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

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

New Advances in Microscopy

MCT Research Forum – Monday 11th March 2019

Microscopic examination of cells

Prof. Judy Harmey: ‘Using in vivo imaging to evaluate a cancer therapeutic’

Dr. Olga Piskareva: ‘ Seeing is believing’

Dr. Ingmar Schoen: ‘Beyond belief: Quantitative Fluorescence Microscopy’

Start Time: 12.00pm – 1.00pm

Chair: Dr. Cormac McDonnell

Sponsored by:

Translating Bio-Repositories into New Clinical Insights

MCT Research Forum – February, 25th 2019 at 12.00, Cheyne LT

Prof. Paul McNally – “Biorepositories in Childhood Cystic Fibrosis: A Journey of Discovery”
Paul graduated from the UCD School of Medicine in 1998. He completed his paediatric medical training in Ireland, and subsequently completed a 2-year MD in Cystic Fibrosis (CF) lung disease in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Paul undertook pulmonology fellowship training in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia from 2007 to 2009. He was appointed as a consultant in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital (OLCHC) in 2009. In August 2015, Paul was appointed as Associate Professor of Paediatrics at RCSI. Paul is director of the CF centre in OLCHC and leads the CF research group at NCRC. Paul is clinical lead for Paediatric Respiratory Medicine in the Dublin Paediatric Hospitals. He is a board member of the CF Registry of Ireland and the National Children’s Research Centre. Paul is a member of the working group of the National Clinical Programme for Cystic Fibrosis and is a member of the advisory board for the National Clinical Programme for Paediatrics. Paul has recently been appointed as the director of research and innovation for Children’s Health Ireland (Dublin’s three children’s Hospitals). Paul’s main research interest is early CF lung disease, in particular around the question of why some children have more severe lung disease, and how we can detect these children earlier and modify their treatment.

Dr. Michelle Lavin – “The future of data repositories and e-Health in Irish clinical research”
Dr. Michelle Lavin is a Consultant Haematologist and the Clinical Lead for the Irish Personalised Approach to the Treatment of Haemophilia (iPATH) study, based in the Irish Centre for Vascular Biology, RCSI. She completed her PhD in Trinity College Dublin, focused on the pathophysiology and clinical impact of Low Von Willebrand Factor (VWF) levels. Her research is centred on inherited bleeding disorders; developing insights into phenotypic variability and working to improve clinical outcomes. She serves a Co-Chair on the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) VWF Scientific Subcommittee and a clinical advisor to the World Federation of Haemophilia.

Chair: Soracha Ward
A light lunch will be served after the talks

Sponsored by Biosciences