More than 540 New Students Welcomed as Orientation Week 2017 Begins at RCSI

RCSI welcomed its new cohort of students to the College. 540 students began their courses in Medicine, Pharmacy and Physiotherapy and will get to know their way around the College, while also being introduced to the academic and administrative staff.

This year’s undergraduate intake of 441 Medicine students, 67 Pharmacy students and 32 Physiotherapy students come from Ireland and a host of other countries across Europe, North America, Australia, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

The Heads of RCSI’s three Undergraduate schools, Professor Arnold Hill (School of Medicine), Professor Paul Gallagher (School of Pharmacy) and Professor Marie Guidon (School of Physiotherapy) welcomed their respective new students to RCSI this morning with an opening address which kicked off Orientation Week.

Further speeches were delivered by Philip Curtis, Associate Director of Admissions and Student Services, Dr Orna Tighe, Vice Dean for Student Support and Development and Ronan Tobin, Head of Student Engagement and Development. The students were provided with an overview of the extensive range of academic and non-academic supports that are available to all students in the College. The Students’ Union also briefed the new incoming students about the range of social activities that they have organised as part of Fresher’s Week and introduced the Clubs and Societies which play such an important part in the life of an RCSI student.

The 2017 Buddy Programme also got underway with second and third year Pharmacy, Physiotherapy and Medicine students volunteering to act as ‘buddies’ for the new students this year. The Buddies provide an invaluable resource in the form of friendly, knowledgeable and experienced students, who welcome the new students to RCSI for the first time and provide them with first-hand knowledge about the College, the courses, extra-curricular activities and student life in Dublin.

Later today Professor John Hyland, President of RCSI, will host a reception which is an opportunity for our new student’s families to join in the excitement of the beginning of their life as an RCSI student. The President will provide an overview of the College and its wider activates. This will be followed by a presentation from Professor Clive Lee, Head of Anatomy, who will provide a unique perspective on RCSI and some of its distinguished graduates. Students and their families will also have the opportunity to meet with academic and non-academic staff at the President’s Reception.

On Tuesday, 5 September, the White Coat Ceremony will take place in No. 26 York Street. The White Coat Ceremony is undertaken in the first week in College as a common ceremony for all Medicine, Pharmacy and Physiotherapy students and Physician Associates – to mark their new role as student health professionals. Students are invited by Professor Hannah McGee, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, to make a commitment to professionalism that mirrors the graduates’ declaration recited at their conferring day, and that signals the responsibilities they must begin to undertake as trainee health professionals from the start of their programmes.

The symbolism of having all disciplines start together recognises their common pathway in developing professional competence – and the importance of teamwork in healthcare delivery. The ceremony will be live streamed on the RCSI website from 5pm to enable families and friends who are unable to attend the event can watch proceedings from anywhere in the world.

As well as orientation, it is also Freshers’ Week for the students. There are a wide variety of social events organised including sign-up day for Clubs and Societies on Wednesday, 6 September; the Freshers’ Festival on Thursday, 7 September in the RCSI sports grounds in Dardistown and a ballad session on Friday, 9 September to close the week.

RCSI to Introduce Measures to Address Major Gender Imbalance Among Surgeons

RCSI is implementing a series of measures to encourage more women to become surgeons following the launch of a report today by Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD and RCSI President, Professor John Hyland highlighting a series of barriers to female entry into and progression in surgical careers.

 

While more than 50% of medical graduates are female, just 34% of surgical trainees are women, while less than 7% of consultant surgeons are women. The report, by a working group established by RCSI, identifies the lack of access for women to high quality surgical fellowships, working conditions during pregnancy and supports available to those returning to work after absence as among the barrier to female progress in the profession.

 

The report was produced by RCSI’s Working Group on Gender Diversity which reviewed extensive literature in the area, held a national consultation and examined international best practice. According to the chair of the Working Group Ms Deborah McNamara, Consultant in General and Colorectal Surgery, Beaumont Hospital, “If surgery is less appealing to women than to men, we need to know why and remove the obstacles.

