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

New Technology to Speed up Translational Research comes to Ireland.

01 March 2006

A joint research initiative between the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular & Biomedical Research has led to the acquisition of new imaging equipment, which will transform translational research. The revolutionary technology known as the Aperio ScanScope system is the only one of its kind in the Republic of Ireland.

Pictured L to R : Dr Anne Cody, Research Grants Manager, HRB ; Dr Amanda McCann UCD Conway Institute ; Professor Elaine Kay Beaumont Hospital and RCSI ; Dr William Gallagher UCD Conway Institute and Dr Stephen Hewitt Director of Tissue Array Research Program, US National Cancer Institute.

The new Aperio ScanScope system allows for accelerated analyses of huge numbers of clinical tissue samples. While samples were previously examined on an individual basis using a conventional microscope, the Aperio ScanScope system is capable of scanning and analysing many hundreds of samples at a time. The new technology platform has a wide variety of uses and will accelerate the research process for Irish scientists exploring aspects of cancer, neurobiology and cardiovascular disease.

Commenting on the new technology, Professor Elaine Kay, Consultant Histopathologist at RCSI and Beaumont Hospital said “Histopathology is at the centre of translational research and the successful acquisition of this technology will greatly enhance the speed with which we can move forward in this field.”

Based at the RCSI Education and Research Centre (ERC), Beaumont Hospital, Professor Elaine Kay, together with Dr Amanda McCann and Dr William Gallagher, UCD Conway Institute received funding for this equipment through the Health Research Board (HRB). Professor Kay, Dr. McCann and Dr. Gallagher, who have teamed up to develop and apply advanced imaging tools for histopathology, are making notable ground in their investigations into the causes and possible treatments for breast, bladder, and colorectal cancer. This award is testament to the success of their cross-institutional partnership, which is facilitated through the Dublin Molecular Medicine Centre (DMMC) and allows for collaborative translational research, i.e. bringing observations made at the laboratory bench closer to implementation in the clinical setting.

Commenting at the unveiling the Aperio ScanScope system at UCD Conway Institute, Dr Anne Cody, Research Grants Manager, HRB said, “Translational research is a priority at the Health Research Board. This new equipment will increase the potential to get results quickly and will help improve diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of patients. We are pleased that this unique piece of equipment will also be offered to national and international users to maximise use - this will benefit even more patients.”

"This piece of equipment is set to revolutionise translational research at RCSI, UCD Conway and at Beaumont Hospital", said Dr Amanda McCann. "The benefits of the Aperio ScanScope system will be widespread, aiding the work of a host of research teams and a variety of research topics. We are very excited to be able to house the Republic of Ireland's only Aperio ScanScope system here at UCD Conway Institute and are certain that it will benefit the many research teams nationwide and from the UK who have already expressed interest in using the equipment to process their data”.