2013

Dr. Kerstin Pohl from the Dept. of Medicine won the Junior Investigators Best Abstract in Basic Science Award at the 2013 North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference at the Salt Palace Convention Center, Utah. The study, led by Dr. Emer Reeves and Prof. Gerry McElvaney, was carried out in collaboration with researchers from Dublin City University and King's College London and examined the effect of ivacaftor treatment on neutrophil function in individuals with cystic fibrosis. 

Prof McElvaney was an invited speaker at the 27th annual North American Cystic Fibrosis conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah. His presentation focused on "What role fungi play in Cystic Fibrosis lung disease".

Dr. Emmet O'Brien was presented with the 2013 European Alpha1 Antitrypsin Laurell's Training Awards (eALTA) at the 2013 European Respiratory Society (ERS) Annual Congress in Barcelona, Spain.  The annual awards, provide two fellowships to young investigators whose research contributes to the understanding and treatment of alpha1-antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency. AAT deficiency is a rare, genetic condition in which low levels of the alpha1 protein can result in the early onset of emphysema and liver disease and can lead to disability and premature death. Dr O'Brien project entitled project is entitled ‘Neutrophil degranulation in individuals with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency' and is currently being carried out in the Department of Medicine, under the supervision of Prof Gerry McElvaney, Dr Emer Reeves and Dr David Bergin.

 

2012

Prof McElvaney presided over the 35th annual European Cystic Fibrosis conference held at the Convention Centre Dublin on June 7th-9th. At this event Kerstin Pohl, HRB PhD Scholar in Diagnostics and Therapeutics for Human Disease who is who is jointly supervised Prof McElvaney and Dr Emer Reeves was awarded the 2012 European Cystic Fibrosis Society (ECFS) Young Investigators Award. The ECFS Award is given annually to individual researchers who made an outstanding contribution to the basic understanding of cystic fibrosis or to the treatment or care of people with cystic fibrosis. 

 

Researchers from Prof McElvaneys research group have published a new study which represents a major breakthrough in understanding why females with cystic fibrosis do worse than males in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. The study is the first to show that the female hormone oestrogen promotes the presence of a particular form of bacteria which results in more severe symptoms for female cystic fibrosis patients. In addition, females who were taking the oral contraceptive pill, which decreases the amount of naturally occurring oestrogen in their bodies, were found to have lower levels of the problematic bacteria. The research found that oestrogen promoted the presence of a ‘mucoid' form of the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the lungs of women with cystic fibrosis. These mucoid type of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria are coated in a slimy layer which makes them more difficult to treat with antibiotics and more difficult to clear with the body's own natural defences which leads to significant lung inflammation, explaining, at least in part, why females with cystic fibrosis often have a worse outcome.

Professor McElvaney, Director of the Respiratory Research Laboratory RCSI/Beaumont Hospital and joint senior author on the paper commented: "This study opens the way to a new understanding and potentially new therapies in the treatment of cystic fibrosis, a condition in which Ireland has the highest incidence in the world. This research study is among the first examples which shows the effects of gender hormones on infections and therefore has major implications for conditions beyond cystic fibrosis including other respiratory diseases such as asthma." Dr. Sanjay Chotirmall, a Molecular Medicine Ireland (MMI) Clinician-Scientist fellow is the first author on the paper and Dr. Catherine Greene is the joint senior author.

 

Dr Killian Hurley was the post-graduate oral research prize winner. He received the Mundipharma Pharmaceuticals Prize of a silver medal and a prize fund of €1,000 to attend a conference.

Pictured: Professor John Kelly, Director of Research (left); Dr Killian Hurley, post-graduate oral research prize winner sponsored by Mundipharma Pharmaceuticals (centre) and Mr Peter Daly, Mundipharma Pharmaceuticals (right).


 

 

 

 

Kerstin Pohl was awarded second prize in the PhD poster category at the 2012 Beaumont Hospital Sheppard Prize for her project entitled "Decreased Rab27a activation and impaired release of secondary and tertiary granules from neutrophils in cystic fibrosis".


Dr. David Bergin was awarded first prize within the PhD category of the Beaumont Hospital Sheppard Prize which was held on February 21st 2012. Dr Bergin was awarded the prize for his project entitled "The inhibitory effect of alpha-1 antitrypsin on TNF-alpha signaling".


Prof McElvaney was honored with the 2012 Irish Shillelagh award by Celtic Connection Committee & the US Alpha-1 foundation in recognition of his work to date into the genetic disease, Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.
 

 

 

 

 

2011

The Irish Thoracic Society - Allen & Hanburys Research Fellowship in Respiratory Medicine was awarded to Dr Michelle Murray, Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, Beaumont Hospital for her project: The Role of Anaerobic Bacteria Proteases in the CF Lung.


Pictured: Dr Murray (centre) with Prof Gerry McElvaney (Left) (Project supervisor) receiving her Award from Dr Terry O'Connor, President, the Irish Thoracic Society (Right).

