IRFU Charitable Trust research partnership

In January 2019 RCSI and the IRFU Charitable Trust launched a research partnership, with the support of the AMBER SFI Research Centre for Materials Science, Leinster Schools Rugby and World Rugby.

The investment from the IRFU Charitable Trust provides funding for two pioneering research projects.

One project, with additional funding from AMBER, will look to develop an advanced platform for spinal cord repair combining novel biomaterials, stem cells and gene therapy.

Led by Professor Fergal O'Brien, Director for RCSI Office of Research and Innovation, Professor of Bioengineering & Regenerative Medicine at RCSI and Deputy Director of the AMBER SFI Research Centre, this project proposes an advanced biomaterials approach to spinal cord repair, which may revolutionise the way spinal cord injury is treated worldwide.

"This partnership provides a real opportunity for a paradigm-shifting approach to treat complex spinal cord injuries." 

– Professor Fergal O’Brien 

Watch the video for more information

The second research project looks at the training load and injury risk in schoolboys' level rugby in Leinster.

Researchers at the RCSI School of Physiotherapy will lead the study to increase understanding of the frequency, type and intensity of training load/injury risk in Leinster Senior Cup Schoolboys rugby squads. The study is a crucial step in the future development of injury prevention strategies.

The study will utilise an app developed by World Rugby to collect data and this is the first time the app has been used in the 15-a-side game. The lead researchers on the study from the RCSI School of Physiotherapy are Dr Helen French, Physiotherapist and Senior Lecturer and Louise Keating, Physiotherapist and Lecturer.