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Posted on November 4, 2016

On Thursday, 3rd November, Irish and International researchers from Industry and academia gathered at Maynooth University for the Irish Area Section of the Biochemical Society (IASBS) Conference on Inflammatory Diseases.  
The Irish Area Section of the Biochemical Society (IASBS) Conference on Inflammatory Diseases is a focused meeting (sponsored by the Biochemical Society) is bringing researchers from the United States, Denmark, United Kingdom and Ireland, from both academia and industry, together to discuss inflammatory disorders, their mechanisms and how this information can inform clinical practice.

The Conference is jointly organised by RCSI, Dublin City University (DCU) and Maynooth University under the auspices of 3U Partnership. The 3U Partnership catalyses research and innovation across a range of areas of importance to society by providing a convergent forum for complementary expertise from the three institutions, most notably in the area of biomedical research. Collaboration and communication is key to developing new treatments for the inflammatory disorders.

Pictured is Dr Marian Brennan (right) with her postgraduate student Afnan Ali. Afnan presented her research entitled "Repurposing old drugs for the treatment of sepsis" at the conference.

Pictured is Dr Marian Brennan (right) with her postgraduate student Afnan Ali. Afnan presented her research entitled “Repurposing old drugs for the treatment of sepsis” at the conference.

Speaking on the meeting, Dr Marian Brennan, Lecturer in Biochemistry at the RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) Department of Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics, said “This conference will foster collaboration across disciplines which is extremely important for tackling this group of diseases.” Afnan Ali, an RCSI postgraduate research student being supervised by Dr Brennan, presented Afnan presented her research entitled “Repurposing old drugs for the treatment of sepsis” at the conference.

Inflammation is an important natural response to tissue damage and is also important in our body’s response to infection. Dysregulation of inflammation however can result in serious disorders. It is now widely accepted that non-communicable diseases (NCD), such as obesity, cancer, autoimmune disorders and other metabolic syndromes pose the greatest threat to global health. In 2015, the world health organisation stated that non communicable diseases kill 38 million people each year. Following on from this, it is appreciated that physical inactivity and poor diet contribute to the development of these diseases. Significantly, in almost all of these diseases, inflammation presents itself as a key feature.

The conference culminated with the awarding of the IASBS silver medal to Professor Cormac Taylor (UCD) for his work elucidating inflammatory mechanisms involved in inflammatory bowel disease and how these can be exploited to develop new treatments.

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