 

“There is a striking absence of female surgeons in senior academic positions. We also need career structures that enable surgeons to vary the tempo of their professional life during different periods.

 

“This is a fundamental matter of gender equality but it is also a question of ensuring we provide the best patient care. There is research evidence suggesting male and female doctors practice differently and that the needs of patients are more likely to be met by a diverse profession.” concluded Ms McNamara.

 

The working group investigated barriers to recruitment and retention which resulted in this gender imbalance. The report strongly recommends the publication of an annual report on gender diversity in surgery, recording the progress being made as a result of these measures in a transparent way.

 

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, said “I welcome the publication of this report today. The implementation of its recommendations should make a significant contribution to tackling the barriers to gender equality in surgery. I am delighted to see that RCSI is committed to and actively addressing the current gender imbalance.”

 

Speaking before launch RCSI President, Professor John Hyland said “RCSI has been at the forefront of developing selection processes for future surgeons, and we are proud of our tradition of supporting women in surgery that began with the conferring of our first female Fellow Dr Emily Winifred Dickson in 1893. The publication of this report and implementation of the findings demonstrates RCSI’s commitment to addressing this imbalance in the profession.”

 

“RCSI is a powerful voice in setting standards and influencing surgical culture in Ireland and it must take the lead and show results from this initiative” concluded Professor Hyland.

 

The key recommendations are:

  • Measures to encourage female medical students considering a career in surgery through better promotion of surgical careers to schools and young women
  • Building a culture supporting female surgical trainees including mentoring and improving fellowship options for women
  • Consideration of the needs of trainees who are parents to ensure training time is flexible and evaluation of trainee wellbeing during pregnancy
  • Encourage diversity through part-time surgical appointment options, specific programmes for female Fellows and research funding ring-fenced for female fellows

 

The RCSI Equality & Diversity Unit underlines the College’s commitment to nurturing and supporting equality and diversity. This Unit also leads the RCSI Athena Swan Gender Diversity Bronze Award application.

 

RCSI is ranked in the top 250 institutions worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2016-2017). It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide.

 

Download the report by clicking here.

 

Academic-industry Collaboration Aims to Regenerate Damaged Nerves

A new collaboration between researchers at RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland), and Trinity College Dublin (TCD) as part of the AMBER, SFI funded materials science centre in conjunction with Integra LifeSciences, a world leader in medical technology, aims to develop, and bring to the market, a new product to facilitate the repair of large nerve defects in the body. This €1.4 million research programme will run for three years.

This project is led by Prof Fergal O’Brien (Dept. of Anatomy, RCSI & Deputy Director in AMBER) in partnership with Prof Conor Buckley from the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering (TCD)

Peripheral nerves link the brain and spinal cord to the other parts of the body, such as the muscles and skin. They can be damaged through disease, trauma and burns resulting in interference with the brain’s ability to communicate with tissues resulting in the loss of motor or sensory function to muscles and skin. This can have significant deterioration in a patient’s quality of life.

Peripheral nerve injury is a major clinical problem and is known to affect more than 5 million people worldwide every year. It is estimated that five percent of multiple trauma patients have peripheral nerve injuries. Prompt surgical intervention is needed but if the injury size is larger than five millimetres, the primary treatment option available in most cases is by autograft which involves removal of nerve tissue from another part of the patient’s body and transplantation to the site of injury.  Unfortunately, autografts are hampered by a number of issues including the limited availability of donor tissue and often functional recovery for patients can be poor. As a result the RCSI & TCD team in AMBER are working with Integra LifeSciences to develop a next generation nerve graft capable of repairing large nerve defects without the need for invasive secondary surgeries.

RCSI’s collaboration with Integra began in 2005 and has deepened in the intervening years through the AMBER Centre.  This current project marks the second engagement in the area of peripheral nerve repair between the parties. The first project was successfully completed at the end of 2016 and resulted in a patent being filed on technology generated under the project.  This current engagement builds on this research.

