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

RCSI Research Day 2016

01 March 2016

A breakthrough in heart research by RCSI scientists which saw a fully functioning heart valve grown in the lab, was among the award winners at RCSI Research Day 2016. This is the first time researchers have successfully made a valve capable of functioning for prolonged periods and adapting to the growing body. It will potentially eliminate the need for children with defective valves to undergo repeat surgeries.

The research, supervised by Professor Fergal O'Brien, was carried out by Claire Brougham, a PhD student at the Tissue Engineering Research Group in the Department of Anatomy at RCSI, who was awarded the Roche Gold Medal. Read more about this research here.

Other prizes presented at the Research Day Awards ceremony included the Mr Kamal Sayed Prize in Neurosurgery, which is generously supported by Dr Yacoob Kadwa (Medicine, Class of 1965) in memory of Mr Kamal Sayed (Medicine, Class of 1960). This prize is awarded annually to a neurosurgery trainee for outstanding work and excellence in the field of neurosurgery. This is a prestigious award of RCSI and is run in conjunction with the Irish Institute of Clinical Neuroscience (IICN). This year's recipient was Mr Jahangir Sajjad, Research Registrar, Department of Neurosurgery, Cork University Hospital, Wilton, Cork, for his two projects: "Examination of the involvement of glutamatergic system in gender differences in visceral pain" and "Audit of complication of brain tumour surgery at a low volume Neurosurgical centre". The award was presented by the children of Mr Kamal Sayed, Dr Jacintha More O'Ferrall (Medicine Class of 1990), Dr Safia Sayed (FRCSI) and Mr Amo Sayed.

The Dr Harry O'Flanagan Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Research was open to all RCSI Research Summer School students who completed a research project in 2015, many of whom are supported by the generous support of RCSI Alumni. This award was created by Dr Yacoob Kadwa (Medicine, Class of 1965) to pay special tribute to the memory of Dr Harry O'Flanagan, former Registrar of the RCSI. This year's recipient was medical student Rena Al-Zubaidy for her project "The Effect of Resolvin D1 on Normal and Cystic Fibrosis Human Bronchial Epithelium".

The John J Ryan Distinguished Lecture at RCSI Research Day 2016 was delivered by Professor Steve Jackson, University of Cambridge Professor of Biology, Head of Cancer Research UK Laboratories at the Gurdon Institute, and Associate Faculty member at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. His pioneering academic research has provided scientists with many of the key principles by which cells respond to and repair DNA damage and he will address the delegates on the topic "Cellular responses to DNA damage: from molecular insights to new cancer treatments".

To find out more about how you can support student research at RCSI visit