Annual RCSI Research Day showcases advances in research excellence and innovation

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Two ladies smile in front of research findings

Researchers at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences will showcase their work at the 2024 RCSI Research Day today. The event gives researchers across the career spectrum a platform to share their research with the wider RCSI community.

Research Day provides RCSI scientists with the opportunity to present their most recent research findings and emphasises the importance of research and innovation to drive improvements in human health within the University. The Research and Innovation Showcase session recognises outstanding RCSI research outputs and highlights world-class clinical research taking place at RCSI.

Selected presentations from undergraduate, early-career and postgraduate researchers will explore a range of topics, including a novel therapeutic mRNA cancer vaccine, new targets for preventing epileptic seizures, and developing nanoparticles to aid the repair of damaged spinal cords.

Invited speakers

This year the distinguished speaker for the John J. Ryan Lecture is Professor Elaine Fuchs from Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University. Professor Fuchs will deliver the lecture on ‘Stem Cells: Coping with Stress and Learning from Their Experiences’.

Jack O’Grady, Senior Programmes Manager at My Green Lab will join to discuss improving the sustainability of scientific research and RCSI’s exceptional progress in this area. Additionally, two RCSI researchers, Professor Andreas Heise and Dr Michelle Flood, who were recent recipients of a European Innovation Council Pathfinder award and a HRB Applied Programme Award respectively, will discuss their experiences of applying for and being successful in these major grant schemes.

Recognising achievements

To conclude the day, awards will be presented to researchers for their outstanding achievements in research and innovation, including awards for invention disclosures, research impact and citations, and prizes for Research Day presentations and posters.

As part of the Vice Chancellor Innovation Awards, the Clinician Innovation Award will be presented to Professor James O’Donnell, Professor of Vascular Biology in the RCSI School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences and Director of the Irish Centre for Vascular Biology at RCSI. The award recognises his work on i-PATH2, a project seeking to understand and develop personalised treatment approaches for haemophilia patients. This project builds on the iPATH 1 programme and involves collaboration with Takeda, the National Coagulation Centre in St. James’s Hospital, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin, the Irish Haemophilia Society, and Trinity College Dublin.

Professor Helena Kelly, Associate Professor, RCSI School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences will be awarded the Commercialisation Innovation Award for commercialisation of her research through RCSI spin-out company OncoLize. The OncoLize technology platform uses thermoresponsive formulations to deliver anti-cancer drugs directly into solid tumours.

The Industry Engagement Innovation Award will be awarded to Dr Marco Monopoli, Senior Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, RCSI for his AMBER collaboration with Ludger, a UK-based company developing glycoprofiling technologies. 

Exceptional activities

Professor Fergal O'Brien, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at RCSI, commented on the event: "Research Day gives us a chance to showcase the exceptional research activities being undertaken across our institution by RCSI academic staff, early-career investigators, postgraduate and undergraduate students. It’s a great acknowledgement of the hard work and achievements of our researchers, whose efforts are instrumental in advancing our understanding and treatment of health challenges.

"Additionally, the day allows us to celebrate our industry spin-out companies and the successful collaborations we've established, which are vital for translating research into practical, real-world solutions."