Dr. Simon Archibald, Vice President and Chief Scientist from Integra LifeSciences said, “The demand for nerve repair biomaterials is increasing due to the aging population and rising number of nerve injuries and nerve surgeries. Our aim is to treat largescale nerve defects in the body and introduce this new technology to our portfolio of existing nerve repair products.”

Professor Fergal O’Brien, Professor of Bioengineering & Regenerative Medicine & Deputy Director of AMBER said “Building on a wealth of expertise in biomaterials development from the Tissue Engineering Research Group at RCSI, our hope is to work with Integra to see this new technology translate to the benefit of patients and society.”

RCSI scientists discover gene that blocks spread of colon cancer

Researchers from RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) and the University of Nice, France, have discovered the function of a gene called KCNQ1 that is directly related to the survival of colon cancer patients. The gene produces pore-forming proteins in cell membranes, known as ion channels. The finding is an important breakthrough towards the development of more effective therapies for colon cancer and new diagnostics that will provide a more accurate prognosis for colon cancer patients. The research is published this week in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS).

This is the first study of its kind to work out the molecular mechanisms of how the KCNQ1 ion channel gene suppresses the growth and spread of colon cancer tumours.

Worldwide, there are 774,000 deaths from colorectal cancer each year and it is the third leading cause of death from cancer globally(1). In Ireland, almost 2,500 Irish people are diagnosed with bowel cancer annually and it is the second most common cause of cancer death(2).

The research team, led by Professor Brian Harvey, Department of Molecular Medicine, RCSI, have identified the molecular mechanisms by which the KCNQ1 gene suppresses the growth and spread of colon cancer cells. The KCNQ1 gene works by producing an ion channel protein which traps a tumour promoting protein called beta-catenin in the cell membranes before it can enter the nucleus of the cell causing more cancer cells to grow.

Professor Brian Harvey, Professor of Molecular Medicine, RCSI
Professor Brian Harvey, Professor of Molecular Medicine, RCSI

The study looked at the relationship between the expression of the KCNQ1 gene and patient survival from more than 300 colon cancer patients. Patients who had high expression of the KCNQ1 gene were found to have a longer survival and less chance of relapse.

Commenting on the significance of the discovery Professor Harvey said: “This study has demonstrated the ability of an ion channel gene to block the growth of colon cancer cells. This is an exciting discovery as it opens up the possibility of a new kind of therapy that will target the KCNQ1 gene with drugs and also as a biomarker to improve diagnostics of colon cancer onset and development in patients. This information will help clinicians to identify the most effective treatment for the individual patient.”

“In the future, when we understand more about the KCNQ1 gene through further research, it will open up the possibility of developing new drug treatments that will be able harness the suppressive properties of the gene to target the colon specifically, without exposing other tissues in the body to unnecessary chemotherapy. The development of more targeted treatments for colon cancer is vital to improve the prognosis and quality of life for colon cancer patients.”

The full article is available at www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1702913114 

RCSI is ranked in the top 250 institutions worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2016-2017). It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide.

New Irish Centre for Vascular Biology to Seek Out Novel Treatments for Vascular Diseases

New Irish Centre for Vascular Biology to seek out novel treatments for vascular diseases such as thrombosis, stroke, haemophilia and cancer

 

The Irish Centre for Vascular Biology was launched today at RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland). The establishment of the new Irish Centre for Vascular Biology, based at RCSI, will be comprised of an integrated network of groups in Irish universities, hospitals, SME’s and industry partners in Ireland, both north and south, involved in vascular-related research.

The objective of the Irish Centre for Vascular Biology is to harness the expertise of these individual groups to establish a single national Irish centre of excellence in vascular biology research that will be recognised at international level. The Centre will incorporate leading Irish researchers in the areas of haemostasis, thrombosis, platelet biology, vascular inflammation and blood vessel development.

