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Enabling Clinical and Translational Research

Top Prize won by MMI Clinician Scientist Fellow at American Cardiology Meeting

Date Posted: 7 Apr 2011

Dr John O’Sullivan (pictured left) who is an MMI Clinician Scientist Fellow won the Young Investigator Award at the American College of Cardiology Meeting in New Orleans this week for groundbreaking work carried out in University College Cork (UCC).

This meeting is one of the largest of its kind in heart disease in the world and the Young Investigator competes in open international competition with the best cardiac research projects from around the globe. The work was carried out in the laboratory of Professor Noel Caplice at the Centre for Research in Vascular Biology at UCC.

Professor Caplice commented that “this is a fantastic achievement for a young Irish researcher and to his knowledge is the first time a researcher based in Ireland has won this prestigious prize”. The work funded by MMI and Science Foundation Ireland was presented at the meeting and described for the first time the dramatic effects of a single low dose of insulin like growth factor on heart muscle recovery after a large heart attack in an experimental model. More than a million people each year develop heart failure after large heart attacks despite the best currently available therapy. This work was performed in collaboration with colleagues from the Department of Biochemistry at UCC (Professor Rosemary O’ Connor). This collaborative effort has also been recently awarded approximately €1M in additional funding over the next 4 years to take this therapy to patients who have undergone a large heart attack and have poor heart function at the time of initial treatment. It is hoped that if successful this therapy can be developed and commercialized in Ireland.

About the Clinician Scientist Fellowship Programme (CSFP)

Since 2008, 22 medical graduates are undertaking PhD studies in five academic institutions as MMI Clinician Scientist Fellows. The CSFP is a structured PhD programme funded under PRTLI Cycle 4 which is training this key group of clinician scientists who will graduate with the unique and specialised knowledge essential to fulfil Ireland’s research needs in translational medicine.

Further information on the CSFP can be found at the below link:
http://www.molecularmedicineireland.ie/csfp