 

 

 

 

Rebecca Wolfe received the award for Best Poster presentation at the Irish Thoracic Society Annual Scientific Meeting held in Dublin (11th November 2011). Her poster was entitled "Alpha-1 Antitrypsin: A Novel TNF-Alpha Blocker?"

Dr Sanjay Chotirmall was awarded 1st Prize for his Oral Presentation “Estrogen induces mucoid conversion of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and promotes infective exacerbations in females with cystic fibrosis” at the Annual General Meeting of the Irish Thoracic Society 2011. Sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim, Ireland.

 

Researchers from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), Beaumont Hospital, and Trinity College Dublin have conducted a study which has found that Ireland has one of the highest incidences in the world of a genetic condition that causes severe hereditary emphysema, Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. The study raises the possibility that hundreds of people suffering from chronic lung disease could have this genetic condition but have yet to be diagnosed. It is hoped the findings of this study will lead to increased awareness of the disease and earlier diagnosis which can contribute to a better quality of life for people with the condition.
Professor McElvaney, the senior author on the study said: "Our study shows the prevalence of Alpha-1 in Ireland is among the highest in the world and although a simple blood test is all that is required to diagnose this condition, over 90% of Alpha-1 individuals remain undiagnosed. The importance of an early diagnosis of Alpha-1 cannot be overstated as the proper medical follow-up and lifestyle changes can help prevent or at least delay the development of lung and liver disease associated with this condition and greatly increase life expectancy."
The lead author on the study is Dr Tomás Carroll who worked with colleagues from RCSI's Department of Medicine based in the Education and Research Centre at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin and collaborated with researchers at Trinity Biobank, Institute of Molecular Medicine, St. James's Hospital; the Department of General Practice, RCSI; and the School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queens University, Belfast.
 

Dr David Bergin was awarded a travel grant from the US Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for his presentation entitled “Evaluation of serum derived bioactive biomarkers of inflammation in Cystic Fibrosis” at the North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference (NACFC) held in November 2011 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Los Angeles, California.

Dr Sanjay Chotirmall received the Young Investigator Award” at the Dublin Centre for Clinical Research (DCCR) Scientific Meeting 2011. Trinity College Dublin Biosciences Building, Pearse Street, Dublin 2011.

Dr Killian Hurley received the European Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Laurell’s Training Award (eALTA) at the European Respiratory Society Annual Congress in Amsterdam in September 2011. His project is to fully characterize the anti-apoptotic effect of alpha-1 antitrypsin.

Rebecca Wolfe, (HRB funded Summer Research Student), won the prize for best oral presentation on possibility of broadening the therapeutic potential of alpha-1 antitrypsin at the Summer School Symposium 2011.

 

Molecular Medicine Ireland (MMI) Clinician Scientist Fellow Dr Sanjay Chotirmall, based in RCSI, was awarded the MMI Medal for his oral presentation ‘Estrogen in Cystic Fibrosis: Inflammatory, Immune and Infectious Consequences’ at the 3rd Annual MMI Clinician Scientist Meeting, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2011. 

(Pictured: Dr Chotirmall (RCSI) receiving MMI Medal for best oral presentation from Prof FitzGerald, Dr Barrington (MMI) & Prof Kelleher (TCD))


 

 

Dr Sanjay Chotirmall was awarded the Respiratory Medicin prize at the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Doctor Awards 2011 on Thursday May 26th, at a reception in the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland in Kildare Street. He was awarded the prize for his paper entitled "17Beta-estradiol inhibits IL-8 in cystic fibrosis by up-regulating secretory leucoprotease inhibitor. This paper was published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine in July 2010. Dr. Chotirmall is a clinical-scientist funded by Molecular Medicine Ireland. He is jointly supervised by Catherine Greene, Brian Harvey and Noel G. McElvaney.

(Dr. Sanjay Chotirmall (centre) receiving the Respiratory Medicine prize at the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Doctor Awards 2011)

 

 

 

Dr Tomás Carroll, was awarded a research grant from the American Thoracic Society Foundation/Alpha-1 Foundation Research Grant to study the effect of a genetic protein deficiency on the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). 

 

 

 

 

Catherine Coughlan was awarded first prize for best oral presentation with her project entitled "Gliotoxin is responsible for vitamin D receptor down-regulation and induced T-helper 2 response in Aspergillus fumigatus colonized cystic fibrosis airway disease" at the British Society for Medical Mycology Annual Scientific Meeting. 

 

Dr. Sanjay Chotirmall won best poster presentation in the PhD category at Beaumont Hospital Sheppard.

"Emphysema Update" TV interview with Prof. McElvaney and an Alpha-1 deficient patient about hereditary emphysema on Ireland AM (TV3)

RCSI breakthrough in understanding hereditary emphysema. A study carried out by Prof McElvaney research group has lead to a breakthrough in understanding the mechanisms behind the development of emphysema in the genetic heredity disease, Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. The research was carried out by the lead authors on the study Dr David Bergin and Dr Emer Reeves from Prof McElvaney Research group within RCSI's Department of Medicine and with collaborators based at the NICB in Dublin City University. The study was published in the prestigious Journal of Clinical Investigation in December 2010 and has additionally been recognized as being in the top 2% of published articles in biology and medicine by the distinguished Faculty of 1000. This reseach has also been highlighted in The Irish Daily Mail and The Irish Daily Star (25th January 2011). 