Speaking at the launch, Professor James O’Donnell, Director of the Irish Centre for Vascular Biology and Professor of Vascular Biology at RCSI, said “Vascular diseases impact upon every facet of human health, and are the leading causes of mortality in Ireland and worldwide. By bringing together this critical mass of world-class Irish investigators and clinicians through the Irish Centre for Vascular Biology, we aim to perform cutting-edge research that will ultimately lead to new treatments for vascular diseases such as thrombosis, stroke, haemophilia and cancer.”

“Given the particularly high levels of morbidity and mortality associated with vascular diseases in Ireland, this new centre will be of scientific and economic significance, and will have direct clinical relevance.” concluded Professor O’Donnell.

The Irish Centre for Vascular Biology will leverage existing Irish expertise, but also build new partnerships between the major stakeholders involved in Irish vascular research, including scientists, healthcare providers, patients and industry partners. In parallel, the centre will provide a training platform for the next generation of outstanding vascular biology researchers and clinician-scientists in Ireland. Crucially, the centre will be industry facing, and will partner with local SMEs and multinational pharmaceutical companies to achieve shared goals of developing new treatments and technologies that reduce the overwhelming burden that vascular diseases place on Irish society.

Speaking before the launch Professor Cathal Kelly, CEO/Registrar of RCSI stated “I am delighted that the Irish Centre for Vascular Biology will be based at RCSI. RCSI has a proud tradition as a leader in health sciences research and we look forward to seeing the contribution the Irish Centre for Vascular Biology will make in addressing vascular diseases.”

To coincide with the launch of the centre, international leaders in the field of vascular biology from both Europe and North America will attend the event. Professor Garret Fitzgerald from the University of Pennsylvania and Chairman of the Irish Centre for Vascular Biology External Scientific Advisory Board will give the keynote presentation on the ‘Future of Translational Research and Vascular Medicine.

RCSI discovery on children’s bone growth to advance development of bone healing therapies

Study opens new avenues for bone repair in adults with severe fractures and bone degeneration

Irish scientists are developing an advanced technology to speed up bone repair in adults who have suffered severe fractures and bone degeneration. This follows the identification of a gene which explains why children’s stem cells form bone very quickly.
Scientists at RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) and SFI funded AMBER (Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research) centre, in collaboration with clinicians at the National Paediatric Craniofacial Centre (NPCC) at Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, compared children and adult-derived stem cells in order to understand more comprehensively why children’s cells have an extraordinary capacity to respond to their environment and repair bone quickly.
Their study investigated the age-associated changes in the capacity of stem cells to form bone tissue, and identified a potential therapeutic target which opens new avenues to develop novel therapeutic target-specific biomaterials for restoring a child-like bone healing capacity in adults suffering from severe fractures and bone degeneration.
The RCSI and AMBER team carried out the study with Mr. Dylan Murray, lead clinician at the NPCC at Temple Street Children’s University Hospital.
In this study the researchers found that children’s stem cells are far more sensitive to changes in their physical environment and form bone quicker than adult-derived stem cells. Furthermore, by comparing the genetic expression of children and adult-derived stem cells, the researchers identified a particular gene (JNK3) that explains why children’s stem cells respond to their physical environment differently, creating more bone than adult cells, thus, suggesting its potential as a new target to promote enhanced bone repair.  Building on a wealth of experience in advanced biomaterials in the RCSI Tissue Engineering Research Group (TERG), the team is now utilising this knowledge to develop an advanced technology to facilitate enhanced bone repair.
Professor Fergal O’Brien from the Department of Anatomy in RCSI who is lead-Principal Investigator on the project and Deputy Director of AMBER said: ‘We are very excited by the identification of a key mechanism which influences bone formation in children and this study opens a new research avenue which will focus on therapeutic delivery in order to upregulate this gene with a view to replicating the enhanced bone regenerative potential of children in adults. Ultimately we hope that this research will lead to improved treatments for patients who have suffered severe bone loss through injury or disease’.
Commenting on the significance of the research, Dr Arlyng Gonzalez Vazquez, joint first author on the study said: ‘Our findings not only have major implications for tackling the decrease of bone repair capacity that occurs with age but also set the basis for a novel research strategy applicable to other tissues in the body’.
The research, which has just been published in Acta Biomaterialia – a leading journal in the biomedical engineering field, was the result of a multi-disciplinary effort between cell biologists, clinicians and engineers in the RCSI TERG and €58million SFI-funded AMBER Centre. Post-doctoral researchers, Dr Arlyng Gonzalez Vazquez and Dr Sara Barreto, the first authors on the study conducted the research under the supervision of Professor O’Brien in RCSI and Mr. Dylan Murray in Temple Street. This work was supported by the Health Research Board, the Temple Street Foundation (the fundraising arm of the hospital) and the Irish Research Council.
RCSI is ranked in the top 250 institutions worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2016-2017). It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide.
ENDS
Notes
The National Paediatric Craniofacial Centre (NPCC) is based at Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, Dublin I and aims to provide a holistic multidisciplinary approach to the management of both congenital and acquired craniofacial deformity from birth to skeletal maturity using the most modern and advanced techniques. Please see www.craniofacial.ie

