Winning research included work on effect of speed on foetal development and using human skin cells to help heal brain injuries
NUI Galway Neuroscience Centre, based within the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway, held its sixth Annual Research Day recently.
This meeting showcased the very best of neuroscience research in the University with presentations from undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as post-doctoral research scientists from a number of different disciplines and research centres within the University.
The award for the best oral presentation at the meeting was presented by Dr David Finn, Leader of the Galway Neuroscience Centre, to Ms Kate McDonnell-Dowling (Pharmacology & Therapeutics, NUI Galway) whose work detailed the impact on foetal development of pregnant mothers taking the illicit drug, amphetamine (speed).
Mr Martin Madill (Regenerative Medicine Institute, NUI Galway) won the poster presentation prize for presenting his work on the conversion of human skin cells into brain cells to use in repairing the brain after injury.
Dr Honorata Kraśkiewicz (Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials) and Sinéad Healy (National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science) won the runner-up prizes for their work on the development of novel drug delivery systems for spinal cord repair and the development of novel systems to study the impact of iron on the pathology of multiple sclerosis.
Dr Declan McKernan, organiser of the event, said “The quality and variety of presentations featured here today highlights the promising future that neuroscience research has at NUI Galway”.
The presentations included the development of relevant models to study pain, depression and autism, the use of stem cell to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, and investigations into the underlying changes in the brains of patients with schizophrenia or multiple sclerosis.
The meeting also featured keynote presentations from Professor Artur Swiergiel from the University of Gdansk in Poland on the brain’s response to chronic stress, as well as presentations from NUI Galway research scientists, Professor Gary Donohoe and Dr Derek Morris, on the psychiatry and genetics of schizophrenia.
The meeting coincided with Galway Neuroscience Centre member, Prof. Bob Lahue, winning the Medical Laboratory of the Year and the Pharmaceutical Laboratory of the Year in the Irish Laboratory Awards which were held in the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dublin.
The mission of the Galway Neuroscience Centre is to develop Neuroscience in Galway through research, education and community initiatives. The Centre is truly multidisciplinary in membership, bringing together researchers from a range of clinical and preclinical disciplines, which enable the investigation of nervous system disease at a number of levels. The Galway Neuroscience Centre gained the status of Centre of Excellence in Neurodegeneration (COEN) after a national and international review process last year.