Soapbox Science

Soapbox Science returned to the streets of Dublin on June 30th when 12 female scientists stepped onto their soapboxes to talk about their research in areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine. RCSI was represented by Dr Joan Ní Gabhann from the Ocular Immunology Research Group (OIRG) and Remsha Afzal from the Mc Coy lab.

Soapbox Science is a global public outreach platform for promoting women scientists and the science they do. Its aim is to bring scientists to the streets to interact with the public and increase the visibility of women working in science. It follows the format of Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, London which is historically an arena for public debate.

Since it was established in 2011, Soapbox Science has grown from one event in London, to dozens of annual events around the world. Nearly 1,000 scientists have taken part and 140,000 members of the public have attended Soapbox Science events to date. This year over 40 Soapbox Science events, including the Dublin event, are planned across 13 countries.

Soapbox Science Dublin is supported by University College Dublin (UCD), through a UCD Research and Innovation seed funding programme, and is being organised by Dr Dara Stanley, UCD and Dr Jessamyn Fairfield, NUI Galway.

Speaking in advance of the event, Dr Dara Stanley, UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, said, “Many people have not met a scientist before so Soapbox Science brings scientists to the city streets to interact with people going about their daily lives. As women, in particular, are under-represented at many career stages in STEMM subjects, Soapbox Science aims to break down stereotypes around who scientists are by featuring a number of female scientists speaking on a number of diverse topics.”

She added, “Soapbox Science Dublin is free to attend and is great fun so please do come along and hear about some amazing science being carried out by twelve fantastic female scientists.”

Remsha Afzal’s session was entitled “Those big eaters do damage.” During her presentation, Remsha spoke about the research being conducted in the Mc Coy lab which is part of a concerted global effort to identify novel therapeutics for multiple sclerosis (MS) which can both limit inflammation but more importantly promote repair and regeneration of the damaged neurons. Remsha used a PACMAN inspired prop to demonstrate the group’s research with nanoparticles that ‘flip the switch’ in inflammatory (M1) macrophages to turn them into tissue repairing anti-inflammatory (M2) phenotype macrophages.

Joan Ní Gabhanns session was entitled “Eye opening look at the role our immune system in dry eye disease.” During her presentation Joan spoke about the research being conducted in the OIRG which currently focuses on identifying novel regulators of inflammatory responses, particularly in the field of autoimmunity and Sjogren Syndrome (SS) related dry eye disease, as there are no diagnostic tests or effective therapies for SS. Joan used props constructed to demonstrate a functioning healthy eye and a model of autoimmune-mediated dry eye disease. She described the research the group is undertaking in novel microRNA (miR) based therapeutics that function like a ‘message in a bottle’ to change how cells communicate in autoimmune conditions to put the ‘brakes on’ the inflammatory process and restore normal immune function.

Joan Ní Gabhann

The ‘end’ of MCT as we know it

MCT staff celebrated with cake today to mark a year of exceptional achievements and additionally the ‘end’ of MCT as we know it. We are looking forward to an exciting year ahead as we join with our Pharmacy Colleagues……….

Tracy Robson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tracy Robson

International Secondment Award for Remsha Afzal

I haven’t started my secondment yet but plan on going in September 2019, when I’ll be travelling to University Hospital Basel to work in the lab of Prof. Christoph Hess (Department of Biomedicine) for 3 months, using the secondment award totalling 3000 euro.

I feel fortunate to go work in his lab because he is an expert in the field of immunometabolism and has published over 100 papers, including in high-ranking journals such as Cell Metabolism and Nature Immunology. He was also the convener of Cell’s Translational Immunometabolism Symposium in June 2018, which I attended last year.

Since the Hess lab is well-versed in studying mechanisms of immune cell function, I hope to acquire some valuable skills used to study immune cell metabolism, such as Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry and Proximity Ligation assays. Their department also has access to state-of-the-art core facilities, where I will observe and gain experience in the use of Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and the Nanolive® Holotomographic microscope, two instruments that have allowed the Hess team to pursue innovative investigations.