RCSI research into bowel cancer drugs to have impact on tailored patient treatments

Drug development and the cost of treatments to health care funders also impacted by findings

Researchers in RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) have conducted further in-depth research to predict how patients with bowel (colorectal) cancer will respond effectively to chemotherapy, to ensure that patients will get the most suitable type of treatment from the outset. A large validation study was conducted to support initial findings with the latest research published in the Clinical Cancer Research and Gut (International Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology) journals.

The research focuses on the need to personalise cancer treatment programmes in order to kill cancer cells while preserving healthy tissue. This prediction tool, developed in RCSI, is a computerised model using insights obtained from research in the field to provide a fast method of determining the sensitivity of an individual patient’s cancer cells. It allows the patient to be assessed to see if chemotherapy will be of benefit before treatment starts, allowing for other treatment options to be utilised if the results show that no benefit will be received from chemotherapy. This not only allows the patient to receive more appropriate treatment at an earlier stage it also prevents any possible damage to healthy cells which could be caused by the chemotherapy and reduces other side effects.

Professor Jochen Prehn, Professor of Physiology & Director of the Centre for Systems Medicine at RCSI, said “Tumours can become unresponsive to chemotherapy as they are made of different types of cells and many develop resistance to chemotherapy drugs. In one particular type of colorectal cancer up to 50-60 per cent of patients prove unresponsive to a commonly used treatment regime.”

“The tools we have developed from this research will deliver the right chemotherapy or the right treatment plan to the right patient at the right time, hence avoiding unnecessary side-effects and accelerating access to better treatments.”

“This avoids a situation in which a patient who is not responsive to the drugs has to endure harsh chemotherapy treatment needlessly. By analysing the chemical pathways in a tumour prior to therapy and knowing that the tumour will be responsive also reduces uncertainty, and means that scarce resources can be used to maximum benefit.”

“The research has also shown that this type of testing may also work in other forms of cancer which is another exciting development.” concluded Professor Prehn.

In addition to patient benefit, there is potentially a major cost saving associated with this development for healthcare funders – patients who will not benefit from the chemotherapy, or certain types of chemotherapy, will not receive it resulting in significant healthcare savings.

Professor Jochen Prehn, Professor of Physiology & Director of the Centre for Systems Medicine at RCSI

The Dose Response Medical Outcome Model Predictor System, a patent protected technology developed in RCSI, can also be used by the pharmaceutical sector. Developing a new treatment can be a lengthy process costing billions. This test can be utilised to reduce the cost and time involved by allowing the drug makers to evaluate novel therapeutics at an early stage. RCSI is actively exploring partnerships with drug companies.

Director of Research and Innovation at RCSI, Professor Ray Stallings said “RCSI’s research strategy has a strong focus on excellence in translational research for the benefit of patients and healthcare systems. Professor Prehn’s research exemplifies how RCSI’s translational research programmes can improve patient outcomes, reduce healthcare costs and have industrial relevance.”

