VISICORT coordinator Prof. Matt Griffin visits leading US medical centre Mayo Clinic to discuss EU-funded mesenchymal stromal cell projects

Prof. Matt Griffin of the National University of Ireland Galway visited the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension and the William J von Liebig Transplant Center at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota between September 27th and October 2nd 2019. While there, he engaged with clinical investigators involved in a range of Mayo Clinic research initiatives in regenerative medicine and transplantation. He gave seminars entitled “Allogeneic MSC in Corneal Re-transplantation: From Pre-clinical Evidence to Regulatory Approval” and “Modulating the course of diabetic kidney disease: Are the pieces coming together?” which focussed on the progress of the NUI Galway-coordinated VISICORT and NEPHSTROM (www.nephstrom.eu) consortia respectively. 

Commenting on the visit, Prof. Griffin, who trained and was a faculty member at Mayo Clinic between 1992 and 2008 said: “There are many shared interests and collaborative links between leading academic centres in the US such as Mayo Clinic and European Commission-funded consortia such as VISICORT and NEPHSTROM. Looking ahead to the next EU research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe, I believe that there will be exciting opportunities to further strengthen these links in the areas of regenerative medicine and cellular therapies for the long-term benefit of people with reduced quality of life due to chronic health conditions.”  

VISICORT PI Ritter, NUI Galway joins Therapeutics Delivery COST Action

Prof. Thomas Ritter of NUI Galway has joined “DARTER”- a COST Action CA 17103- Delivery of Antisense RNA Therapeutics. Here, Thomas aims to broaden his research network and to forge new partnerships to explore novel, RNA-based therapies for the treatment of ocular defects and the modulation of corneal transplant rejection.

DARTER has three research objectives- delivery strategies, model systems, safety and toxicology. In addition, there is a capacity-building group for stakeholder communications with the objective to achieve consensus on protocols and assessment of ASO delivery and toxicology and training new researchers within a cooperative research framework. The DARTER COST network includes academics, industrial partners, patient representatives and clinicians and it is open to other interested stakeholders.

COST Actions create spaces where scientists are in the driving seat (bottom-up) and ideas can grow through a flexible and open approach. By enabling researchers from academia, industry and the public and private sector to work together in open networks that transcend borders, COST helps to advance science, stimulates knowledge sharing and pools resources.

International Clinical Trials Day 2019, Galway

The HRB Clinical Research Facility Galway in Ireland hosted a public event to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day on May 20th 2019. Exhibition stands were on display and informational meetings were held throughout the day to inform the public of all areas of clinical research being undertaken at the facility.

A particular stand was dedicated to the CRF Galway’s stem cell work to inform the public of the cell therapy projects being undertaken with partners within the National University of Ireland Galway and with European partners.  VISICORT was showcased here, as were the related projects NEPHSTROM and ADIPOA-2.

Great interest was expressed in this evolving therapeutic area with approximately 100 members of the public stopping by to hear about what cell therapy involves and to learn about the projects from the clinical researchers on the day.

Dr Veronica McInerney, CRF Galway
Dr Veronica McInerney, NUI Galway

Two VISICORT PIs involved in new COST Action

Our PI Prof Thomas Ritter of the National University of Ireland Galway attended the kick-off meeting in Brussels of the COST Action Aniridia-NET: networking to address an unmet medical, scientific, and societal challenge. Aniridia is a devastating ocular disease that requires intensive eye care, social and community support from birth and throughout an individual’s lifetime.

Although a rare disease, aniridia is associated with ocular surface pathology such as dry eye, inflammation, stem cell insufficiency, nerve degeneration, and vascularization – problems common to many ocular surface pathologies collectively affecting large populations. Greater collaboration and sharing of information and resources in the area of aniridia is therefore additionally expected to have significant benefits for the treatment of larger patient populations with ocular surface disease.

Two VISICORT PIs, Thomas Ritter and Jesper Hjortdal of Aarhus University Hospital are on the management committee of this project.

Learn more about this COST action CA 18116 here: https://bit.ly/2P6GTU3

RCSI’s Prof. Conor Murphy authors new Ophthalmology text

Prof Conor Murphy, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland has co-authored a new ophthalmology text with Mr Mark Batterbury. The book is entitled “Ophthalmology: An Illustrated Colour Text”. Although primarily aimed at medical students, the text will appeal to those practising or studying fields closely related to ophthalmology, including optometry, orthoptics and ophthalmic nursing too.

Divided into four sections, the first contains essential anatomy and physiology.  The second describes ophthalmic diseases using a predominantly anatomically-ordered approach.  The third deals with a collection of special topics, some disease-related, others covering clinical management.  The final part focusses on clinical problem-solving.

This is the fourth edition of an award-winning text. It has been extensively reviewed, modified and updated to ensure its relevance to people across the world requiring an introductory text in ophthalmology.  The Special Investigations chapter has been rewritten and illustrated to show how modern imaging devices help in diagnosis and monitoring.  One new chapter reviews a range of global ophthalmic problems and another provides an overview of eye problems in children. The book is also available as an ebook (online).

ISBN-13: 978-0702075025
ISBN-10: 0702075027
Congratulations to Conor!

 

Launch of VISICORT

Welcome to the VISICORT Project.  We are very excited to be launching the project in April 2014.

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