"Dublin research into emphysema" published in the Irish Times.

"RCSI research could lead to new treatments for smoker’s emphysema" published in the Medical Independent

"Breakthrough in Understanding Hereditary Emphysema" published in the Science Daily

"Irish team in emphysema breakthrough" published in IrishHealth

 

2010

Dr. Sanjay Chotirmall was awarded the William Stokes Award 2010 at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland for “17β-estradiol inhibits IL-8 in cystic fibrosis by up-regulating secretory leucoprotease inhibitor”.

(Dr. Sanjay Chotirmall (left) receiving the William Stokes Award 2010)

 

 

MMI Clinician Scientist Fellow involved in research breakthrough in understanding gender gap in cystic fibrosis.
Research on understanding the gender gap in people with cystic fibrosis (CF) carried out by Dr. Sanjay Chotirmall and Dr. Catherine Greene of the Department of Medicine Respiratory Research Laboratory in collaboration with the RCSI Molecular Medicine Laboratory has been recognized by the Faculty of 1000 Biology as one of the most interesting papers published in the biological sciences.

“Breathing a little easier” published in the Irish Medical Times.
Professor McElvaney RTE 1 radio interview.

Catherine Coughlan was awarded second place in the poster presenatation at the annual Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland meeting for "Inhibition of VDR expression following exposure to Aspergillus fumigatus secondary metabolite gliotoxin in cystic fibrosis".

Dr. David Bergin was awarded a travel grant from the ATS Public Advisory Roundtable Member the Alpha-1 Foundation for his ATS abstract "Alpha-1 antitrypsin modulates neutrophil activity through regulation of the calcium flux".

Isabel Vega-Carrascal was awarded a prize for best poster presentation in the PhD Scholars category for “Altered expression of T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin-domain-containing molecule-1 (TIM-1) and TIM-3 in the cystic fibrosis airway” during RCSI Research day.

Dr. Dorothy Ryan was awarded the prize for best oral presentation in the Post-graduate category during RCSI Research Day for “Secretory leukoprotease inhibitor regulates calpain-mediated neutrophil migration”.

Dr. David Bergin was awarded first prize for best poster presentation in the Early Career Investigators section for “Alpha-1 antitrypsin augmentation therapy regulates neutrophil chemotaxis in Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency” during RCSI Research day.

Irene Oglesby MSc was awarded a prize for best poster presentation at European Respiratory Society Lung Science Conference for "Expression profiling in cystic fibrosis reveals differential expression of miRNA". This included a travel award to attend the annual European Respiratory Society conference in Barcelona 2010.

(Irene Oglesby being awarded Best Poster Presentation by ERS Lung Science conference chair Geoffrey Laurent)

 

Dr. Sanjay Chotirmall won best oral presentation in the PhD category at Beaumont Hospital Sheppard for “17β-estradiol inhibits IL-8 release in the cystic fibrosis airway by up-regulation of secretory leucoprotease inhibitor”. 2010

Irene Oglesby MSc was awarded a prize for best poster presentation at Beaumont Hospital Sheppards Prize for “miR-126 is down-regulated in cystic fibrosis airway epithelial cells and regulates TOM1 expression”.

2009
Irene Oglesby MSc was awarded 2nd prize for her oral presentation at Irish Thoacic Society for “Expression profiling in cystic fibrosis reveals differential expression of miRNA".

Dr. David Bergin was awarded the European Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Laurell’s Training Award for “Coupling endoplasmic reticulum stress to neutrophil dysfunction in Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency”.

Dr. Sanjay Chotirmall received the Young Physiologist Bursary through Young Physiologist Bursary Scheme (YPBS) at the Annual meeting of the Physiological Society.

Dr. Sanjay Chotirmall was awarded an International Trainee Travel Award by the American Thoracic Society International Conference for “Estrogen in Cystic Fibrosis (CF): Toll-like receptor (TLR) Gatekeeper or Crasher?”

Irene Oglesby MSc was awarded a prize for best poster presentation at RCSI Reearch day for “Validation of TOM1 as a target of miR126”.

Dr. David Bergin was awarded first prize in Beaumont Hopsital Sheppards oral presentation for  “The effect of alpha-1 antitrypsin augmentation therapy on neutrophil chemotaxis”.

Irene Oglesby MSc was awarded first prize for best poster presentation at Beaumont Hospital Sheppards Prize for “miR-126 is down-regulated in cystic fibrosis airway epithelial cells and regulates TOM1 expression”.

2008
Dr. David Bergin was awarded a travel grant from the ATS and Genentech, Inc. / Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation for his ATS abstract "Alpha-1 Antitrypsin and the Phagocytic Neutrophil Revisited”.

2007
Dr. Tomás Carroll was awarded the European Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Laurell’s Training Award for “Immune Cell Function in Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency”.