This research has been supported by the Science Foundation Ireland, and Health Research Board and the European Commission.

RCSI is ranked in the top 250 institutions worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2016-2017). It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide.

Note to Editors:
• According to the Irish Cancer Society almost 2,500 Irish people are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year.
• It is also the second most common cause of cancer death in Ireland
• The project was led by RCSI with support from Queen’s University Belfast and Paris Descartes University Medical School, and a number of Irish SMEs.

RCSI awards contract for €9.5 million expansion of Education and Research Building at Beaumont Hospital to the Stewart Group

RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) has announced that it has awarded the main construction contract for the extension of the RCSI Education and Research Centre, Smurfit Building at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin to the Stewart Group.
RCSI will invest in the region of €11 million in the development of the construction of the 30,000 sq ft three-story extension. The construction value of the project is €9.5 million marking the largest capital investment in the Beaumont Hospital Campus in a considerable period. The project will create approximately 200 jobs over the course of the development. Construction will commence in January 2017 and works are scheduled for 18 months for completion by mid-2018.
The project will incorporate a new student concourse at ground floor to link the existing building, with the new facility. The new facilities will include a series of large flexible multi-functional tutorial rooms on the ground floor, open plan faculty offices and meeting spaces on the first floor and laboratory and research facilities, including write up space, on the second floor. The building will be linked vertically with a feature stairs under a large atrium.
Professor Cathal Kelly, CEO/Registrar of RCSI, said: “Today’s contract signing for the expansion of the RCSI Education and Research Centre, Smurfit Building paves the way for the next level of RCSI investment in healthcare education and research in Ireland and will extend the existing RCSI facilities at Beaumont Hospital to create world-class modern facilities for our students and staff.”
The RCSI Education and Research Centre (ERC), Smurfit Building was first opened at Beaumont Hospital in 2000 and is home to the first academic Clinical Research Centre to be established in Ireland. The ERC forms part of RCSI’s Research Institute which is a multi-site research infrastructure encompassing the research activities of RCSI at the St Stephen’s Green campus and the RCSI Education and Research Centre (ERC) at Beaumont Hospital.
Rachael Stewart, Business Development Director, Stewart Group, observed that “the ERC extension project is an exciting opportunity for Stewart to collaborate on the creation of a future proof, state-of-the-art medical learning facility, which will harvest leading international medical professionals for generations to come. The Stewart brand is synonymous with excellence in our field which is in perfect alignment with RCSI’s unrivalled, international reputation. Stewart employ flexible and dynamic construction professionals who are equipped to rapidly respond to our clients’ needs, which is of particular importance on a live hospital campus.”
Established in 1902, Stewart is one of Ireland’s leading construction companies with offices in Dublin and Galway. The company has expertise in many sectors including commercial, industrial, healthcare, education and pharmaceutical. Project Managers are RCSI, Project Architects McCauley Daye O’Connell, Cost Consultancy Aecom, Service Engineers OCSC and Civil and Structural Engineers CS Consulting Group.
RCSI is ranked in the top 250 institutions worldwide and joint 1st place in the Republic of Ireland in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2016-2017). It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide.

10 Things to Know About…” presenter to be put through paces on VR medical training simulators at RCSI

2016 will be known as the year when virtual reality (VR) finally broke into the entertainment mainstream, but is it paving the way for the future of healthcare education? This topic will be explored in this evening’s episode of RTE’s programme, “10 Things to Know About…” which will look at some of the virtual reality applications developed by RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland). This episode, featuring Donncha Ryan, Dr Cuan Harrington and Professor Sean Tierney, all from RCSI’s Department of Surgical Affairs, the seventh and final in the series, will broadcast on RTE One at 8.30pm tonight.

Earlier this year, Donncha and his team at RCSI developed and launched the world’s first fully interactive virtual reality medical training simulator, allowing users simulate emergency room management of a patient following a road traffic accident. The RCSI VR Medical Training Sim app puts medical professionals and trainees in the shoes of the Emergency Department trauma team leader where they must assess the patient, make life or death decisions in real time and perform life-saving operative procedures as a surgeon would in a real emergency room. Since its launch the app has been downloaded over 110,000 times.


