivery systems that allow the administration of pharmacological treatments directly to the site of injury are of a particular interest, and may avoid adverse side effects associated with pain medication taken orally or intravenously, explains Dr Roche. Read the full article here  

Monday, 8 November 2021

Students at St. Nicholas’ Parochial School in Galway co-create murals featuring their medical devices designs inspired from the marine world CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based at NUI Galway and Galway Atlantaquaria have been educating students at St. Nicholas’ Parochial School in Galway about how marine organisms are helping scientists develop new ways to heal our bodies. Working with teaching artist, Alison Mac Cormaic, the “Tiny Sea Life, Big Cures” project inspired students to design their own marine-inspired medical devices. Alison featured the students’ designs to co-create a large-scale, interactive mural on the school building to share with the community. An understanding of the role of marine life in human health is at the heart of the project. Educators from Galway Atlantaquaria discussed with students about marine life in Ireland and the importance of conservation, while CÚRAM researchers are taught students about marine sources of biomaterials and how they can heal the body. Inspired by the scientific material investigated from the aquarium and CÚRAM, artist Alison Mac Cormaic will teach the students how to imagine, design and create models for devices that may aid human health and recovery. In addition, guest Lecturer Enda O’ Dowd introduced the Medical Device Design course that he coordinates in the National College of Art and Design Dublin (NCAD). Alison created a permanent mural on the outer school wall incorporating students’ designs. Through this cross-curricular co-creation process, students became aware of their locality and its link to scientific achievements, conservation, and the role of the artist and scientist in our community. Project collaborator Dr Nóirín Burke from Galway Atlantaquaria, says: “The research and innovation happening in CÚRAM is truly fascinating. Working with everyone in this programme, exploring ways in which our health can benefit from the ocean, and considering our role in the ocean’s future has been a pleasure. This is also of particular interest now as we begin the UNESCO Decade of the Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. We are also super excited about seeing the student’s final art piece, which will help share this project with the wider community, through families and the public.” Ms Deirdre Grace, 5th and 6th class teacher at St. Nicholas’ Parochial School, says: “This project has been a real learning experience for the students, they are highly engaged and motivated to learn more about the topics, and they are thoroughly enjoying the experience.” CÚRAM is focused on creating devices that help patients living with chronic illness and runs a very active and varied public engagement programme called ‘Breaking Barriers’ that aims to engage artists, filmmakers, teachers and the general public in creating new ways of accessing scientific knowledge and research. Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, said: “We are always looking for ways for our researchers and diverse community groups to collaborate and create a better understanding and awareness of our research and their work to illustrate our coexistence in the society. This collaboration with the National Aquarium, National College of Art and Design Dublin, Alison Mac Cormaic and the wonderful staff and students of St Nicholas’ Parochial School has been hugely successful and is something we will be building on in the future and hoping to replicate with numerous schools around the country.” For more information about CÚRAM visit: www.curamdevices.ie. -Ends-  About CURAM CÚRAM is the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Medical Devices, based at NUI Galway. It is a national centre bringing together experts from Ireland’s leading universities and research institutes. Our academic partners led by the National University of Ireland Galway includes University College Dublin, University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, University of Limerick, The Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, and Clinical Research Development Ireland. For more information, visit www.curamdevices.ie. Find CÚRAM on Twitter, @CURAMdevices.  About Atlantaquaria Galway Atlantaquaria, National Aquarium of Ireland, seeks to present a comprehensive view of the world of water through clear and attractive displays, informed, helpful staff and exciting live presentations. This is achieved through accurately displaying aquatic life in a manner that reflects their natural habitats, providing an enjoyable and educational environment to learn about the diverse marine ecosystem of Ireland. As Ireland’s largest native species aquarium, we strive to ensure that a visit to us is original and full of wonder for visitors of all ages and abilities. We are delighted to be an accredited member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquarium (EAZA) and the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquarium (BIAZA).  

Monday, 25 October 2021

NUI Galway researcher and academic Dr Karen Doyle has been appointed President of Neuroscience Ireland. Dr Doyle, Senior Lecturer at the University and principal investigator at CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices, is a former Vice-President of Neuroscience Ireland (2007–2009). She also led the foundation of Galway Neuroscience Centre in 2004 and was the leader of the centre from 2004–2009. Dr Doyle said: “I am delighted to accept the role of President of Neuroscience Ireland and look forward to promoting and supporting the important work of the society over the next two years. I want to thank Professor Aine Kelly for her outstanding leadership and contribution to NSI over the last two years.” Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director at CÚRAM, said: “We congratulate Dr Karen Doyle on this prestigious appointment. Neuroscience Ireland plays a vital role in the promotion of research and education in the neurosciences. We look forward to seeing the society’s impact grow under her leadership in the coming years.” Dr Doyle specialises in neurovascular stress and neuroprotection, focused on ischemic stroke which occurs when a blood clot blocks or narrows an artery leading to the brain. Her research is investigating the characteristics of human blood clots that cause occlusive strokes, to inform medical device design and discover new biomarkers to advance stroke diagnosis and treatment. Neuroscience Ireland has a membership of about 200 scientists and clinicians. It aims to advance research and education in the neurosciences and to represent Irish neuroscience researchers both nationally and internationally. Ends Media queries to Gwen O'Sullivan, Press and Information Executive, NUI Galway at gwen.osullivan@nuigalway.ie or 087 6601592. Photo.jpg: Dr Karen Doyle, Senior Lecturer in Physiology and Principal Investigator at CÚRAM, NUI Galway. Photo: Aengus McMahon Notes for Editor More about Neuroscience Ireland (NSI) Neuroscience Ireland (NSI) was established in 2005 as Ireland’s National Neuroscience Society, and is a registered charity. A key goal of NSI is the promotion of education in the neurosciences including outreach to the general public, and this is facilitated by public lectures and symposia. NSI holds a biennial meeting that serves as a multidisciplinary forum for knowledge and expertise sharing, facilitating excellence in neuroscience research in Ireland. Follow NSI and the ECRN @NeuroscienceIRL; @YoungNeuroIrl or visit www.neuroscienceireland.com About CÚRAM CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices, is developing the next generation of medical devices and training a highly-skilled workforce. Set up in 2015, CÚRAM is now a world-leading Irish Medical Device R&D Centre based out of NUI Galway. While led by the National University of Ireland Galway, CÚRAM’s partner institutes include University College Dublin, University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, University of Limerick, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, Dublin City University, Athlone Institute of Technology and National Institute Bioprocessing Research and Training. The Centre is focused on the development of biomedical implants, therapeutic and diagnostic devices that address the needs of patients living with chronic illness. They also partner with local small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs), and multinational medical device and pharmaceutical companies to increase employment in Ireland. The Centre has seen numerous scientific breakthroughs, as researchers focus on improving the quality of life for patients living with long-term chronic conditions such as diabetes, back pain, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Our researchers focus on engineering approaches for repair and remodelling, improved drug delivery solutions and superior medical implant designs to treat chronic diseases. CÚRAM was created because of the need for clinicians, industry and researchers to collaborate in developing medical devices which will not only create jobs but also develop a global hub for MedTech. Follow us @ CURAMdevices or visit www.curamdevices.ie