Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn


31 December 2010

November: PhD and MSc Graduations

Congratulations to Dr Ciara Murphy and Dr Mike Keogh who graduated with their PhD. Dr Murphy carried out her project under the supervision of Prof Fergal O'Brien and her thesis was entitled "The effect of mean pore size in collagen-glycosaminoglycan scaffolds on cell migration and differentiation for bone tissue engineering applications". Dr Keogh carried out his research under the supervision of Prof Fergal O'Brien and Dr Jacqueline Daly and his thesis was entitled 'Analysis of osteogenesis on a novel collagen glycosaminoglycan scaffold- in vitro application for bone tissue engineering'.

Pictured below are Dr Mike Keogh and Dr Ciara Murphy with Prof Fergal O'Brien (centre).

Dr Mike Keogh and Dr Ciara Murphy with Prof Fergal O'Brien following their graduation

Congratulations also to Dr John Gleeson and John O'Brien (Senior Anatomy Technician)  who graduated with their MSc in Leadership and Management Development. As part of their final year, they created and developed an online resource for international students, IRSIS (International Research Students Information Service), providing practical information for international students new to Ireland.

Pictured below are Mr O'Brien (left) and Dr Gleeson (right) with Prof Clive Lee following the graduation ceremony.

  Dr Gleeson and Mr John O'Brien with Prof Clive Lee

October: Success for RCSI Research Summer School Students

RCSI summer students, Ken Liu and Richard O'Dwyer, who carried out their research in our group were awarded the two top prizes at the inaugural Research Summer School Symposium. Ken Liu, a medical student, won Best Oral Presentation for his talk entitled ‘Encapsulation of cardiac stem cells in superoxide dismutase loaded alginate prevents doxorubicin mediated toxicity'. Ken was supervised by Dr Garry Duffy and Dr Siti Ismail. Richard O'Dwyer won Best Poster Presentation for his poster entitled ‘Processing and formulation issues for bovine serum albumin and deferoxamine loaded PLGA micro- and nanoparticles: Effects on particle size, encapsulation efficiency, and release profile'. Richard, a medical student, was supervised by Prof Fergal O'Brien and Dr Sonia Partap in conjunction with Dr Helena Kelly in the School of Pharmacy. 

Ken (left) and Richard (right) are pictured below receiving their awards from Dr Tom Farrell.

Ken Liu receiving his award from Dr Tom Farrell         Richard O'Dwyer receiving his award from Dr Tom Farrell

October: SFI Rising Stars

Prof. Fergal O'Brien was identified as a rising star in Science Foundation Ireland's: 10 Years of Discovery. The report highlights the work carried out by Prof O'Brien's group, in particular the development and commercial potential of HydroxyColl, a novel collagen based bone graft substitute.

The report can be found here.

September: Top Cited Article

Dr Eric Farrell, a former postdoc in the group, was recently awarded the Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications Top Cited Award 2008-2010. His paper was entitled 'Effects of iron oxide incorporation for long term cell tracking on MSC differentiation in vitro and in vivo' and included Fergal O'Brien as a co-author. 

 Eric Farrell Citation Award

September: Irish Dentist

Recently Irish Dentist published an interview with Prof. O'Brien. In the article Prof. O'Brien explained the potential dental applications of HydroxyColl, the bone graft substitute developed in our laboratory.  He explained how it may be used in maxillofacial and oral surgery as a bone void filler or as a coating for implants. Prof. O'Brien  has a collaborative project ongoing with the School of Dentistry at Trinity College, Dublin.    

You can read the entire article here

August: Irish Times Publicity

An interview with Dr John Gleeson appeared in the Irish Times on Friday the 27th of August. In it Dr Gleeson described the potential therapeutic applications of the bone graft substitute, HydroxyColl, which has been developed in the group. HydroxyColl is one of the technologies being presented at the Enterprise Ireland Big Ideas Technology Showcase in Croke Park in October.

Read the interview here.

August: Award Success at the International Bone and Mineral Society Annual Conference

At the recent conference held in Sun Valley, Idaho, PhD student Lauren Mulcahy won The Alice L. Jee Young Investigator Award. Lauren won an $800 travel bursary for her work entitled 'RANKL and OPG activity is regulated by injury size in networks of osteocyte-like cells.

July: Ph.D. Conferring

Dr Mohamed Salem Alhag graduated with his PhD which was carried out under the supervision of Prof. Fergal O'Brien. His project was entitled 'Evaluation  of the use of MSC-loaded collagen GAG scaffolds as a bone regenerative alternative in the rat model'.

Dr Alhag is pictured below with Prof. O'Brien and Prof. Veronica Campbell who was recently appointed Dean of  Graduate Studies in Trinity College Dublin.

Mohamed Alhag Graduation 2010

July: Harvard Placement 

Dr Frank Lyons  started a three month placement in Professor Myron Spector's Lab in Harvard, Boston.  

June:  Awards Success at the Royal Academy of Medicine Biomedical Sciences Conference

Amro Widaa won 1st  Prize in the Best Commented Poster Category at the recent conference held  in RCSI with a presentation entitled ‘The effects of staphylococcus aureus on osteoblasts in osteomyelitis’. 

June: New Group Member

Conn Hastings joined the group as part of the HRB Scholars Programme. He is jointly supervised by Dr Garry Duffy and Prof. Fergal O'Brien. His research will focus on investigating the angiogenic potential of genetically modified human mesenchymal stem cells.

June: Graduation

Dr Stephen Kieran graduated with an MCh from RCSI. His thesis was supervised by Prof. Fergal O'Brien.

May: Book Publications

Chapter contributions were made by Drs Sonia Partap and Niamh Plunkett and Prof. O'Brien to the recent publication Basic Engineering for Medics and Biologists (IOS Press) which was edited by Professor Clive Lee.

A chapter entitled Bioreactors in Tissue Engineering was also published by this group in Tissue Engineering, Daniel Eberli MD PhD (Ed.), ISBN: 978-953-307-079-7, INTECH. A hardcopy of this book is available here.

March: Professor O'Brien Guest Speaker at International Bone Conference

Professor Fergal O'Brien was a guest speaker at the 6th Clare Valley Bone Meeting in Australia. Prof O'Brien was invited to give two talks detailing his research groups activities. The first talk was entitled "The effects of oestrogen deficiency and bisphosphonate therapy on BMD and bone quality in an ovine osteoporosis mode" and the second "Collagen-based scaffolds for bone regeneration: applied biomaterials and cellular responses to biophysical stimuli".

February: Australian Placement

Dr Orlaith Brennan recently went to Professor Nick Fazzalari's Lab in Adelaide, Australia to undertake a three month placement. 

January: Awards Success at Royal Academy of Medicine Bioengineering Conference

The Bone and Tissue Engineering Research Group were awarded 5 of the 8 prizes on offer at the Annual Conference of the Section of Bioengineering of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland which took place on Friday the 22nd and Saturday the 23rd of January. The conference aims to promote Bioengineering by bringing together the clinical, engineering and scientific communities and aims to provide a platform for both new and advanced researchers.

  Bini Winners Anatomy 2010

Pictured above following the prize giving ceremony are Grainne Cunniffe, Ciara Murphy, Erica Tierney, Prof. Clive Lee, Dr John Gleeson, Amos Matsiko and Prof. Fergal O'Brien.

1st year PhD students, Erica Tierney and Amos Matsiko won prizes in the poster category for talks entitled ‘Osteoinductive smart scaffolds for bone tissue regeneration’ and ‘Characterisation of 3D collagen-based matrices for cell-mediated chondrogenesis’.  Final year PhD student, Ciara Murphy, won a prize in the best student oral presentation category for her talk ‘Larger pores increase osteogenesis in tissue engineered collagen-glycosaminoglycan scaffolds’.

RCSI also won the two most coveted awards at the meeting.  Dr. John Gleeson won the RAMI bronze medal for best overall paper at the meeting entitled ‘In vivo comparison of novel collagen-based composite scaffolds for bone tissue repair in a rabbit radius model’ and Prof. Clive Lee was awarded the RAMI silver medal for presenting the Samuel Haughton keynote lecture entitled  ‘Anatomists and Geometers.’ 

In addition PhD student, Grainne Cunniffe was a  finalist in the Engineers Ireland, Biomedical Research Medal competition which was also held at the conference.