From left-right: Dr Willard Tinago, Dr Sarinj Fattah, Dr Husvinee Sundaramurthi, Dr Cheree Fitzgibbon, Prof. Orla Feely (UCD VP Research Innovation, and Impact), Prof. Walter Kolch (Director, Systems Biology Ireland; coordinator, UCD TOPMed), Dr Ariane Watson, Dr Mamoonah Chaudhry, Dr Caoileann Murphy, Dr Solene Gatault, Dr Dina Danso-Abeam.
UCD today hosts its inaugural Personalised Medicine Showcase, celebrating the University’s strength across the biomedical sciences. The event also marks the arrival of nine new TOPMed10 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellows who will be working on range of translational research projects in areas including nutrition, oncology, rheumatology, HIV and skin disease, incorporating novel approaches such as systems biology, bioinformatics and computational modelling.
Two of the most significant challenges in realising Personalised Medicine are a lack of communication and sharing of information between disciplines and sectors at the early stage of biomedical discovery and development, and the critical shortage of skilled researchers and clinicians who are trained to work across these different disciplines and sectors.
The UCD TOPMed10 Marie Sklodowska-Curie COFUND programme is a direct response to these challenges, providing training and career development to nine leading young international scientists. Working across four UCD schools, two university hospitals and our three biomedical research centres, the TOPMed10 fellows are developing critical skills in an interdisciplinary, intersectoral environment. The €2.1M programme is supported by EU Horizon 2020, UCD, Science Foundation Ireland, the Health Research Board, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, ViiV Healthcare and Fighting Blindness charity.
Nine experienced international researchers, hailing from nine countries and four continents, have been supported through the programme to date: Dr Cheree Fitzgibbon, Dr Solène Gatault, Dr Sarinj Fattah, Dr Willard Tinago, Dr Dina Danso-Abeam, Dr Caoileann Murphy, Dr Ariane Watson, Dr Husvinee Sundaramurthi and Dr Mamoonah Chaudhry.
Professor Walter Kolch, Director of Systems Biology Ireland, and coordinator of the UCD TOPMed10 programme said,
“We are delighted to welcome our nine new Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellows as they begin their careers in UCD. These excellent early career researchers will help us to expand our activities in Personalised Medicine and we will provide them with a supportive working environment in which to develop their skills.”
Describing the significance of the SFI-HRB-Wellcome Trust ISSF award to UCD, Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research Impact and Innovation said,
“UCD researchers are at the forefront of the drive towards Personalised Medicine, with three highly active and successful biomedical research and training institutes: Systems Biology Ireland; UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research and UCD Charles Institute of Dermatology. Underpinned by the activities of UCD Clinical Research Centre, as well as Schools from across the Colleges of Science and Health and Agricultural Sciences and our affiliated university hospitals, they form a key element of UCD’s strategic planning in establishing a strong translational research strand that leverages UCD’s strengths in systems biology, computing, bioinformatics, biomedical and clinical research.”
The showcase is being held today in the UCD Charles Institute of Dermatology at 16.00.
Join us on 8th June 2017 in UCD to hear our new TOPMed10 fellows discuss their cutting edge research.
Widely considered as the future of medicine, Personalised Medicine is an approach to medical practice in which the individual aspects of a patient are directly considered to guide treatment planning, including his or her genetic make-up, key biomarkers, prior treatment history, environmental factors and behavioural preferences. This enables the development of personalised treatments and therapies as opposed to a ‘one size fits all’, trial and error approach.
Personalised Medicine is now coming into reach because of advances in high throughput –omics technologies and emerging disciplines such as computational modelling, molecular bioinformatics, biostatistics, statistical genetics and clinical informatics.
The UCD TOPMed10 Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellowship Programme coordinated by Prof. Walter Kolch was initiated in 2015 to support the development of a new generation of scientists and clinicians with interdisciplinary expertise in harnessing these technologies and disciplines to produce tangible benefits for patients, practitioners and society in general.
Prof. Orla Feely, UCD Vice President for Research, Impact and Innovation
16.15 Personalised Medicine Research in UCD
Prof. Walter Kolch, Director, Systems Biology Ireland
16.30 Research Showcase
New UCD Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellows Mamoonah Chaudhry, Dina Danso-Abeam, Sarinj Fattah, Cheree Fitzgibbon, Solene Gatault, Caoileann Murphy, Husvinee Sundaramurthi, Willard Tinago & Ariane Watson introduce their research
Event organised by Systems Biology Ireland as part of the UCD TOPMed10 MSCA fellowship programme. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 666010.
Since the turn of the year we have welcomed five new TOPMed10 fellows to UCD, bringing the total number of appointments on the programme to eight.
In January, Dr Willard Tinago joined the lab of Dr Paddy Mallon to work on a project examining cardiovascular risk prediction in HIV-infected patients. Willard's PhD, completed in 2015, was part of a joint initiative between the University of Zimbabwe and UCD. He now moves to UCD full-time to continue working with Dr Mallon from the UCD School of Medicine and will be based in the Mater Hospital in Central Dublin.
Also arriving in January was Dr Dina Danso-Abeam who will be working on the development of personalised anti-TNF therapy regimes in Inflammatory Bowel Disease in the lab of Dr Glen Doherty and Dr Liz Ryan, based in St Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin. Dina has previously been a postdoctoral researcher at Oxford University and completed her PhD at KU Leuven, Belgium.
February saw Dr Caoileann Murphy start her fellowship examining personalized nutrition solutions in sarcopenic elderly, joining the team of Prof. Helen Roche, Associate Professor of Nutrigenomics at the UCD Conway Institute. Caoileann had previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher with Prof. Roche and had undertaken her PhD at McMaster University, Canada.
