MMI Research Trainees assemble for successful Annual Meeting 2013

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MMI Research Trainees assemble for successful Annual Meeting 2013

Clockwise from top left: MMI Scholar Julie Worrell (UCD) and Session Chair Professor Douglas Veale (UCD); MMI Scholars during poster session; MMI CSFP Alumni Dr Aonghus O’Loughlin (St Vincent’s hospital) during his talk; Dr Mark Watson (MMI) MMI Scholar Trudy McGarry (UCD) with the medal for best oral presentation and Dr Graham Love (MMI); Meeting attendess in the lecture theatre; Professor Patrick Johnston (Queen’s University Belfast) giving the keynote address; Meeting attendees during the poster session.

Over 85 people attended the MMI Education & Training Annual Scientific Meeting 2013 which took place on 14 March in the Science Gallery TCD. The meeting brought together our research students from the Clinical & Translational Research Scholars Programme (CTRSP) Alumni from the MMI Clinician Scientist Fellowship Programme (CSFP) and the wider research community for a stimulating day of research presentations.

The meeting opened by Professor Laurence Egan (Chair of Clinical Pharmacology and Head of the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics NUI Galway and Lead PI for the MMI CTRSP) comprised 8 oral research presentations by CTRSP Scholars and a keynote address by Professor Patrick Johnston (Head of the School of Medicine Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences Queen’s University Belfast).

MMI Clinician Scientist Fellowship Programme Alumni Dr Aonghus O’Loughlin (St Vincents University Hospital Dublin) Dr Aoife Lowery (Beaumont Hospital Dublin) and Dr Fionnuala Ní Áinle (Mater Misericordiae Hospital Dublin) presented their research and updated the audience on their career progression.

There were also opportunities to view research posters submitted by MMI CTRSP Scholars. Additional posters were presented by the wider community pursuing clinical & translational research.

MMI CTRSP Scholar Trudy McGarry (pictured left) based in UCD was awarded the MMI Medal for her oral presentation ‘Beta1 integrin is a critical mediator of TLR2 induced cell migration and invasion in RA’.

Wesley van Oeffelen (UCC) (pictured right) was awarded the prize for best CTRSP research poster for his presentation ‘Mood food and addiction: unravelling the interaction between hypothalamic peptides and mesolimbic dopamine signaling’.

left to right: Prof Patrick Johnston (QUB) Wesley van Oeffelen (UCC) Dr Graham Love (MMI)

Dr Alice O’Farrell (RCSI) was awarded the prize in the category ‘posters from the wider community pursuing clinical & translational research’ for her presentation ‘Mechanistic interrogation of cardiac and vascular toxicities associated with the receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor sunitinib: investigation of novel safety biomarkers of cardiotoxicity’.

Meeting participants also had the opportunity to learn more about key initiatives to support clinical and translational research such as the Dublin Centre for Clinical Research (DCCR) and Irish Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ICRIN). Representatives of the Irish Cytometry Society and of UCD Conway Institute Core Technologies were also present.

In the keynote address entitled “Translational Medicine: An Evolving Paradigm” Professor Patrick Johnston (Queen’s University Belfast) delivered a compelling and challenging message around the changing model of diagnostics/therapeutics development particularly the advent of biology-driven de-risking of such development and its requirement for academic-industry partnerships. MMI CEO Dr. Graham Love closed the meeting noting the dramatic transformation of the research landscape in Ireland over the past decade and how this has enabled the internationally competitive level of ambition exemplified by the MMI Clinician Scientists and Clinical & Translational Research Scholars.

The schedule of the meeting is available here

The Clinician Scientist Fellowship Programme (CSFP) was funded under PRTLI Cycle 4 in 2008. 22 medical graduates undertook PhD studies in five academic institutions (NUI Galway RCSI TCD UCC and UCD) as MMI Clinician Scientist Fellows. The CSFP is a structured PhD programme which has trained this key group of clinician scientists to graduate with the unique and specialised knowledge essential to fulfil Ireland’s research needs in translational medicine.

Further information on the MMI CSFP at

The MMI Clinical & Translational Research Scholars Programme (CTRSP) began in 2011 with an intake of 20 Scholars and a subsequent intake of 5 Scholars in 2012. The CTRSP is a unique cross-institutional programme which will develop graduates with knowledge and skills to pursue disease-focused research and bridge gaps between basic scientists clinical scientists and industry.

Further information on the MMI CTRSP at

The MMI Clinical & Translational Research Scholars Programme is funded under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) Cycle 5 and co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).