The Disciplines research program offers outstanding opportunities to researchers and students from across the world.

The diverse research programs within the Discipline range from basic sciences through to clinical and translational research. Most research is performed within the interdisciplinary university institutes and centres with special focus on cardio-renal-metabolic medicine, diabetes and obesity, cancer, regenerative medicine, medical device technology, neuroscience, elderly care, respiratory medicine and critical care and infectious disease/immunology. 

 Funding has been received from HEA, HRB, Science Foundation Ireland and the EU. 

Health Research Board Funded Projects

Dr Thomas Ritter is working on overcoming the immune system using mesenchymal stem cells as an immunosuppressive agent in transplantation (Project Grant 2007)

Dr Sean Dinneen has begun to research the effect of providing personalised clinical information on self-efficacy and biomedical outcomes in people with type 2 diabetes and Developing an Intervention to Improve Outcomes for Young Adults with Type 1 Diabetes in Ireland

Professor Mathew Griffin is working on Glycosylation Signatures of Urinary Exosomal Proteins in Human Glomerular Diseases

Professor Martin O’Donnell has been awarded funding for A Randomised Controlled Trial  on Sleep Hygiene Education for Blood Pressure Reduction.

Professor Fidelma Dunne is researching the benefits of a regional pre-pregnancy care (PPC) programme and Gestational Diabetes Mellitus(GDM): Screening Follow up and Intervention in the community

Professor Michael O'Dwyer is looking at Cancer Prevention and Control with an emphasis on translational research and molecular mechanisms

Professor Timothy O'Brien has been funded to examine Limb salvage using mesenchymal stem cell induced vascular regeneration

Science Foundation of Ireland Funded Projects

Dr Thomas Ritter is also working on novel therapeutic approaches for the induction of tolerance in cornea transplantation Funded by Science Foundation of Ireland (SFI PI 2007)


REDDSTAR is an EU funded project which will develop and test stromal cell therapy to treat for diabetes mellitus. The objective is to control blood glucose while also addressing a range of diabetic complications. The REDDSTAR Project will comprehensively examine if Stromal Stem Cells can safely control glycaemia and alleviate damage caused by six diabetic complications. REDDSTAR partners have identified an antibody [4] (ORB1) that prospectively isolates  ORB1+ SSC from human, rat, mouse and rabbit marrow, enabling testing of pure ORB1+ and ORB1- SSC and mixed PA-SSC from each species for the first time.

REDDSTAR partners have collectively developed in vivo models of six important diabetic complications.  The project will assess if ORB1+, ORB1- and PA-SSC exert differing levels of control of blood glucose and tissue repair in each model of diabetes. In addition, the project will determine how ORB1+ and ORB1- SSC simultaneously repair tissue damage and maintain blood glucose control, an effect not observed with any current therapy. The model with the most promising results will be selected for progression to a Phase Ib clinical study


VISICORT is a multi-disciplinary project with expertise in basic immunology, bio-sampling, systems biology/immune profiling, bioinformatics, clinical tissue transplantation and cell therapy. It will complete the first systematic immune profiling of biological samples from animal and human CT recipients with diverse outcomes. Clinical data and bio-specimens from over 700 CT recipients at 5 leading transplant centres will be centrally collated and distributed to cutting-edge university- and SME-based laboratories for multi-platform profiling and integrated bioinformatics analyses. Profiling data will generate better understanding of adverse immune reactions to tissue transplants.

This knowledge will be used to develop novel biomarker-based surveillance strategies and, coupled with SME-based expertise in cell product development, will also inform the design and initiation of an optimised clinical trial strategy of immunomodulatory stromal stem cell therapy in high-risk human CT recipients. VISICORT research will strongly impact multiple EU research/scientific communities, patient cohorts and SMEs.


The MERLIN project is developing stem cell-based therapies that specifically target the inflammatory components of liver disease. The team will deploy a unique stem cell population, isolated using patented techniques and technologies which deliver purer and better-characterised stem cells than those used elsewhere. The cells will first be deployed in a series of pre-clinical tasks which will elucidate how stem cells are distributed around the body (bio-distribution), how stem cells address inflammation (mechanism of action) and how their efficacy and activity changes over time (using novel biomarkers).

The project will then carry out a clinical trial in humans, using stem cells to treat patients with a particularly severe inflammatory liver disease  – Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC).


DECIDE is a Marie Curie initial training network (ITN) programme funded by the European Union under the FP7 programme. DECIDE aims to advance understanding of normal blood cell development and why primitive cells fail to differentiate in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). We will use the information gained to develop ways of alleviating the differentiation block in AML and so deliver new agents, including novel vitamin D and retinoid analogues, for use in differentiation therapy. This type of therapy aims to respond to the urgent need to devise milder treatments, especially for older and frailer AML patients.
Project number 315902