Dr Ariane Watson also joined us in February will be working with Prof. Walter Kolch and Dr Colm Ryan in Systems Biology Ireland investigating the role of epigenetics in modulating drug resistance in melanoma, through molecular crosstalk with the signaling pathways frequently altered in metastatic melanoma. Originally from South Africa but brought up in Ireland, Ariane completed her PhD in UCD in 2016 under the supervision of Dr Gerard Cagney including two years with Prof. Nevan Krogan in University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
Finally, today we welcomed Dr Husvinee Sundaramurthi who joins the team of Dr Breandan Kennedy in the UCD Conway Institute, investigating novel therapeutic drugs for inherited retinal degenerative diseases. Husvinee recently completed her PhD at the National University of Singapore.
We are delighted to announce that our third TOPMed10 fellow has now started in UCD. Dr Sarinj Fattah joins the lab of Prof. David Brayden in the UCD School of Veterinary Sciences to undertake a project investigating new strategies for the oral administration of peptides.
Originally from Iraq, Sarinj joins UCD from KU Leuven, Belgium, where she completed a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences.
We are delighted to announce that our first TOPMed10 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellows have commenced their positions in UCD! Dr Cheree Fitzgibbon joins the lab of Prof. Walter Kolch and Dr Jens Rauch, investigating the role of Raf-heterodimer complexes in inhibitor-induced drug resistant melanoma. Cheree completed her PhD at La Trobe University, Australia, in 2014 before joining Systems Biology Ireland as a postdoctoral researcher in October 2015. Dr Solene Gatault has joined the group of Prof. Martin Steinhoff, director of the UCD Charles Institute of Dermatology, from the Unversity of Lille where she completed PhDs in immunology and pharmacology.
We look forward to welcoming the other members of our first cohort in the coming months!
Listen back to our webinar for prospective candidates, orginally broadcast on Friday 17 June:
Points covered during the webinar include:
On Friday 17 June we will be broadcasting a webinar to take prospective UCD TOPMed10 candidates through the application process and answer any questions.
Points covered during the webinar will include:
How To Join The Webinar
Date: Fri, Jun 17, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM GMT Daylight Time
Click the link to join the webinar at the specified time and date:
Before joining, be sure to check system requirements to avoid any connection issues.
You can also dial in using your phone.
Please register your interest in joining the webinar with the programme manager.
The second call of the UCD TOPMed10 Fellowship Programme is now open for applications!
Have a look through our research areas, PIs and eligibility criteria to see if the programme is right for you then check out the details of the application process.
All applications for the first call must be submitted by 30th June 2016 - good luck!
To assist applicants for Call 1 of the UCD TOPMed10 programme, we have published new resources to assist in completing your application. These include templates for the risk assessment, work plan and Gantt charts along with more detailed guidance on the requirements for each section of the application. These can be found in the Application Documents section of the website.
If you have any questions regarding your application please don't hesitate to get in touch with the Programme Manager.
Do you have academic or industry expertise in any of the following areas?
If so, you may be interested in helping us evaluate proposals within the UCD TOPMed10 first call for submissions. For further details on the research areas covered by this programme, please visit our listing of PIs.
UCD TOPMed10 is a personalised medicine fellowship programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie COFUND Action of Horizon 2020.
For further details, please contact Will Fitzmaurice, UCD TOPMed10 Programme Manager.
A full briefing and guide for evaluators will be provided.
Fellow level 1
Fellow level 2
Assessors will be asked to review approximately 5-10 applications between February and April 2016 with interviews for selected candidates to be held in Dublin in May 2016.
The first call of the UCD TOPMed10 Fellowship Programme is now open for applications!
Have a look through our research areas, PIs and eligibility criteria[link to eligibility criteria page] to see if the programme is right for you then check out the details of the application process.
If you have any questions visit the FAQs[link to FAQs page] page or get in touch with the TOPMed10 programme manager.
All applications for the first call must be submitted by 11th January 2016 - good luck!
Personalised medicine is now coming into reach because of advances in high throughput ‘-omics’ technologies and emerging disciplines such as computational modelling, molecular bioinformatics, biostatistics, statistical genetics and clinical informatics; areas in which UCD has developed an international reputation.
Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice President of Research, Innovation & Impact announced the launch of the TOPMed10 programme to offer 10 prestigious fellowships to experienced researchers at the awards ceremony of the 2015 UCD Conway Festival of Research & Innovation on Thursday, 10 September.
Pictured l-r: Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice President of Research, Innovation & Impact and Professor Walter Kolch, Director, UCD Conway Institute & Systems Biology Ireland.
Speaking at the launch, Professor Feely said:
“Given our growing reputation in these emerging disciplines, UCD is ideally positioned to put in place a programme that can act as a blueprint for what biomedical training can look like in future. I am delighted at the potential of this programme to enable new collaborations and seed new projects in personalised medicine and ultimately shape future leaders in this frontier research initiative.”
Professor Kolch and senior scientists from across UCD Conway and Charles Institutes, Systems Biology Ireland, the UCD Clinical Research Centre and affiliated teaching hospitals will work with successful applicants to develop new research projects in personalised medicine.
Professor Kolch, Director, UCD Conway Institute & Systems Biology Ireland said:
“We look forward to welcoming our ten TOPMed10 Fellows to UCD over the coming years – through the programme, we will give them the opportunity to work with our world class researchers and facilities, and we will equip them with the necessary tools to forge successful careers in the area of personalised medicine.”