MCT Research Forum – Friday 25th January at 3.00pm

Professor David Ray

“Circadian control of inflammation; stories from the lung”

David trained in general internal medicine in North West England, and obtained a PhD from the University of Manchester. He was a research fellow at UCLA for two years, working on neuroendocrine-immune interaction, before returning to the UK, and obtaining a GSK fellowship to work on glucocorticoid action, and sensitivity in inflammatory disease. He was promoted to Professor of Medicine at the University of Manchester in 2005, and went on to study nuclear receptor and circadian biology in inflammation, and energy metabolism. This work attracted Wellcome Investigator and MRC programme grant support. David is a passionate advocate of research training, serving on the MRC clinical fellowship panel for seven years, three as deputy chair.

Circadian mechanisms regulate most mammalian physiology, with particular importance in the regulation of innate immunity, through the macrophage in particular, and energy metabolism, regulating liver, adipose and muscle. These circuits are also regulated by a number of nuclear receptors, which show a striking interdependency on the circadian machinery; some having ligand availability regulated by the clock, others varying in expression level through the day. We have employed a range of approaches to address the physiological importance of the circadian: nuclear receptor system, ranging from population genetics, experimental medicine studies, CRISPR engineered mice, and cell biology. These approaches have discovered how the important dimension of time regulates metabolism, and coordinates diverse tissues to deliver optimal organismal performance. Importantly, we are identifying how external stressors can decouple these systems, with deleterious effects.

Dr. Judith Coppinger

“Increased extracellular vesicles mediate inflammatory signalling in Cystic Fibrosis”

Judith obtained her PhD from Department of Clinical Pharmacology, RCSI in 2004 before undertaking postdoctoral training at the Scripps Research Institute, San Diego, on new folding mechanisms in Cystic Fibrosis. In 2011, she joined the University of California, San Diego as a faculty member before receiving an SFI award and returning to Ireland. In 2013 she became a principal investigator at University College Dublin where she set up basic/translational research programs in Cystic Fibrosis and Cancer (lung/breast). Judith’s overall research has focused on using omics-based approaches to decipher protein interaction networks dysregulated in disease and identify new therapeutics to target these pathways. Her research projects include examining the therapeutic restoration of CFTR using kinase inhibitors in Cystic Fibrosis and examining exosomes in regulating inflammatory signalling in Cystic Fibrosis at the National Children’s Research Centre. Other projects include investigating BAG3 as a therapeutic target regulating signalling transduction pathways in breast/lung cancer subtypes. Dr. Coppinger is a senior lecturer at the RCSI and a principal investigator at National Children’s Research Centre since 2017.

George Timmons

“Mitochondria – A link between innate immunity, metabolism, and the clock”

George Timmons is a PhD student of the Curtis Clock Lab, led by Dr. Annie Curtis and is part of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics and Tissue Engineering Research Group at RCSI. George began his PhD in October 2016 and is now in the 3rd year of his studies. The Curtis Clock Lab focuses on circadian immunometabolism – a new field which looks into the relationship between the molecular clock, cellular metabolism, and immune responses. Specifically, George’s project is investigating how the core clock gene Bmal1 impacts upon mitochondrial metabolism and how these metabolic changes can impact upon the inflammatory response of macrophages.

When: January 25th 2019 at 3.00pm – 4.30pm

Where: Cheyne Lecture Theatre

Tea Coffee and Cookies sponsored by Biosciences will be at 2.30pm

RCSI Lab Safari 2018

During science week 2018 MCT ran its RCSI Lab Safari, an outreach event for 45 students from St Dominic’s College in Ballyfermot. The day provided students with an opportunity to gain an insight into careers in biomedical research and health care and also provide some hands-on experience of the types of skills involved in these careers.

The event was developed to promote careers in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine) to younger, second and third year students, who have yet to choose their leaving cert subjects. Participants experienced a whole day of activities around the scientific method, patient simulations and hands on laboratory demonstrations in the areas of genetics, vascular and musculoskeletal biology. They also had the opportunity to discuss career options with MCT scientists. A video which captures the activities on day is here.

MCT would like to thanks the Students, Staff & Principal of St Dominic’s College, Ballyfermot for their enthusiastic involvement.

RCSI Lab Safari was developed and led by Dr Maria Morgan and Dr Annie Curtis from the Molecular & Cellular Therapeutics Department (MCT) and was funded through the L’Oréal Ambassadors Fund. The initiative was an interdepartmental collaboration with support from staff across RCSI and included: Presentations from Prof. Tracy Robson and Caragh Stapleton; Interviewing by Isabel Amado; Research Lab Experience Leads: Caragh Stapleton, Jamie O’Sullivan’ Oran Kennedy; Simulation & Clinics Skills Event led by Clare Sullivan and Tim Lawler; Research Lab Experience Demonstrators: Katie Benson, Paige Hinton, Lauren Fagan, Isabel Amado, Richie Carroll, Soracha Ward, Hannah Rushe, Clive Drakeford, Sean Patmore, Ed Gilbert, Rob Carton, Ciaran Campbell, Gillian Moore; Professional & Technical Staff: Anne Grady, Mary Ledwith, Seamus McDonald, John O’Brien, Olwen Foley.

MCT Research Forum

Monday 14th January 12.00 – 1.30

Drug Discovery and Development

Prof. Celine Marmion

‘Teaching an Old Drug New Tricks – Developing Multi-Targeted Metallodrug Candidates Beyond Cisplatin’

Prof. Dermot Cox

Challenges in developing small molecule drugs

Hannah Rushe

‘Novel therapeutics to prevent uncontrolled bleeding’

Lunch sponsored by Bioscience at 1.30pm

Venue: Cheyne Lecture Theatre