Donncha Ryan shows Kathriona how to use a VR simulator – tune in tonight from 8.30pm on RTE One

Presenter Kathriona Devereux visits RCSI to slip on a VR headset and tests herself on some of RCSI’s VR prototypes including a hybrid laparoscopic trainer, which takes an ordinary box trainer and transforms it into an experience in an operating theatre. Professor Tierney then guides her through a virtual operation using the VR technology. The stressful, immersive environment simulates conditions experienced by young doctors. Kathriona also discusses the future of VR in healthcare and education with Professor Tierney and its potential use in future training.

“10 Things to Know About…”, is presented by Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain, Kathriona Devereux and Jonathan McCrea, who will investigate some of the most exciting and ground-breaking science projects underway in Ireland. This time around each episode is themed on a certain scientific topic which gives ten key learnings to viewers on that research area.

The app is also available to download and features an interactive alternative mode for the non-medical user, including guides and explanations for each step. For further information and to view a demo of the experience, visit: www.msurgery.ie/vr.

RCSI is ranked in the top 250 institutions worldwide and joint 1st place in the Republic of Ireland in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2016-2017). It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide.

RCSI research and innovations on concussion and balance rehabilitation to feature on RTE science show

Sports performance is on the agenda for evening’s episode of RTE One programme, “10 Things to Know About…”, and research into concussion, human movement, balance and dizziness by RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) experts will be at the forefront of this programme. This episode, featuring Dr Dara Meldrum of RCSI’s School of Physiotherapy and Professor John M. O’Byrne, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, RCSI, the sixth in the series, will broadcast on RTE One at 8.30pm tonight.

Ireland is a nation of sports lovers, both watching and playing, but playing high energy sports can come with its own dangers. Tonight, the presenters of “10 Things to Know About…”, will look at some of the advances in science and technology which are helping sportspeople to limit, prevent or recover from injury, and improve sports performance.


Presenter of “10 Things”, Jonathon McCrea speaks to Dara Meldrum about inner-ear balance

Dr Dara Meldrum, Lecturer in RCSI’s School of Physiotherapy is collaborating with Kitman Laboratories and they are seeking to use technology to improve motion monitoring and data collection methods to further the understanding of the increased risk of lower muscle injuries after concussion. In the episode, presenter Jonathon McCrea visits RCSI to see how Dara’s research and work into vestibular rehabilitation is informing the development of a digital health platform which will aim to rehabilitate inner-ear symptoms of concussion such as dizziness and imbalance

Dara will also test Jonathan with the Equitest machine housed in the physiotherapy department at Beaumont Hospital which is a high end computerised platform that measures balance. Can Jonathon maintain his balance on the machine that is used to monitor and treat or reduce symptoms of imbalance?


Prof John O’Byrne talks about pitchside and surgical treatment of concussion

Professor John M. O’Byrne, an Orthopaedic Surgeon and Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at RCSI will also inform viewers on the dangers of concussion and speak on how concussion in sport is treated from pitch side right through to if the patient needs to undergo surgery.

“10 Things to Know About…”, is presented by Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain, Kathriona Devereux and Jonathan McCrea, who investigate some of the most exciting and ground-breaking science projects underway in Ireland. Each episode is themed on a certain scientific topic which gives ten key learnings to viewers on that research area.

RCSI will also feature in the series’ final episode next week:

“Virtual Reality” -Monday 19th December 2016 (8.30pm – RTE One)
In the seventh and final episode of the series, Kathriona Devereux visits RCSI and speaks to Donncha Ryan (Department of Surgical Affairs) about his recently-developed virtual reality app which is the world’s first fully interactive virtual reality medical training simulator, allowing users simulate emergency room management of a patient following a road traffic accident.

RCSI is ranked in the top 250 institutions worldwide and joint 1st place in the Republic of Ireland in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2016-2017). It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide.