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


31 December 2014

December: Prof. O'Brien receives Anatomical Society Award

Prof. Fergal O'Brien was awarded the Anatomical Society's New Fellow of the Year Award, which was presented at the Society's AGM in Birmingham. This award is presented to the Anatomical Society member who has demonstrated the most significant accomplishments relative to their career stage, which is exemplified by Prof. O'Brien's illustrious biography.

New Fellow of the Year Award 

Prof. Fergal O'Brien (right) with Anatomical Society President, Prof. Clive Lee (left). 

November: TERG gets involved in Celebrate Science event

Members of the TERG were involved in a collaborative public engagement event that took place as part of Science Week (9- 16 November). During the "Celebrate Science" event, members of the Advanced Materials and Bioengineering Research (AMBER) Centre, which included RCSI and Trinity College Dublin, worked with members of The Insight Centre for Data Analytics (University College Dublin) to bring 3 evenings of film, discussions and demos to the CHQ Building, IFSC.

Mr Alan Ryan

November: TERG PhD student wins prestegious engineering prize

Mr Alan Ryan, a senior PhD student within the TERG, has been awarded a prestigious scholarship from one of the world's largest professional bodies for engineers, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

The IET's Postgraduate Scholarship for an Outstanding Researcher (worth £10,000) is given annually to an accomplished PhD researcher working on a project that aims to enhance people's lives through advancing knowledge in science, engineering and technology.

Mr Ryan was recognised for his outstanding work in tissue engineering, where he has developed a novel artificial blood vessel from a natural polymer biomaterial.


November: Transition year students take a look at research life

A group of 16 transition year students visited the Tissue Engineering Research Group labs in the Anatomy Department in the RCSI today as part of AMBER's Transition Year work experience programme "Exploring Materials". Students observed scaffold fabrication, cell culture, scaffold testing and microscope labs and learnt about TERG's current work in the development of new and exciting regenerative therapies. 

AMBER transition year students 

Transition year students visiting the TERG labs at RCSI. 


October: Prof. O'Brien addresses Research Prize Symposium in Bahrain

Prof. Fergal O'Brien attended and spoke at the Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Al Khalil Research Prize Symposium in King Hamad Hospital, Bahrain where he was invited as a keynote speaker. The award ceremony aims to honour researchers who produced the highest standard medical research, published in the Bahrain Medical Bulletin over the previous year.

Prof. O'Brien at Research Prize Symposium in Bahrain

Prof. O'Brien addressing the Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Al Khalil Research Prize Symposium. 


September: Researchers complete Medical Sciences Course

The Department of Anatomy at RCSI held a two week long, intensive Medical Sciences Course. In addition to members of the TERG helping to organise and run the course, Dr. Tijna Alekseeva and Dr. Andrew Cameron also completed the course.

2014 Medical Sciences Course

Participants and teachers from the Department of Anatomy's 2014 Medical Sciences Course.


July: Primary school teachers visit the TERG as part of NanoWOW

A group of primary school teachers took part in a workshop titled "Medical Materials and Discoveries" as part of AMBER's NanoWOW programme, a primary school teacher's continuing professional development (CPD) course (see picture below). Further details on the NanoWOW programme are available here.

NanoWow participants 

Dr. Tanya Levingstone (far left) from the TERG and teachers participating in NanoWOW. 

July: Enterprise Ireland Commericalisation Fund grants to fund commercial based projects within the TERG

The TERG had some very successful outcomes from the first call of the 2014 Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund. It was announced that Prof. Fergal O'Brien has received funding as PI for two separate research projects, one is for the development of a new collagen-based film for ocular repair, called OcularColl (for which he has been awarded €222,705). The second grant, for an amount of €554,264, will go towards research on PanaColl, a collagen scaffold-based system for the delivery of antibiotics for the treatment of microbial infections and enhancement of tssue regeneration. 

July: TERG delegates head to Boston for WCB

A number of members of the TERG travelled to Boston, Massachusetts to attend the 7th World Congress of Biomechanics (WCB), held from July 6-11 at the Hynes Convention Centre. There were over 4000 delegates that attended the WCB 2014 and at the conference dinner, Prof. Fergal O'Brien and Prof. Danny Kelly from TCBE announced details for the 8th World Congress of Biomechanics (see picture below), which is to be held in Dublin in 2018 (Twitter handle @WCB2018).

Announcement of WCB 2018 

Prof. Fergal O'Brien and Prof. Danny Kelly announce WCB 2018 at the WCB 2014 conference dinner.  


June: Abundent success for senior PhD student

Mr Alan Ryan, a senior PhD student in the TERG, was awarded two distinguished awards in as many weeks. The first was the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) Postgraduate Scholarship for an Outstanding Researcher. The IET are the world's largest engineering organisation with 150,000 members in 127 countries. The Scholarship aims to help researchers to share advancing knowledge throughout the global Science, Engineering and Technology community to enhance people's lives around the world. It is important to note that the scholarship is aimed at rewarding excellence rather than alleviating financial hardship. Meanwhile, at the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) - European Conference, held in Genoa Italy, Mr Ryan (pictured below) beat over 500 other entrants to take out the TERMIS EU Young Investigator Award for Best Poster Presentation. Mr Ryan's prize winning poster was entitled ""A biomimetic tissue engineered vascular graft fabricated from collagen and elastin".

Mr Alan Ryan at TERMIS EU 2014

Mr Alan Ryan with his prize for his award winning poster at TERMIS-EU 2014. 


May: Cardiovascular surgeon is victorious at Irish conference

Ms Caroline Herron, a PhD student in the Tissue Engineering Research Group and Demonstrator in the Department of Anatomy, was awarded the best research paper at the joint 2014 meeting of the Irish Association of Vascular Surgeons and Northern Ireland Vascular Society held in Cavan on the 10th of May with a talk entitled “Desferrioxamine as a pro-angiogenic in critical limb ischaemia”.


March: Students receive awards at RCSI Research Day

Two researchers from the TERG were awarded prizes at the recent RCSI Research Day, which was held on the 20th of March and showcased research undertaken at RCSI across a broad spectrum of topics. In the undergraduate oral category, Mr Yuan-Hsun Chang was awarded best presentation for his talk entitled "A 3D Environment Influences Osteocyte Function". In the postgraduate poster category, Mr Ashwanth Ramesh, an orthopaedic surgeon completing an MD within the group, was awarded best presentation for his poster entitled "An In Vivo Assessment of a Novel Scaffold for Osteochondral Defect Repair: A 12 Month Update".

TERG RCSI Research Day winners 

Mr Ramesh (left) and Mr Chang (right) with Prof. Fergal O'Brien (centre). 

March: TERG Prize-winners at the Young Life Scientists Ireland 2014 symposium

Three PhD students from the TERG were recently awarded with prizes at the Young Life Scientists Ireland 2014 symposium, which was held at the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute in Trinity College Dublin on the 1st of March. Continuing their prize winning form from previous conferences, Mr Alan Ryan was awarded 1st prize in the Regenerative Medicine category of the oral presentations with his talk entitled "Generating Viable Tissue Engineered Vascular Grafts from Natural Polymers", while Mr Cian O’Leary received 2nd prize in the same category for his talk entitled “A Tissue-Engineering Approach to Improve Airway In Vitro Models: The Development of a Bilayered Collagen-GAG Scaffold”. Ms Nicola Kavanagh, a recently appointed PhD student in the TERG, received a runner up prize for her poster presentation entitled “Development of a 3D Scaffold Based Model System for the Study of Bone Infection”.

January: Further success at Human Disease Mapping Conference

Researchers from the TERG were awarded top prizes at the inaugural ‘Human Disease Mapping' conference held in the RCSI on the 30th and 31st of January. Alan Ryan, a PhD student, was awarded first place in the Student Oral category, Erica Tierney, a postdoc, was awarded top place in the Post-Doctoral Researcher Oral category and Elaine Quinlan, a PhD student, was awarded 2nd place in the student poster category. Further details about the conference are available here

January: Outstanding success at Bioengineering in Ireland Conference

Several members of the TERG were awarded prizes at the 20th Annual Conference of the Bioengineering Section of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (RAMI), which was held on the 24th and 25th of January in Limerick. Elaine Quinlan, a PhD student, took out the RAMI Bronze medal for best overall presentation of the conference with her talk entitled "Collagen-Hydroxyapatite Scaffolds for the Release of Growth Factors to Promote Bone Repair". Cian O'Leary, also a PhD student, was awarded 1st prize in the Established Researcher - Tissue Engineering category for his presentation entitled "Bilayered Collagen-GAG Scaffolds for Respiratory Tissue Engineering: Improving Tracheobronchial Scaffold Design". Finally, Dr. Greg Miller, a postdoc within the group, was awarded 1st prize in the Postdoctoral Researcher Category for his presentation entitled "Mechano-regulation of induced in vivo skeletal tissue differentiation".

January: Publication in European Cells and Materials Journal 

Collaborative work between the RCSI Department of Anatomy and Trinity College Dublin has been published in the journal, European Cells and Materials. The article, “Fatigue failure of osteocyte cellular processes: Implications for the repair of bone”, was co-authored by Prof. Clive Lee, Professor of Anatomy and Vice Dean at RCSI. It describes a novel method of applying cyclic loading to networks of osteocytes in bone, which for the first time allows fatigue testing on cellular material of any kind.  

January: Collaborative publication between the TERG and SurgaColl Technologies  

Research from the TERG at RCSI was published in an article in the journal, Acta Biomaterialia. This work was led by Dr. Tanya Levingstone from the TERG and Dr. John Gleeson from SurgaColl Technologies (a spinout company from the TERG). It focuses around the development and validation of a novel, collagen-based, layered construct for osteochondral repair. The three layers of the construct are seamlessly integrated and contain individual properties that allow them to be targeted towards the regeneration of specific layers within native osteochondral tissue. The technology was licenced to SurgaColl Technologies and forms the basis for their ChondroColl product. 

January: Interview published in Orthopaedic Product News 

Prof. Fergal O'Brien, head of the TERG, was interviewed by European Orthopaedic Product News for an article in Issue 158 of their online publication. In the article, Prof. O'Brien discusses his career and what lead him to become interested in orthopaedics, the orthopaedic research within his group, and what he sees for the future of commercial products derived from the group, which are currently licenced by SurgaColl Technologies, a spinout company from the TERG.

January: RCSI to jointly host 2018 World Congress of Biomechanics 

It has been announced that the 2018 World Congress of Biomechanics will be jointly hosted by RCSI and Trinity College Dublin (TCD). It is expected that approximately 3000 participants will attend the conference, which will be held in the Convention Centre Dublin. Prof. Fergal O'Brien from the TERG, RCSI and Prof. Danny Kelly from the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering, TCD will co-chair the conference. In addition to drawing the leading biomechanics researchers from institutions around the world, the conference is potentially worth over €5 million to the Irish economy. 

January: RCSI Professor electecd President of Anatomical Society 

Prof. Clive Lee, head of the Department of Anatomy at RCSI, has been elected President of the Anatomical Society for a three year term. The Anatomical Society, which has been established for 127 years, promotes, develops and advances research and education in anatomy. Prof. Lee is only the fourth Irish person to be elected President of the London-based Society. At the Society's recent AGM, Dr. Garry Duffy from the TERG received one of four PhD Studentships that are awarded each year, for his project entitled ‘Decoding the extrinsic regulation of cardiac stem cell fate in cardiovascular disease'. 

Dr. Garry Duffy being awarded PhD Studentship by Prof. Clive Lee

Dr. Garry Duffy (left) being congratulated by Prof Clive Lee (right) on his Anatomical Society PhD Studentship award.