Remsha Afzal

Dublin to Vietnam Cyclathon

Go all the way from Dublin to Vietnam on a bicycle? That would be a ‘Mission Impossible’. But impossible is a word that does not match well with the name of Christina Noble. Her life story was against all odds. And her Children’s Foundation (CNCF) continues to amaze. So it seems an appropriate idea for the CNCF to organize a fundraising cycle event under this motto. And several RCSI employees and members of MCT rose to the challenge! 

Saturday, June 8th, just after noon: six stationary bikes in King Street South were awaiting volunteer cyclists. The stakes were high: the Ireland Men’s and Women’s Seven Rugby Squad had spun the wheels, making over 53 km mileage in just half an hour. “Team RCSI” was in good mood to advance the peloton further and get the attention and support from Dubliners and tourists walking by. Taking over four bikes for one hour, we had great fun and a good workout, contributing many more miles and raising some spontaneous donations. Thanks to a generous gift from Niamh Moran, each of us went home not only with the feeling of having made a tiny contribution to a great cause but also with some delicious bread to replenish the burnt carbohydrates.

From left to right: Olga Piskareva, Maria Morgan, Niamh Moran, Ingmar Schoen, Orna Tighe, Sudipto Das

I would like to use this occasion to say ’Go raibh mile maith agaibh’ to all volunteers and supporters on the day, beforehand and beyond – you are fantastic! It is great that so many colleagues from MCT helped to make this day a success for the CNCF. The raised money will be help to continue the CNCF’s work in the Sunshine Centre in Ho Chi Minh City, providing a loving and caring environment for children that restores their dignity and trust.
For those who missed the opportunity: our Cyclathon fundraising website is still open for another two weeks https://www.idonate.ie/fundraiser/11377220_team-rcsi.html. And there will be more occasions coming up in the near future.
Ingmar Schoen

Postdoc Presentation Day

MCT Research Seminar Series

6th June at 4.00pm – Albert lecture Theatre

Presenters:

Lisa Dwane

Anne Trappe

Chiara DeSanti

Richie Carroll

Gillian Moore

Stephanie Annett

Jamie Early

Judges:

Sudipto Das, Maria Morgan, Joan NiGabhann and Roger Preston

Refreshments will in the Atrium after the talks.

Kindly Sponsored by MCT and Biosciences

Cell Communication and Behaviour

MCT Research Forum Monday 27th 2019

Annie Curtis: Do we all have innate rhythms, yes we do!

Clive Drakeford: Von Willebrand factor regulates macrophage metabolism to promote a pro-inflammatory phenotype.

Joan Ni Gabhann: Regulation of Inflammation

Chair: Conor Duffy

Monday 27th May at 12 – 1.00pm

Cheyne Lecture Theatre

Tea Coffee and Scones

All Welcome

Sponsored by

New Teaching and Research Opportunities At Soochow University, China

Just back from a very successful trip to Soochow University, China. We visited our colleagues/collaborators at the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences as well as the CAM-SU Genomic Resource Centre, Hematology Centre and the College of Nanoscience and Technology/FUNSOM centre to discuss a joint PhD programme. We were super impressed by the research and fabulous facilities.

Thanks to Darran O’Connor and John Waddington for organising. Some photos of the trip, with a little sightseeing thrown in at the end….

Tracy Robson

RCSI Lung Health Symposium 2019

8.45 COFFEE

Albert Theatre Foyer/Albert Lecture Theatre

9.00 Prof. Raymond Stallings Welcome

9.10 -10.50pm RESPIRATORY BASIC & CLINICAL RESEARCH: SESSION 1

9.10 Prof. Gerry McElvaney New therapies for alpha-1 anti-trypsin deficiency.
9.30 Dr. Emer Reeves Anti-inflammatory properties of alpha1-PI augmentation therapy.
9.50 Prof. Catherine Greene Non-coding RNA studies in the lung
10.10 Dr. Judith Coppinger Extracellular vesicles as mediators of inflammation in Cystic Fibrosis
10.30 Prof. Richard Costello Do I need to take all this stuff?
10.50 COFFEE BREAK

11.10-12.30 RESPIRATORY BASIC & CLINICAL RESEARCH: SESSION 2

11.10 Prof. Paul McNally Evolution of the lower airway microbiome in preschool children
11.30 Dr. Killian Hurley Modeling lung disease using patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells
11.50 Prof. Brian Harvey The Microbiology of the CF Gender Gap: Estrogen modulation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence
12.10 Prof. Sally Ann Cryan Harnessing materials for the development of advanced respiratory therapeutics
12.30 Dr. Cian O Leary Bioengineered co-culture models of the airways: towards disease models in the upper and lower respiratory tract
12.50 LUNCH & POSTER SESSION

1.45-4.00 EXTERNAL SPEAKERS (National & International)

1.45 Prof. Edward McKone Beyond FEV1: Acute and long-term effects of CFTR restoration on the CF lung
2.15 Prof. Sarah Gilpin Milestones and challenges toward engineering functional lung tissue for transplantation
2.45 Dr. Jasper Mullenders Human colon organoids for cystic fibrosis research and personalized medicine
3.15-4.00 Prof Pradeep Singh Genetic Diversity of Cystic Fibrosis Infections: Barking Up Two Trees

4pm End of Symposium

Sponsored by: Vertex Pharmaceuticals Medical Education Grant, Molecular Cellular Therapeutics, National Children’s Research Centre

Please register by following the link:

 

Medical Education

MCT Research Forum – April, 8th 2019 at 12.00

Prof. Judy Harmey: ‘USMLEs. What’s it all about?’

Dr. Sarah O’Neill: ‘Leaning in on TBL’

Dr. Orna Tighe: ‘Qualitative research; A beginners experience’

Chair: Prof. Dermot Cox

Start Time 12.00- 1.00

Cheyne Lecture Theatre

A light lunch will be served after the talks

Sponsored by

 

New Players in Ubiquitination: Relevance to innate immunity and inflammatory diseases

MCT Research Forum – March 25th 2019 at Cheyne Lecture Theatre at 3.00pm – 4.00pm

Prof. Paul Moynagh – “New Players in Ubiquitination: Relevance to innate immunity and inflammatory diseases”
Prof. Moynagh obtained his B.A. (Mod) and PhD from Trinity College Dublin and took up a lectureship in UCD Department of Pharmacology in 1995. During his time in UCD Prof. Moynagh became Associate Professor of Immunology and held the position of founding Head of the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science. In 2006 he joined National University of Ireland, Maynooth as Director of its Institute of Immunology and currently holds the positions of Head of Department of Biology and Director of the Human Health Research Institute at Maynooth University. Prof. Moynagh has published extensively in the area of immunology-related research and in 2009 was awarded the NUI Centennial Prize for Academic Publishing in Medical and Health Sciences. He was also awarded the 2014 Irish Area Section Biochemical Society (IASBS) medal. This medal is awarded annually to an Irish-based researcher who has made an outstanding contribution during his/her career in the broad area of Biochemistry. Prof. Moynagh’s research focuses on innate immune signalling and the identification of novel regulators of inflammatory pathways with his most recent findings revealing immunomodulatory roles for the Pellino E3 ubiquitin ligases in inflammasome activation (Humphries et al; Nature Communications (2018), antiviral immunity (Siednienko et al; Nature Immunology (2012)), controlling intestinal homeostasis (Yang et al; Nature Immunology (2013)) and regulating insulin resistance (Yang et al; Immunity (2014)). He has generated >€10M of independent research funding and has directed a number of major research initiatives including the coordination of European Commission-funded research programmes. Prof. Moynagh has also played a leading role in the training of PhD students and directed 2 large structured PhD programmes

Dr. Stephanie Annett –“Unravelling the role of FKBPL in obesity”

Dr. Jennifer Dowling – “The Inflammasome: a novel therapeutic target of Hypoxic Brain Injury in Neonates”

All Welcome

Tea/Coffee and Cookies sponsored by